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3.13.4 Pocket Money and Allowances


This procedure applies to children placed in foster and residential care managed by the authority, but the principles apply to the placement of every Looked After Child. Therefore, where children in care are placed with parents, relatives or friends or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.


  1. General  
  2. Principles - Pocket Money  
  3. Principles - Clothing and Other Allowances  

1. General

Arrangements must exist in all foster homes and children’s homes for the payment of pocket money and clothing or other allowances for children.

The arrangements should be set out in the home’s Statement of Purpose, Foster Care Agreement or the Placement Plan for individual children.

In the absence of such arrangements, the following sections must be adhered to:

2. Principles - Pocket Money

Each child should be given an amount of pocket money, usually weekly.

The giving of pocket money should be recorded and, preferably, signed for by the child.

Children should be encouraged and supported to open and maintain bank accounts and, if possible, their pocket money and other allowances should be paid into these accounts. All efforts should be made to encourage children to save regularly appropriate to their age and level of understanding.

If there are concerns about the manner in which children are spending their money or allowances, these concerns should be discussed with the child and the social worker. If there is a serious risk, the arrangements for giving money to the child may have to be restricted, but the staff on duty/child’s social worker should make such a decision.

Deductions from pocket money may be made for fines or sanctions and for reparation of malicious damage or to pay fines determined by a Court. 

Any deductions or fines, not more than two thirds of a child’s pocket money may be taken in any week.

See also Sanctions Procedure.

3. Principles - Clothing and Other Allowances

Children should be informed what allowances or financial arrangements exist for the purchase of clothing, personal requisites (such as hair care products), birthdays and religious festivals. 

Over time, depending on their age and level of understanding, they should be given freedom and responsibility to budget for and spend allowances for their clothing and personal requisites, preferably as part of a plan to prepare for their independence.

Even if children are not allowed to purchase clothing and other personal requisites, they should be involved in decision making and exercise choice, through normal shopping arrangements. 

The arrangements for accessing and spending clothing and other allowances should be recorded.

Deductions from clothing or other allowances should not normally be made as a sanction or to pay for fines imposed by the Court.