As a carer for a child or young person in care, you will naturally be interested to ensure that the Junior ISA scheme is operating in their best interests. We hope the website gives you a full picture of how it works generally, but it is important to note that we can only provide you with personal information, or indeed discuss personal circumstances affecting a particular young person, if your Local Authority authorises you to have direct contact with us.
They do this by including you on their regular information return to us. The 'Getting access' letter gives them your permission to release your information in this way. Nevertheless, we hope the following information will be helpful.
The Share Foundation, a registered charity, has been authorised by the Government to set up and manage the Junior ISAs for all looked after children. In addition to the initial £200 Government contribution, The Share Foundation also raises funds to contribute to the Junior ISAs that it manages.
Who decides how to invest the money in a Junior ISA for looked after children?
The Share Foundation obtains independent advice from financial advisers about how the money should be invested.
When can the money be taken out?
The money in a Junior ISA belongs to the young person, but they can’t take the money out until they are 18. They can then decide what they want to do with it. If the young person chooses not to take the money out, the Junior ISA will automatically become a regular ISA. No-one, other than the young person, can take money out.
Can anyone contribute to the Junior ISA and if so how do they do this?
Yes. Anyone can contribute to a Junior ISA. So you can let friends and family of the young person know they can contribute at any time; for example as birthday gifts. The total limit for payments into Junior ISAs is £4,260 each tax year. If you or someone else wishes to contribute then contact the Local Authority who will enable you to contact The Share Foundation direct.
The Share Foundation also raises funds for the Junior ISAs that it manages.
Is it possible to see how much money is in the JISA or how it is performing?
Regular JISA statements will be sent to the local authority, and you can obtain a copy from them. If you would like to discuss details of an individual young person’s statement, contact your local authority to authorise release of your details to The Share Foundation.
Can I get advice and support on how to help the children in my care to manage their finances as part of the scheme?
Yes. A programme of financial education support is available to you. Materials for Local Authorities and Corporate Parents, carers and young people themselves have been developed by pfeg and are available via www.sharefound.org or the pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) website at www.pfeg.org/JuniorISA.
Telephone support is also available to advise you on relevant educational materials to use with the young people in your care around money. We can also advise on how to begin discussions with them about their Junior ISAs, and money management in general. Call us on 01296 310400.
The Share Foundation is also introducing a programme called the 'Stepladder of Achievement' forthose aged 15-17, starting in 2016. This has six steps including literacy, numeracy and financial capability. After completion of each step additional money is credited to the young person's Junior ISA. The programme will take time to implement across the United Kingdom, on an area by area basis. Please click here for more details.
Is it possible to get further information?
Further information on the scheme and copies of all materials can be obtained from The Share Foundation website www.sharefound.org or by calling the number below. Please note that we can only supply general information only unless authorised by your Local Authority.
Call 01296 310400, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Share Foundation, Oxford House, Oxford Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 8PB