Clothing, Pocket Money and Allowances


The Quality and Purpose of Care Standard


  1. Personal Appearance
  2. Pocket Money

1. Personal Appearance

Children and young people will be encouraged to make choices about the clothes they wish to wear and about the toiletries that they choose for their own personal use. Suitable clothing and toiletries will be bought for each child and it is important that child are included in the buying of these items.

Children and young people will be encouraged to take a pride in their personal appearance.

They will be encouraged to choose their own clothes and to purchase clothes which are suitable for the intended purpose.

School uniforms and sports kit will be provided for children where they are required.

Children and young people will be provided with pyjamas and other nightwear. The Home will keep spare sets of night wear in case children and young people arrive without nightclothes.

Young people will be able to have their own choice of toiletries providing those items they wish to buy are within the Home's budget.

Where necessary arrangements will be made for children and young people to visit hairdressers.

Care staff will support the religious, cultural and ethical choices that are made by children and young people in their choice of clothes and toiletries.

Young women will have their own choice of sanitary protection and they will have their own supply. Young women will not have to ask for sanitary protection from a central supply or stock, except in an emergency.

All children will be provided with their own towels and flannels which will be easily identified by colour or patterns to stop any confusion.

Children will have their tooth brushes replaced regularly and this is also important where children are using electric toothbrushes.

Unfortunately their will be times when children may need treatment for head lice and scabies and staff will be discrete when helping children with these treatments.

Children should as a general rule, be able to keep their personal toiletries in their own room. There can be a health and safety issue connected to the storage of aerosols, razors and products that are known to be inflammable such has nail varnish and nail varnish remover and these should be stored safely.

Where it is not possible for the child to go with Care Staff to buy clothes or toiletries, Care Staff will ask the child about their preferences or favourite toiletries etc. which are to be bought.

There will be times when it is not possible to certain items requested by the child / young person. Care Staff must be honest with the child and explain about any budgetary limits on the cost of clothing and or toiletries.

The purchase of new clothing and school uniforms etc. should be included in the child's Care Plan.

The expenditure on new clothes should be sensible and not support any of the child / young person's unrealistic expectations.

Care Staff should liaise with the children's parents about buying clothing and they should persuade parents to take an active interest in their child's well being and appearance.

2. Pocket Money

All looked after children and young people will receive a regular amount of pocket money.

  • The amount of pocket money each child or young person receives is to be given to them on a weekly basis;
  • The amount of pocket money each child will receive is dependent on the child's or young person's age;
  • The pocket money the children or young people will receive is revised annually and the changes come into affect from the 1st April, i.e. the start of the new financial year;
  • In addition to pocket money all looked after children and young people receive a birthday and Christmas allowance, again the amount of money allocated is age related;
  • Children and young people will usually receive their pocket money on a Saturday morning;
  • Children and young people will be encouraged to save some of their pocket money and a banking system will be in place in the Home to record the individual child's savings. Alternatively, children or young people can be assisted to open saving accounts;
  • Children and young people will be encourage to do small domestic tasks such as tidying their room, prior to getting their pocket money.

2.1 Exceptional Circumstances

There will be situations where staff must consider how and when to pay children and young people their pocket money. These will be situations where staff feel it would be inappropriate to give them their pocket money without addressing a specific situation.

  • Where a child has been missing and may have returned to the Home to collect their pocket money and then in all probability leave again;
  • Where a child or young person is purchasing cigarettes for him or herself or another child or young person in the Home;
  • Where the child has a substance misuse problem and s/he will use the money to purchase more of the same;
  • Where staff feel that a child or young person is being bullied for their pocket money, either by children or young people in the Home, school or outside the Home.

In these and similar circumstances a plan must be developed on how the staff team will deal with the young person and any outside influences. Where necessary a risk assessment should be undertaken on the presenting situation.

Any money not given out on a Saturday should be kept in the young person's "bank account" and one solution to these situations may be to give the young person their pocket money on a daily basis.