I’ve gone through a whole smorgasbord of feelings since waking up this morning. I started with a post holiday perkiness. By lunchtime that had lurched into abject, shaking terror and since mid afternoon I’ve been boiling with fury.
Because of nothing.
It’s now four weeks since I wrote to Steven’s new social worker asking her to convene a meeting with herself, the housing manager, Steven’s advocate and me. Since then, we’ve got a solicitor so I added her to the list too. The meeting was to be about looking at solutions to Steven’s forthcoming homelessness.
Two weeks ago I sent a reminder, pointing out that we only want a meeting to get some reassurances about the type of property we should be looking for.
Today, I was just about to draft another email when a reply pinged into my inbox. No meeting. Just reiterating the housing manager’s dismissive statement that led to me asking the social worker to intervene.
Nothing they can do. It is MY responsibility to search their Locata service and bid for any suitable property that appears. Nothing else they need to do.
Out of interest I searched Locata. It was exactly the same as it has been since September 2012 when Hillingdon first made Steven homeless. There were 6 one bedroom flats only available to the over 60s. And 1 two bedroom flat situated on the 10th floor of a tower block just round the corner from us.
Plenty of privately rented properties available but we don’t know if they’ll meet the full rent. Round my way, the local HRA is £300 per month below average rents. Plenty of properties to buy but we don’t know whether they’ll cover the mortgage interest with HB. That’s why we need a meeting. To point out the different funding streams that are available to them. To remind them of their legal duties.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been following the increasingly distressed tweets from Mrs Nicky Clark. Nicky’s daughter, Emily’s place at her residential school is being withdrawn in 19 days time. The LA are doing nothing about housing, leaving everything up to Nicky and blocking everything she comes up with. As each day passes, Nicky’s tweets become pure blind panic. The social worker told Nicky that if she doesn’t find somewhere, Emily will have to go to an ATU. She’s not Ill. She doesn’t need assessing. She doesn’t require treatment. She needs a home.
Nicky keeps pointing out the breaches to the Care Act that Shropshire council are committing. It’s not just the Care Act though. It’s the Equalities Act, The Mental Capacity Act, the Housing Act, the Autism Act, the Human Rights Act. There’s probably several more.
The double standards are Sickening. Most parents experience exclusion and dismissal from services once their child passes 18. Yet both Nicky and me are being told it is solely our responsibility to find a home for our children. With both hands tied behind our backs, blindfolded and with a mocking LA ready to pounce and deprive our children of their liberty.
They do nothing but punish.
This is how people end up in ATUs. If, God forbid, Emily is not found a home in the next 19 days, the LA will be rubbing their hands with glee. They’ll have got out of their legal responsibility and won’t have to pay a single penny for however long the incarceration lasts. This is the common passport to ATUs and then the whole social care, medical, private provider, AMHP, BIA industry cranks into action.
And achieves nothing worthwhile. Because their focus is in completely the wrong place.
Please don’t offer advice to this blog. There is nothing more I can do to resolve this situation for Steven. There is nothing more Nicky can do. We know our law but when you’re met with those two favourite LA tactics, delay and silence, you can’t get out of the starting blocks in accessing the law. Nothing happens and it’s hard to challenge nothing.
It’s nothing centred, nothing care.
From → Social Care