Children in Care – Pocket Money and Allowances

Pocket money
The standard weekly rate includes money for a young person to have pocket
money. We believe it is unhelpful to be too rigid about levels of pocket money
but offer the following guidelines.

Levels need to relate to what is comparable in the young person’s own family,
to what is given to the carer’s own children, and to what the young person can
expect to receive when he or she leaves the placement.

Suggested minimum allowance:

  • 5-8 years: £3.50
  • 9-12 years: £5.00
  • 13-16 years: £7.00 – £10.00
  • 16 +: To be negotiated through the young people’s Pathway Plan.

These are minimum figures, and it is recommended that carers create
incentives by supplementing the weekly allowance with rewards for jobs done
and good behaviour, and with extra for special events.

Birthday and Festival allowances
These payments are intended to cover the costs of gifts, entertainment and
incidental expenses. Payments are made around the relevant time to allow
carers to buy gifts. If a child moves placement within two weeks of the birthday
or festival, either the gifts or the allowance will transfer to the new placement.

Birthdays and Festivals allowance:

  • 0-4 years: £100
  • 5-10 years: £164.80
  • 11-15 years: £205.24
  • 16 +: £249.71

Where children in placement observe a religious festival other than Christmas,
this should be discussed with their social worker. The allowance will still be
paid before Christmas, and carers and social workers should agree when it is
most appropriately spent.

Holiday allowances
Holiday opportunities for children and young people in care should be made
available and discussed with the child’s social worker and fostering
Supervising Social Worker and agreed as part of the Care Plan.

For example, where children accompany foster carers on holiday the carer will
receive the holiday allowance. The holiday allowance will also be paid to
carers taking holidays which are at home and day trips.

Occasionally in respect of older teenagers and their individual circumstances,
for example, when they are clearly stating they do not want to go on holiday or
for day trips with their foster carer, consideration can be given to funding
activities/days out for the young person as an alternative.

If the foster carer is not providing a holiday or day trips, the holiday allowance
may be used to pay for a holiday experience elsewhere. For example, a
school trip abroad or residential holiday. Holiday allowances are not applicable
in situations where the child is visiting or staying over with relatives or friends
of the carer.

Payments are not made automatically, they must be claimed by foster carers
in advance of the planned holiday. The resource request form must be
submitted by the child’s social worker.

Holiday allowances are paid once a year for each child. Where children move
placement during the year and the first carer has already received the holiday
allowance, any payment to the second carer will be at the discretion of the
child’s social worker and Team Manager considering the child’s needs.

Holidays allowance:

  • 0-4 years: £426.02
  • 5-10 years: £426.02
  • 11-15 years: £426.02
  • 16 +: £426.00


Janet Fraser

Deputy Chief Officer (Head of Children’s Health and Wellbeing)

17th November 2021