Young care leavers in Harrow will be exempt from paying council tax for six months, as charities call for more local authorities to protect those coming out of the system.

The Children’s Society, which helps fight child poverty and neglect, has urged people to write to their councils about the challenges faced by young care leavers.

It wants local authorities to ensure that they are “given a fair start in life” by giving them council tax exemptions until they turn 25.

“This important change will give young people valuable time to learn how to manage their finances without the worry of falling into council tax debt,” it said.

According to the charity, 85 councils across England – including 20 in London – have adopted this stance.

Earlier this year, Harrow Council agreed to provide exemptions to young people for six months.

A council spokesman said: “We know that young people transitioning out of care can often face a myriad of challenges.

“They are often having to manage money for the first time, which can prove extremely difficult without the assistance of family.

“Harrow Council is committed to keeping care leavers safe and improving their life chances.

“Exempting care leavers from paying council tax for the first six months in Harrow will ensure they have a period to get themselves together – as well as learning to budget – ensuring their experiences moving into independent living are positive and without fears of debt hanging over their heads.”

The council did not say whether it would consider extending this scheme in the future.