14th June 2013
I chaired a sub regional task group on Wednesday whose brief was to describe a transparent Housing Pathway for young adults with learning disabilities with challenging behaviour. There is a lack of clear advice for young adults, their parents and support network, on the key steps to access housing and support. A number of key ‘gates’ emerged: the social care assessment, joining the housing register and referral to the local supported housing panel.
A parent on the task group stressed how important this advice was as early as possible i.e. at the age of 12-14. That is the age that some parents have to decide that their child’s needs will be better met at a residential school rather than at home. What a painful decision for any parent to take. Parents and advocates currently see the housing and social care systems as a difficult maze not a clear pathway.
I am receiving frequent requests for advice on housing and support from care managers and parents where an existing arrangement has broken down (e.g. the young person has fallen in with a bad crowd in the locality or the current care provider has been suspended because of an adverse safeguarding finding). It is critical that the next move is successful for their wellbeing, and that means putting organisational needs (including void targets!) to one side, instead focussing ‘ruthlessly ‘on the individual’s needs.
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