Transition Planning – Children Service to Adult Services
Appropriate Adult Placement Secured for Disabled Young Man
Successful challenge of a West Yorkshire council’s decision that it would not fund an identified appropriate placement
JD, aged 22 at the time, has Down’s syndrome, learning disabilities and other serious health issues. He was reported to be very anxious about change and new environments.
He had attended an educational placement on a residential basis at Pennine Camphill Community for 3 years where he had made great progress and had been well supported in building his confidence and started to develop his independence skills.
The council had done some transition planning to look at what adult services could be provided to meet his needs moving forwards. A supported living placement was identified and agreed to be an appropriate long term adult placement for him. However, it was still under construction and the council was notified of further expected delays in completing the build.
This meant that an appropriate temporary adult placement was required as the family told the council that JD needed to leave the educational placement.
The same provider that delivered JD’s educational provision (Pennine Camphill Community) informed the family that there was availability and an offer for JD to stay there, on a residential basis (adult provision) and provide meaningful activities and support him to build on his independence skills, in preparation for his transition to supported living, until such time as his long term adult placement was ready for him to move to.
JD’s family felt strongly that this was the ideal scenario for JD. The other options were not viable for various reasons which seemed to have been acknowledged by the social worker. JD lacks capacity to make decisions himself about where he lives and the care and support that he receives. The family felt that the council had not sufficiently planned for the transition and that there was an expectation that JD would return to the family home where his mother lived if it did not agree to fund another option.
The council confirmed that they had received cost information from the offered Pennine Camphill Community placement but had decided not to take up the offer of a placement, without adequate reason being given.
Advice was provided to JD’s litigation friend. Correspondence was sent to the council and it was asked to reconsider its decision.
The outcome of the case was an agreement secured from the council that JD would remain at the Pennine Camphill Community placement on the basis of him transitioning to an adult residential placement there with a programme of support in place to help increase his independence skills. It was agreed that these arrangements would be funded by the council and would remain in place in the interim period until he was able to move to his new long term placement.
JD’s aunt and litigation friend commented:
“JD and the family are absolutely delighted with this outcome. I believe that the council’s original decision would have resulted in a severe set back in JD’s health, development and wellbeing. I really appreciate all of Tracey Ling’s exceptional help and support throughout and would recommend her to others in a similar position.”
Tracey Ling stated:
“This is a great result for JD and I am positive that he will continue to flourish and be supported to live as independently as possible.”
If you are a parent or carer of a disabled child or young person who is currently provided with care and support from Children’s Services, it is important to know what local authorities should be doing in terms of planning as they approach adulthood. You may need advice if you do not agree with the council’s decision making.
Although the focus of Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 is mainly focussed on the reform of adult social care law, it does also contain provisions in relation to disabled children in “transition” to adulthood.
If you require advice or any further information please contact Tracey Ling, Solicitor in the Community Care Team on 0113 222 4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GT Stewart Ltd. Leeds office: 25a Park Square West, Leeds, LS1 2PW