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don't panic Mr Mainwaring2son’s return to school was delayed by a week due to their not having any water. When I finally woke him up after a day of trying to get him in his taxi back to school, he informed me that he wasn’t going and that he’d decided this a week before the Easter holidays.

So I phoned up the school to let them know and phoned up the duty social worker to ask whether someone could please pick this up. His last social worker (5th in 2014) left during the Easter holidays. To be fair I got a phone call from the manager the next morning at 9:02am clarifying the situation. We have an emergency meeting booked for the school this week but not until Thursday as that’s the earliest all their staff can get together.I was all right with this until Thursday. On Thursday we met the seemingly useless new social worker. During the conversation 2son said his plan was to stay at home until I kicked him out after which he would live on the streets. I pointed out that the council have a statutory duty to keep him in school until he is 17. At which point 2son told me to do the maths. I did this several times and realised that I was wrong. He wasn’t 16 but 17 and doesn’t have to stay in school any more, thus taking away a safety net that I was relying on.

Then I panicked.

What pressure can anyone put on him to go back to school, and to do so before the funding is cut? They talked of coming down to visit him but I don’t honestly see that working. What options will the social worker (2 days into his post) come up with? The worse case scenario is that they just wash their hands of him saying he can stay at home with me forever. The best case is that he goes back to school. I don’t know what’s in between those two. Other residential perhaps, but how to make him go? Would I have to throw him out? I’m trying not to over think it.

Equally considering the rest of us I’m not sure how long we can cope. 3son is worried about both his older and younger brother. It’s difficult to maintain fair discipline for the younger two when the older one does what he wants when he wants. Plus I now get no time away from them unless I leave the house.

Plus I’m also aware that as soon as his status officially become stay at home, with his education over, benefits and tax credits will change. I need to look carefully at all that so that I don’t get financially penalised. If only we still had Welfare and Benefits Advice.

So this week’s task is to get advice before our meeting on Thursday, so I at least know the right questions to ask. I’m not looking forward to this coming week any more than I enjoyed last week.

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