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5.16 Clothing, Pocket Money and Allowances


The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard


This procedure applies to children placed in the children’s home, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Where children are placed with relatives or in placements not managed by the Slough Borough Council, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are in place.


This chapter was added to this manual in July 2012


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

1. General

Arrangements exist in the children's home for the payment of pocket money, and clothing and other allowances for children.

Children are encouraged and supported to open and maintain bank accounts and, when possible, pocket money and other allowances can be paid into these accounts.

If there are concerns about the manner in which children are spending their money or allowances, these concerns should be discussed with the child. It may be considered necessary to supervise how monies are spent, or place other safeguards in place.

2. Pocket Money

Pocket Money is for the use of children to obtain goods or services in addition to those financed by the Home. The amount of Pocket Money is based on age. There is system to record Pocket Money and any deductions made.

Deductions from pocket money may not be made for fines or Sanctions except for reparation of malicious damage, money which has been misspent, or to pay fines determined by a Court.

If the Court imposes such deductions or fines, not more than two thirds of a child's pocket money may be taken in any week.

Payment of Pocket Money may be delayed by up to 48 hours if it is considered a proportionate and appropriate method of discouraging challenging or other unacceptable behaviour.

The Manager may (at their discretion) increase the amount of Pocket Money for one week (or longer) as a recognition of effort or other achievement by the Child.

3. Clothing and Other Allowances

Children are 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.

Dependant of their age, ability, and as part of their preparation of leaving Care, children may be given money to spend unsupervised for;

  • Personal needs. This will include toiletries and cosmetics. Hair care can form part of this allowance or be a supplement dependant on the needs and ability of the child. Consideration is given to the fact that some children will require additional monies due to ethnic origin. Hair and skin care products and services may only be obtained from reputable, professional and suitably qualified providers;
  • Activities. This is to encourage independence in using social and sporting activities;
  • Weekly (rather than Daily) money for fares and other educational spending;
  • Mobile telephone top-ups;
  • Birthdays and Religious events.

Children who are not yet ready to purchase clothing and other personal requisites unsupervised, are involved in decision making and they exercise choice, through normal shopping arrangements.

The arrangements for accessing and spending clothing and other allowances are recorded in the child's on-site file.

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