SHARED LIVES

For issues specific to autism / Asperger Syndrome.
Hello,

My son was discharged at 10 a.m today. There was no pre-discharge planning or post-discharge plan. We were told to pick him up from the unit. He had his clothes and belongings in plastic bags. We asked where he would go and we were told Social Services would sort this out.

He came home. His brother was highly anxious and, therefore, very controlling. Despite my best efforts, my eldest ended up shaking and in tears. I phoned our social worker hourly, stressing that my son had been discharged to a place where he had experienced significant harm and where he did not wish to go. I said it was not our wishes as parents for him to live at home and asked if any accommodation could be found. My son also asked for this. Our social worker and her manager came to our house this evening and said a family intervention team worker would visit us this evening and that there was a planning meeting tomorrow that I should attend. She told us there were no emergency placements available.

I have been helping the boys cook and my husband has been helpful by taking one boy to the gym. I have also locked away the knives, medication and sharp objects. Tonight my eldest will sleep on the sofa downstairs because the boys cannot be upstairs together unsupervised. We have been told to phone the police if any critical situation arises.

So far this evening things are calm, but the situation escalates so quickly. How on earth can a vulnerable young person be discharged to a place where two child protection proceedings have said he is seriously unsafe, against his wishes and the wishes of his parents and against medical and social care recommendations? I was worried about where he would be placed, but I never truly thought he could simply be sent back home.

Is this negligence or simply a reflection of the critical state of social services?
What did the youngminds helpline say?

I dont know what the correct process should have been
Hello,

Thank you for the support and guidance. I have not been able to get through to the Young Minds Parents' helpline because it is constantly busy (which probably indicates a lot about our mental health services). However, my son has spoken to an adviser from NYAS and an advocate will be contacting him so that his views can be represented more fully at meetings (and I assume there will be a few).

I attended a 'planning' meeting today. The meeting comprised a Manager from Children's Social Care, a representative from an outreach team and my husband's mental health support worker. CAMHS and Education were absent. I asked why my son had been sent home despite recommendations from medical professionals, the police, Children's Social Care and the Local Authority Safeguarding Team that he should not live at home and despite the fact that his discharge had been delayed since August because no suitable accommodation had been found and home was considered to be a wholly unsuitable destination for him (he did not even come home on overnight leave at Christmas). I was told that there are no fostering placements or residential placements in the entire county for him, but CSC are still making enquiries.

We have been offered two visits from outreach workers who will take my son out for an hour or two this week.

So, I am simply firefighting and de-escalating situations at home.

I really apologise for the moaning, and I realise many people are in much more serious situations but I am incredibly angry. I feel both my boys have been failed by the system and this situation is minimising the fact that our family has been torn apart and subjected to child protection and police inquiries and that being placed back in this situation is the last thing my sons want or need.
Janet
So much seems so wrong. I can only think you need to raise formal complaints but I'm not sure to whom and how. Keep trying the young minds helpline. They should know.
Xx.
MrsA
Hi Janet
I've been following your posts. I'm in a different situation to you.
I do not think for one minute you have been moaning!! It's a desperate, sad situation you are in, and it's obvious the welfare of your family is paramount. You've all been badly let down in my opinion.
My heart goes out to you x
Hi Janet,

The system is seriously failing your son and your family. It is not your problem that there is no specialised fostering placement, appropriately supported accommodation etc available, if this is the case then a provision needs to be created.

The Youngminds website states the helpline can be contacted by phone or email. They have an online form at the bottom of this page http://www.youngminds.org.uk/contact

I also suggest looking at the posts on our forum by Stephanie_1502 her son didn't have an ASC but he has MH problems and she really learned how to make the system take note and provide what was needed.

I would recommend making as much fuss and noise as possible. Contact your MP, also contact whoever is in charge of safeguarding (it's their head who would be on the block if a serious case review was initiated,) plus any of the managers of professionals directly involved with your son.

NYAS provide solicitors for young people as well as advocates. When I was fighting for funding for appropriate post 19 education provision ( joint funding education and social care) for S and I was getting nowhere for S, things started to move much more quickly once S's NYAS solicitor was communicating directly with the local authority's legal team.

Melly1