Lucian is a young man who desperately needed a break from his family home. Since leaving school he received very little support and had gone from receiving 32 hours of 1 to 1 support in school to nothing at all.
He left school four years ago and last year he had a social work assessment through the mental health team. The social worker that conducted this assessment allocated him three weeks a year at a local respite unit and three days at a day centre.
Lucian in his early 20’s who loves music, plays the guitar, loves to play pool, is really into formula 1 and football.
Do you think he would have any interest or aspiration to stay somewhere that very much feels like an old people’s home and very alien to him? Or to be in place with very little activity that would be of interest to him? Of course not, in fact, he never went.
The Local Authority responded to his absence by stating to him that they would withdraw his services!!
Where is the responsibility to meet the statutory assessed need? And can you imagine the impact this had on him and his family at a time when tensions and anxiety were running high?
Wouldn’t it be brilliant for him to be able to go to festivals, gigs, music shows – of course, it would. Would he go, of course he would? He would get a break and so would his family and more importantly he would have the opportunity to build memories, his confidence and sense of purpose.
This did not cost the Local Authority any more than the traditional option and it was possible to find a way to support him to lead the life he wants to lead whilst meeting the statutory responsibility to meet his need.
Lucian’s life is so much better now and he has achieved a great deal since his budget was first put in place.
He still struggles with any involvement from the Local Authority as he finds it impossible to forget how he was treated and how he felt when all his choices and control had been taken away from him