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Carl's Story: Navigating Independence with a Learning Disability

Carl's Story

Carl(not his real name)has a learning disability and has had series of safeguarding reports because of people trying to abuse him and take advantage of him. He lived in an assisted facility and was unhappy because he wanted a bit more freedom and independence. He refused different activities suggested to him and would always prefer to be indoors by himself.

Support from an advocate

The advocate contacted the assisted living facility and arranged for a visit to Carl. They engaged him in a conversation to find out what kind of things he enjoyed doing, where he would like to live and why. The advocate contacted Carl’s social worker but unfortunately, the social worker was no longer assigned to his case.

The advocate contacted Adult Social Care and advised on the urgency of him having a social worker because he was refusing his placement and a review/meeting needed to happen to know what’s best for him. The ASC(Adult Social Care) advised that a social worker has being assigned to him and the advocate contacted him to organise a Placement review meeting for Carl.

On the day of the meeting, the advocate, social worker and nurses explained to Carl why it’s important for him to remain at the assisted living facility, his previous safeguards and the responsibility of others to make sure he’s safe. Carl didn’t seem to be interested in any of the activities suggested to him at the day centre.

The advocate reminded Carl of the arts gift they had received from him and how its proven to be useful office stationery and needed more because it so arty and nice. Carl suggested he could make more, and the advocate said he could do more of them at the day centre and it was also a way for him to go out without the nurses as he always complained of having them around. Transportation was arranged and Carl was asked to pick days he would want, and he agreed to engage in the activities.

Social worker advised that he would get funding approved and the plans for Carl will be certain.

The impact

The advocate contacted the social worker and the nurses for progress report and was advised that Carl’s mood has lifted since engaging in activities at the day centre. The interaction with others outside the facility and having a sense of independence leaving on his own with a provided transport and making more arts has reduced his anxiety and gives him something to look forward to.

Without the right support, Carl would have been unhappy and driven to be a harm to himself and others. The advocate was able to engage Carl to find out what he liked doing and paid attention to the things Carl said and did and made a note of it. Advocacy helped identify what Carl needed and mentioned it to other key workers involved in Carl’s assessment. The advocate recognised that Carl needed a social worker for future planning and took steps in seeing he got one. The advocate supported Carl through the placement review and made sure his views were heard and factored into planning for Carl's future. 

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