View the Medway SCB Procedures
View the Medway SCB Procedures
View the Medway SCB ProceduresView the Medway SCB Procedures

5.9.1 Savings Policy

This chapter was added to the manual in January 2016.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Policy
  3. Types of Placement Provider
  4. Monitoring
  5. DLA
  6. Junior ISAs
  7. Amounts


1. Introduction

Medway Council has a corporate responsibility to save for looked after young people, to encourage them to save and to ensure that their savings are kept safe and earn the appropriate levels of interest whilst they remain looked after.

Medway believes that an essential aspect of supporting a young person’s transition to young adulthood and beyond is to learn about managing their finances and an understanding of financial management. As part of this we believe that all young people should have a savings scheme established for them whilst they are looked after and that this money follows them whether they remain looked after or return home. We further believe that this is an essential part of the Every Child Matters agenda: supporting economic well being.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the Medway Council Fostering service; Pocket Money and Savings Policy. It applies to any looked after young person up to the age of 18. This policy does not cover monies paid out under CICA which is held separately by the Council on behalf of the young person.

Medway Children’s Social Care believes that young people should not be disadvantaged financially depending on their placement. For example we believe that young people should have a savings plan established whether they are in in-house fostering, placed with an IFA carer or in a residential establishment. As such this policy covers all placements for any looked after young person.

Finally, we have taken guidance from the Fostering Network recommended savings levels, which are age adjusted. These will be reviewed annually. Click here to view the Fostering Network Recommended Saving Levels.


2. Policy

All young people will have a savings plan agreed on placement and this agreement will be made with the young person (assuming they are old enough to contribute) and their carer/key worker.

Wherever the young person is living: in house or IFA provision, the Placement Planning Meeting will agree how the savings will be kept: whether in a discrete account or held in cash where the placement is intended only to be very short term. All young people will have a savings account opened for them until they become eligible for a Junior ISA; after one year of having been looked after (JISA). Where this is not possible the carer/unit should discuss with their supervising social worker and the child’s social worker how the savings will be maintained.


3. Types of Placement Provider

  • Where young people are living in IFA provided services the funding for the savings will come from the fees and allowances paid to the provider and the savings should be made according to the agreement with the provider on a weekly or monthly basis;
  • Where young people are living in the Old Vicarage the savings will come from the current funding provided for the young people within the allocated budget;
  • Where young people are living with in-house foster carers the savings will be deducted at source from the overall maintenance element of the funding provided to carers;
  • Whilst the use of secure accommodation is limited a savings plan should continue whilst the young person is in the secure placement. The Commissioning/ART service will be responsible for negotiating with the provider the deduction of the agreed amount from the fees payable;
  • Where young people move into semi-independent provision between the ages of 16-18 it is again the role of the ART team to negotiate the continuation of the savings plan with the provider.


4. Monitoring

The savings remain the property of the young person and should follow them when they leave their placement. When young people move placement the role of the SW is to ensure that the savings book/details of the account move with them. Where a carer or placement does not comply with this we will make every effort to recoup the savings on behalf of the young person including the withholding of fees or where required an exploration of possible legal action.

The savings made for young people will be separate from any personal allowance provided to the young person, for example where they are provided with toiletries etc. The savings made for the young person should also be completely separate from any pocket money given to them unless the young person decides they wish to add to their savings in which case they should be encouraged to do so.

Like all young people, looked after children should be encouraged to save for a particular item that they wish to purchase that is expensive or beyond what might normally be purchased from pocket money or through Christmas/birthday gifts. However, where this happens they must be encouraged to retain some of their money by their carer/keyworker, who should also talk to them, as they would their own children, about the importance of saving for the future.

The expectation is that social workers or supervising social workers check at every placement/supervision visit that the savings plan is continuing and that where appropriate the young person is aware of the plan. IROs must also check the position at each LACR. If the SW, SSW or IRO has any concerns about the young person’s savings they must escalate this within 2 working days to the Head of Service LAC&P.

Dependent on the age of the young person, they should be actively involved in their savings plan and they should be encouraged not to access their money but to retain it until they are older. However, young people who are old enough to make an informed decision can chose to use their savings but they should be spoken to by their carer and/or social worker who should discourage them from doing so. Where they insist this should be noted on the file.

Carers, social workers and IROs should be particularly aware of young people who may feel under pressure from their family or friends to withdraw their money and use it. Similarly there are many young people who have been or who are at risk of sexual exploitation or radicalisation and thus their savings make them more of a target. Where there are any concerns about a young person misusing their savings or being exploited the HoS LAC&P must be informed who will then liaise with the Head of Legal to ascertain what, if any, legal action can be taken to withhold the money. All concerns and action taken must be fully recorded on FWI.


5. DLA

There are 2 levels to the DLA and clear guidance as to which level should be sought dependant upon the young persons needs. DLA is meant to support a young person directly and as such should be spent on them to enhance their everyday life and should not ideally be used as part of their savings.


6. Junior ISAs

These are opened centrally for every young person who has been looked after for more than a year. Once opened all savings for young people should be paid into their JISA. The JISA will be monitored centrally by the Admin Manager in LAC&P.


7. Amounts

Medway has chosen to adopt the Fostering Network Recommended Saving Levels. These amounts should however be seen as a minimum only. In agreement with the young person and their SW more can be saved on a regular basis or for short periods to enable the young person to purchase a particular item.

End