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Six Year Battle Victory! - Carers UK Forum

Six Year Battle Victory!

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Ever since my son moved from residential care to "Supported Living" six years ago, I've been increasingly concerned about the way his money has not been recorded properly. Last year I discovered that the Department of Health and a consortium of LD charities had drawn up a detailed book called "My Money Matters". Although it's supposed to be used for people like my son, our County Council didn't even have a copy! It has now been agreed that the care provider will use this scheme of work for my son. Unfortunately, there are a few teething problems because neither the social worker nor the care agency manager understand very basic accounts. As yet I haven't persuaded them to even enter the amount paid into the account each week, highlighting an urgent training need. Following a formal allegation of financial abuse which I have made, next week I am going to an Adult Protection meeting which will be attended by a very senior member of Adult Services staff. I am absolutely determined that my son's money will be handled properly - how difficult is it to account for £60 per week? If you are unhappy about the way a vulnerable adult's money is being handled, get a copy of My Money Matters from the Association for Real Change. It's well worth buying. Hope that helps someone else.
Do you have a link?

Sorry, I can't do links! However, I've just checked on Google. Type in "ARC My Money Matters" and it comes up with Association for real change, guidance for handling the money of people with learning difficulties" or something like that. From memory the black and white copy was about £15, but it was money well spent. I've had 6 years of problems relating to my son's money. The care providers made out that I was very demanding by asking them to record my son's money on a particular form which I'd devised. In the end I found out about MMM - now they are supposed to record far more than I'd asked them to. I used to run the accounts for a hospital in Western Australia, dealing with thousands of dollars. I balanced the books on the first day of every month by 10.30 am, correct to the nearest cent. I never had morning coffee as a matter of pride until this task was done correctly. The care providers can't even account for £80 accurately. Now, instead of being me versus them, discussions are different. Adult Protection meetings agreed that MMM was used, as best practice. Now I can show that the care providers are doing it incorrectly. Next AP meeting on Wednesday, I'll keep you posted.
Thanks Charles, I knew someone would be around with IT knowledge than me! Jill
Thanks for the link Charles.

Hope you get your son's money accounted for, Bowlingbun. With the right systems in place, you will be protecting lots of vulnerable adults as well as your son.

I think that it's quite likely that things will change nationwide as a result. The care providers actually provide good care, however their systems are poor. Rather than say "Sorry, we got it wrong" they have been increasingly hostile and uncooperative. The social worker failed to act when he was told there were problems, CQC failed to act, I even approached the police who just weren't interested! All the complaints procedures have failed miserably to do a factual investigation. I have PROOF that things aren't being handled properly, yet I have repeatedly been treated as if I am guilty of something, which I most definitely am not. Fortunately, the Ombudsman realised that I was raising a valid concern, and I await his report with interest. My qualifications and experience have been totally ignored. Knowing how articulate I am, and how much I care for my son, my friends just can't believe that I haven't been able to get this resolved a long time ago. (My brother says Don't they realise who they're messing with?) If my son isn't being protected from financial abuse, then what is happening to those with LD whose parents cannot advocate for them? A lot has been written about physical abuse in residential care, Supported Living is hailed as the answer. From my experience, financial abuse is much easier in this situation. If financial transactions aren't being recorded properly, and checked regularly by staff who know how to do the job properly, it will never be picked up. I would like anyone reading this to answer two simple questions:-
Are you happy with the way your son/daughter's money is being handled (assuming they are in eith er residential care or supported living, not with you)
Have you heard of My Money Matters?
This morning I had another Adult Protection meeting with Adult Services, attended for the first time by the person from HQ with management responsibilities for the local social work team. Very good meeting, I'm assured that everything is now going to change for the better, so fingers crossed. He has apparently realised that things are not going as well as they should - but interestingly he's never heard of My Money Matters either!! He's going to come and see me at home in the next couple of weeks to find out more about what his staff have not done as well as they ought to have done, to establish if they need more support/training. I'm not trying to make a name for myself or get anyone into trouble, I just don't want any other parent to ever go through what I have done.
My Brother's care agency are now refusing to account for how they spend money on him, or to record what of the budget we give them they have spent one month and what is to be carried forward for the next. They stopped this just after I used the records they had kept to clear me of an allegation they made to his social worker that I was withholding funds from this budget.

So I do feel for you and think that there should be accounting proceedures in place for care agencies that spend money from client users.
They cannot be allowed to get away with this. Care agencies have to be registered with the Care Quality Commission, and they have detailed minimum standards which care agencies must adhere to. Local authorities should only use registered care providers, and they have a duty to ensure that your brother is PROTECTED from financial abuse. Interestingly, care agencies are supposed to work with families and have a policy of transparent record keeping, i.e. you should be able to see whatever records they have for your brother, to monitor them if you wish.
My Money Matters specifies that every month the care provider should send a monthly statement to me, and every 3 months a quarterly statement to the Care Manager/Social Worker. If they are not ensuring that this is being done, then they too are in the wrong. Get a copy of My Money Matters from ARC (Association for Real Change) and start complaining to CQC and the Local Authority. Feel free to send me a private message if you like. I have a feeling that financial abuse of vulnerable adults is far more widespread than anyone ever realised, and it's time that all local authorities and CQC took the matter more seriously. Trouble is that none of them have any understanding whatsoever of basic accounting. I don't actually like doing accounts but they've been part of my life for many years. Just how difficult is it to keep records on how £80 per week is kept?!