So it’s been 3 weeks since 2son announced he wasn’t going back to school. Since then we’ve had a visit from the new social worker, who has yet to sound as if he doesn’t need further support and training.
Ten days after the announcement we had a meeting at school (attended over the joys of the internet by me) with about seven members of staff (which is why it took so long to happen) to discuss the options. No one from council, whether care or SEN was able to attend. The best plan was to knock 2son out and bung him in the back of the car and drive him up. It’s still a tempting option.
Today (eleven days after that meeting) we had an attempted intervention. Two members of staff from school came down to see him. It’s a full day out as I know and I appreciated the effort. 2son appreciated it less. Even the social worker came to join in. We tried to persuade him to go back to school, even if he just went for the residential part of it and ignored the education. He is absolutely adamant that he doesn’t want to go back, not that anything is wrong with this place in particular, but just that he doesn’t want to.
So what does he want? He says he wants to be on his own, socially and physically isolated and that he doesn’t want to have to do anything. He’s happy to stay at home until I throw him out after which he will live on the streets. He understood this to mean no food, water, clothes and didn’t seem too worried about other people he might meet, saying he’d just stay clear. We discussed the fact that if he wanted to learn to live independently and be on his own, he needed to learn how to do so and he could do that by going back to school and learning these skills as they can support him up till the age of 25 in learning to live independently. However no, this is not what he wanted.
I tried to get the social worker to explain what the alternatives were, saying he can’t stay here. Social worker had no idea what they might be. Both the staff members and myself said to him that it would be really useful if he could get some idea of alternatives to present to 2son so that he would understand that he might as well go back to the place he knows.
We also talked about support in the intermediate timeframe, that until we know what is happening it is really important for 2son to be visited regularly, whether by social worker, keyworker (he who came once in the Easter holidays) or anyone else. So far 2son is doing what he wants without any consequences or nagging.
We had a go at him for hoping that two people would speak to each other when each was clearly waiting for the other to get in touch (protocol) and said make the connection. We need an assessment from CAMHS to act on.
We filled out a form, that didn’t involve the social worker, to put the case for intervention, called an Early Help Assessment which the school will finish off and send to try and get help moving which will bypass the social worker.
I expressed concern that panel will meet next Monday to look at 2son’s case and they are most likely to pull the plug on funding for 2son’s school placement. I said this shouldn’t happen without considering the alternatives and that once funding was gone there would be no chance of getting 2son to go back. At least if we could keep that as an option to the end of term we could keep trying. I said we should have a mental health assessment and report from school to submit to the panel otherwise on what will they base their decision?
I also emphasised, and the form asked for details, that 3son and 4son are affect by this. 3son said last week that he didn’t want 2son at home, that it wasn’t nice having him. It wasn’t very pleasant hearing that but I can’t disagree. 2son only had a bath because we turned off access to the computer (and even then it took him 48 hours to decide) and his hair hasn’t been washed in six months or so. The place smells less now that he’s rinsed off but none of this is good for any of this. I’m now sitting at home drinking and I had given up drinking alcohol at home more or less completely.
Did we achieve anything today? We certainly gave 2son some food for thought and I do hope he actually thinks about it. I also hope the social worker takes on board the actions he needs to take care of: chasing CAMHS, looking at alternate provision, putting some support in place now.
I spoke to CAMHS last week who hadn’t heard anything. In fact when I spoke to education they were unaware that anything untoward was occurring. I need to keep pushing and keep phoning until people talk to each other and fill in whatever paperwork they need to.
I am most definitely not a happy bunny.