Getting support from social services

Chat with others about dyspraxia and share your experiences.

Re: Getting support from social services

Postby C » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:47 pm

Any news/updates yet?
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:51 pm

Yes. The manager of the learning disability service has approved the funding application. Now it goes before a funding panel that meets sometime in February. They will decide if the assessment is correct and determine how much support I can have.

I hope the outcome is good - I was in Manchester today and I'm never going to cope in that place without someone to help me. It's just too big. I've never lived in a city like that before.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby wm1995 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:40 pm

I hope they decide in your favour. Good luck!
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby 07williamsdj » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:54 pm

I hope you get the help you need, and good luck navigating Manchester!!!!
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:40 pm

Things have been made a bit more complicated. I have been turned down by the hall of residence that I applied to live in. :(

It is all-female, catered, and very quiet. Its strict rules (including an 11:00pm curfew) mean that it is not a popular option with the other students - there are vacancies right up until term starts, and often people end up there if they have arrived through Clearing and all the other accommodation is taken. I thought I was sure to get a place, but they e-mailed me today to say that they couldn't offer me anything. They added that they hope I find somewhere 'more suitable'.

More suitable? That has made me a bit suspicious. I did disclose my disabilities on the application form (it asked for details) and I have a horrible feeling that this may have something to do with it. I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong. But I don't understand why they are prepared to accept people at the last minute through Clearing...yet they can't accept me. My confusion is compounded by the fact that this hall is run by a Catholic association that is renowned for its orthodoxy. They ask residents to volunteer a certain amount of time to local social justice projects each week. I am an orthodox Catholic. I would volunteer my time to help out in the neighbourhood whether my accommodation made it compulsory or not. The hall basically looks as though it is run for people like me, yet it turns out otherwise.

There are no other halls that are both quiet and catered. I either choose a catered hall with hundreds of residents in a busy student area, or I choose a quiet place with no catering. It's going to have be the quiet place. Now it's imperative that I get funding, as I am going to need a support worker to help me with my cooking almost every day. As a full-time student I won't be able to afford to live off Innocent veg pots any more, and the only thing I can make with no help at all is stir-fry. Even for that I need the vegetables ready-chopped and the more expensive noodles that you can put directly in the pan, as I can't manage two pans on the stove at once unless I have got someone to prompt me.

This is a huge inconvenience.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Spoon » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:49 am

Sorry to hear that Vicky.

Have you considered giving the halls a call (or asking someone else to) in order to get them to review their decision? Did you place on the form that you would be receiving support from outside services? If not then this could possibly convince them that this is in fact the place for you. If they thought you would be managing alone they may have been put off by your support needs (which they would not be able to meet). May worth asking. At least then you have a better idea of what they think would be 'more suitable' in the first place.

Good luck and [non tactile, concept only] hugs.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby wadey » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:01 pm

Sorry to hear that Vicky
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby 07williamsdj » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:57 pm

Im sorry to hear that. I hope some way it will work out.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Remus » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:10 pm

Really sorry to hear that Vicky and I really hope something gets sorted out and they change their minds or something.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby C » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:16 pm

Hi Vicky,

Very sorry to hear about this. I agree that it might be a good idea to call the halls and explain your situation.

I don't know if it will be any comfort to you (probably not!) but I'm on catered only accommodation at the moment and coping okay(ish!) I wouldn't say I'm a great cook or anything (!) but I can make mixed vegetables, pizza, pasta, sausages, microwave meals... enough to 'get by' and I try and make sure I eat a lot of fruit and healthy things as well. I know my dyspraxia probably affects me in different ways to yours and in a lot less severe in some ways but I was really worried about cooking as well (I had to go on catered because all masters students, if on accommodation, are housed together and it's only catered).

By the way, what are you doing at uni?
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby tears_on_a_pillow » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:20 am

when you have your dsa (disabled students assement) mention tis to them vicky, they can get you funding for a pa including one who can assit with meals etc.....


a friend of mine has 4 different full time pa's that essentally live with him...

let me knwo if you wnt more info x
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:28 pm

Thanks everybody.

I have had an e-mail from my social worker. The funding panel meets on 15th February. She has asked whether I want to buy my support from the National Autistic Society or employ my own PA. I have chosen the NAS, as I think it would be too stressful to have to write a newspaper advert and interview PAs. I don't like making choices.

Lea, I've spoken to the university about the DSA assessment and they say that the application process opens on 14th February. I will apply as soon as I can. Do you know if applications can be done online? I'm in Bethlehem now, and the mail is so slow to arrive that I doubt I would get my forms before I was due to come home again!

I am going to ask the university's disability officer to look into the halls situation. If they did reject me on grounds of disability, I do not want to live there anyway. If they had another reason, I would like to challenge it. I'm not too anxious as I have started to arrange it all well in advance. I've got seven months before my course starts.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby tears_on_a_pillow » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:30 pm

DSA - yes can be filled online but it is best to meet with the assesor at the uni as they often have a lot more resources availble to them then youd imagine.

I am eligable for a PA whilst in uni and upto 60 hours a week outside of uni, which despite being married is useful for things around the house which my hubby is too busy to manage on top (sounds bad I know as he is doing a open uni physcology degree but is also ill himself with depression and severe ibs) the PA also meets me outside my front door on a morning and we travel to uni together and home on a night, helps me to remember to go the bank n pay in checks so I can pay bills...

when you are back in the uk if you want to chat then we can :)

sorry iv been so awaol...

x
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby parnassus » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:39 pm

I've had an e-mail from my social worker. I have got funding, but not as much as the assessor recommended. I can't afford to use the National Autistic Society as my support provider.

I contacted the NAS in Manchester as agreed and their hourly rate was £16.24. As this is more than the hourly rate which Lancashire council pays to support providers you would either need to manage the budget yourself (which we discussed and felt this was not something you were able to do) or have a broker manage this for you. The broker is called the Lancashire Centre for Independent Living (LCIL) and they charge £20 per week totalling £1040 per year, this is also taken out of your budget.

For £16.24 per hour and taking into account the broker fee this would only buy you 7.5 hours of support per week from the NAS. This is not a lot I realise.


She goes on to suggest that I should employ my own PA, as that only costs £11 per hour and I would get more support. I have to place an ad in the paper and conduct interviews. This makes me uncomfortable, as I'm not sure whether I would choose the right person. I don't want someone who is just out to make a bit of extra money, I want someone who is really interested in dyspraxia and AS. I don't want someone who would be bored by domestic tasks. It's important to me that my support worker enjoys helping people. Another issue is knowledge and training. The NAS employees get really good training (I know because my mum used to work for them). My PA would have to be trained from scratch, with the money for the training coming out of my budget.

7.5 hours a week is nowhere nearly enough, especially as I'm going to need help with cooking now. There's no way I can use the NAS with the prices they charge. I will have to employ a PA. I hope this turns out well and I get a nice one.
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Re: Getting support from social services

Postby Steph » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:25 pm

:( I'm sorry to hear that, Vicky. Sadly, I am not surprised though. My key student at work, who has very severe autism, no speech, global developmental delay, epilepsy and challenging behaviour used to get a lot of support when she came under the Childrens Department of her local Social Services. As soon as she turned 18 and was transferred to Adult Services, her support was reduced to 10 hours a week during the holidays divided between 2 support workers (5 hours each). This equates to 2 hours of support each weekday and none at weekends. Sadly the cuts seem to be affecting this area more than any other at the moment.
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