So it’s been four weeks since 2son left for his assessment. It’s been successful but that’s not the issue.
After week 2 I contacted his social worker to find out whether he was working on getting permanent funding organised, only to find out he was on holiday for the week. So I contacted Special Needs who said don’t worry about the funding, as long as he’s offered a place we’ll fund it and approve it later. Or words to that effect. On Monday of week 4 therefore I get in touch with the social worker to find out what’s happening. The panel who need to meet to agree funding are going to meet this coming Monday, in other words week 5. I see a problem.
Would the council possibly consider funding 2son from Saturday to Monday or do I have to go and get him on Friday and possibly return him on Tuesday if funding is agreed? I ask this on Tuesday, on Wednesday and on Thursday. On Friday the school contact me to ask if I have heard anything. I explain the situation and they phone back several hours later to say they’ll keep him until next Thursday. How kind I say, as nobody has got back to me from the council. While worrying about all this I’ve also been trying to get ahead with work so that I can take Friday off if necessary. Now we’re waiting for Monday to happen.
On top of that little funding problem the social worker tells me that he doubts very much that the panel will agree to fund him for 52 weeks and will probably just agree the term time. He says it would be “helpful” if 2son spent his time at home terrorising his brothers and offering them violence but that continuity of care is the only argument he has. He said he would ask for funding of this Summer holiday on the basis that 2son has settled in nicely; it’s been a while and it would be good to have him ready to go in September.
On Thursday therefore I sit down and write a letter to the panel. I talk about the fact that 2son hasn’t been anywhere for 4 years, has hardly spoken to anyone in that time who isn’t immediate family or professionals. Therefore he needs the holiday time to get used to people and to going out and actually doing things. I waffle on about the changes in the last four weeks and how much easier it’s been for the three of us at home. I get his younger brothers to write something themselves that I then scan in to prove they really did write it and send the whole thing off on Friday. Hopefully the panel will take note of it and hopefully it will help the social worker prepare his arguments. I also had a list of arguments from my friend who supports parents of children with special needs.
The last few days I have been a bundle of nerves. I’m keeping Thursday clear in case I have to travel up and collect 2son. He’s been kept in the dark about all this so that he doesn’t worry or withdraw as he did when he was about to be kicked out from the Priory.
I wouldn’t mind any of this debate half as much if I thought the CHiRP panel were actually going to consider 2son’s best needs and the welfare of the rest of us, rather than the cost.