Fostering pocket money allowance
A pocket money allowance for the child or young person is part of the foster carer’s allowance. Pocket money is for the children’s own use, it provides the opportunity to learn about the value of money, to practice budgeting, feel more independent and in control.
When a child is placed with a foster carer, the child’s social worker will discuss the amount of pocket money the child should receive. The amount of pocket money decided on must take into account any other foster children and the carers children living at home.
Suggested weekly amounts for different ages:
5 – £1.00
6 – £1.50
7 – £2.00
8 – £2.50
9 – £3.00
10 – £3.50
1 1 – £5.00
12 – £6.00
13 – £7.00
14 – £8.00
15 – £9.00
16 – £10.00
Younger children are paid their pocket money weekly.
It may be agreed to pay young people monthly into their personal savings account. This usually depends on their understanding and level of maturity.
If agreed by the social worker, in long term placements where a child is living as a full part of the family, carers can encouraged them to earn more money by completing small household jobs.
Pocket money is not to be used by children and young people for their daily needs, including entertainment, clothes and toiletries. However, young people are often given a monthly clothing allowance.
As in any family, making clear who pays for what is very important.
Saving money facts
Recent UK research found that across the UK, children between 11 and 15 who received pocket money decreased the chance that a child would save, and increasing the allowance related to a further, remarkable twenty two percent of children not saving at all.
Research also finds that the probability of saving is much higher when there is an earning element to pocket money or allowance.
Most fostering agencies require their foster carers to open a personal savings account for children. This is partly about making sure the child has savings for the future, and to encourage children to save some of their allowance and to watch those savings grow. This is particularly useful for young people moving on to independence.
Withholding pocket money can only be a done if decided by the social worker, usually alternative sanctions should be used.
Find out more about fostering finances
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