CHESHIRE East Council is hoping to encourage more potential foster carers to come forward by granting free council tax.

As part of newly-approved plans, foster carers will be exempt for the duration of their role as foster carers and will receive a reimbursement on a monthly basis equivalent to the amount of council tax liable.

This will also apply to carers approved by Cheshire East living outside of the borough.

Clr Rachel Bailey, cabinet member in charge of children and families, said: “This is a scheme designed to encourage more foster parents to come forward and help them with the financial burden of looking after a dependent.

“Exempting foster carers from council tax liability, we believe, will incentivise those families who want to foster but are worried about the costs associated with looking after a young person.

“We know that issues around finance are a major cause in family breakdowns and, having found a good foster home for the child, we want to support that family in the best way we can.”

Cheshire East has 108 fostering households within the borough and the council tax exemption for these foster parents amounts to £139k per annum.

There are 37 foster households that are outside of the borough and they will receive the reimbursement amounting to some £48k per annum.

The costs within the first year of the scheme will be met via the adoption reform grant monies 2014/15.