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Management of Residents’ Social Fund Policy

Purpose and Scope

[This policy would apply where a care home has a separate fund for social activities, outings etc. as described below].

The home’s social fund is used to pay for events that involve the residents as a community such as outings, parties and special celebrations. The fund might also be occasionally used as a “hardship” fund to help individual or groups of residents to take part in significant activities and events, which they otherwise would not be able to afford from their private means and personal allowances. The fund’s income comes from donations, the proceeds of fundraising events and contributions of residents, relatives and other stakeholders for specific or general purposes.

The fund might be given different titles such as “Social Fund”, “Comfort Fund” and similar descriptions.

All contributions from residents are entirely voluntary and there is no expectation that residents will pay into the fund on an occasional or regular basis. [If there is this should be written into the resident’s contract/statement of terms and conditions as an additional charge.] Where an event requires a contribution from a resident this will be made with their full and written agreement or that of their representatives if the resident might lack the mental capacity to give their consent. No resident is excluded from any event or activity because of a failure to contribute financially to an event (though they might not wish to take part on other grounds).

Contributions from residents are always recorded and the records made available for accounting purposes so that there is never any suggestion of financial abuse or exploitation of residents because of the operation of the fund.

Administration

The programme of events for which the social fund is used or developed is drawn up by a committee consisting of residents, relatives and staff chaired by the registered manager/a senior manager/activities co-ordinator. It meets every two or three months to plan and cost events and to review the success of events that have taken place. All residents are involved in the process and can make suggestions for events through their representatives on the committee or directly to the home’s staff. Their views on their success and value for money will also be routinely sought following the event as part of a quality assurance process.

Governance

The social fund committee is expected to use the funds available responsibly so that the events on which the funds are used are always in line with residents’ needs and expectations and at the same time provide good value. The home’s administration makes sure that the fund is subject to due diligence procedures, including proper accounting, recording all income and expenditure, and arranging for an annual external review of the fund’s accounts, which is then made available to all interested parties.

Training

All staff receive instruction and training to implement this policy. The training is included in or linked to that on safeguarding from financial abuse.


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