Helping Luke

What was the person’s situation before working with Advocacy Focus?

Luke is a 17 year old young person who is Cared for by the Local Authority (LA).  A referral was made by staff at placement with Luke’s consent.  Luke wanted advocacy support as he was due to turn 18 in two weeks and didn’t have anywhere appropriate to move to when he left care.

What did you do to help the person?

Luke prefers to see people at his home and so I visited Luke at a convenient time for him.  He told me that he was due to move to his uncle’s flat on his 18th birthday, the following week.  Both Luke and his uncle were bidding on a bigger property, but as yet, one hadn’t been confirmed.  His uncle’s current flat was very small, only had one bedroom and so he wouldn’t have his own space which was important to him.  His uncle was going to sleep on the sofa but he had a chronic back condition.  Luke also stated that he didn’t feel safe there whilst his uncle was at work, due to an older male living in an adjacent flat.

Luke said that he wanted an extension to his stay at his home but that he had been told that an extension hadn’t been agreed at panel.  He told me that the situation was affecting his emotional health and that he couldn’t enjoy the build up to his 18th birthday. He felt so strongly that he told me “I’ll refuse to go; they’ll have to drag me there.”

We discussed all the options available, and Luke said that he was happy for me to speak to anyone who could help.  I also gave him details of other agencies with helplines that he could contact independently of me. That afternoon, I drafted an email which was sent to Luke’s social worker (SW), Independent Reviewing Office (IRO), SW manager, personal assistant and the Head of Service (HOS). Highlighting the issues, the LA’s responsibilities and the urgency of the situation, not only in terms of Luke’s emotional health but the short timescale before he turned 18.

Luke also contacted the Help at Hand Helpline at The Children’s Commissioners Office who also sent an email to the LA, highlighting the situation and the urgency of the issues.

What was the outcome?

The HOS emailed me the same day and an extension had been agreed and signed off by the Assistant Director.

Why was advocacy support so effective?

I was able to remind the LA of their responsibilities in Legislation and Guidance documents, as well as their own “Promises” to Cared For Children and Young People and Care Experienced young adults.  Through our support, Luke also found out about other agencies who may be able to support him.  Luke contacted one of these with a trusted staff member of staff and this, undoubtably, helped in making the LA aware of their responsibilities.

I have known Luke for a number of years and have advocated for him before. Luke and his staff commented that it was good that I was able to come and see him. Luke said that he felt more comfortable and didn’t have to explain everything all over again; that I knew him and what he has been through.

Share This Page

Other News

Back to Top