Back in March, after much discussions before then, we finally started the process of getting a Social Worker for Sir. It always seemed a slightly scary prospect to be honest, we don’t need one we thought, but everyone told us we *should* get one.
We first applied to Child Services as he’s under 18 and still in school.
The whole thing moved quite quickly to be fair. I later found out that when the young person gets to about 16 and a half is the right time to be start the ball rolling.
School sent a report off and then I received a call from the First Contact Center. A very lovely lady who explained the steps necessary for getting things organized. This was followed swiftly by a Teams meeting, during which we talked about Sir’s needs and what we wanted from Social Services. I’d been warned don’t tell them everything is okay or they’ll close the case (isn’t that always the way?) but in this instance I was asked “are things so bad you need us to take him off your hands for a while now or is it just help with planning his future such as college?”
Er no! help with planning his future will be fine thanks! but putting it in a straightforward way like that made things easier. It also meant that he could be put on a “pathway to adult services” which means one less form.
A phone appointment was made for the following week (I think) to fill out the necessary forms. Mostly it seemed to be a tick boxing exercise, however, and this is the scary part, the lady clicked the enter button and the computer said NO. What!!! we both cried.
Turns out that even though Ms Nice Lady fills these forms out every day, she’d missed a box. Once she ticked it the computer was happy and Sir was eligible.
Can you imagine if that was a parent filling out the form? who didn’t realise they’d missed a box? One tick is apparently the difference between help and no help.
Anyway, everything got sent off, we received copies, and a few weeks later we had a letter confirming Sir had been referred to the Adult Learning Disability Team. To date he hasn’t been allocated a person but that might not happen until after he’s turned 17.
Overall our experience was quite straightforward, I know not everyone’s circumstances are the same. Pre Covid we would have had a visit but everything was done by phone/teams.
Advice wise, I’d say get in touch with school first as they will be able to get things started, don’t tell social services everything is fine if it isn’t but also be honest about the help you want -if that makes sense. Lastly check your form filling at least three times just to be sure you ticked all the boxes