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Abuse of Safeguarding by Local Authorities
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I am deeply concerned regarding how Social Services have repeatedly abused the Mental Capacity Act and Safeguarding to try and stop me caring for my brother whilst preferring a care home that were abusive. My autistic 24 year old brother was threatened with a knife at a care home and called me for help. I offered to pick him up and he said yes.
Before that, there had been work ongoing (that I found out about by accident) for my brother to move into semi-independent living. I am convinced that they were not going to tell me he had moved or where. His care needs are such that he needs, by my calculations of having looked after him twice, 70 - 80 hours support per week with constant and repeated prompting.
My brother had said yes to wishing to move into semi independent living against the backdrop of the care home that he was being abused in. The Social Worker did not contact me to offer my brother the option of moving in with me.
The Social Worker said that she was confident that my brother would only need 37 hours of support. My brother's involvement in their planned move went as far as seeing a glossy show flat and being asked about all of the activities (to use their buzzword) that he would like to undertake.
What they failed to mention to my brother was the reality of whether he could afford to do the things that he wanted to. With my brother with me I started helping him to consider this and we asked for a breakdown of how much the semi independent living placement would cost. Social Services said that this would be impossible to calculate. My Brother said he didn't want to move there until he knew and wanted to stay with me whilst he decided, if, the information was made available to him.
The woman from the semi independent living placement who solely arranges these placements and who could only be described as a high pressure sales rep insisted on video conferencing every single day. The Social Worker insisted on the use of Microsoft Teams and my brother's old laptop (that he bought with him) couldn't cope with it. It was fraught with problems too.
Although my brother had an Advocate that kept repeating that they were independent (whilst there clearly being a conflict of interest in Social Services paying them) the Advocate did none of the legwork off her own back to investigate the pitfalls of the semi independent living placement identified.
Although two others had been identified, one was for older people who were 60+ the other had no availability. I seemed to be the only person realistic and the care assessment had been totally botched and my brother had been blind sighted and doesn't really have any idea of his care needs. I find the fact that my brother wasn't offered the option of having me advocate for him offensive.
In the end, Social Services provided a rough breakdown that they refused to enter into further correspondence in relation to, when I calculated what my brother would have left, after Bill's, it worked out around £21.00 per week with 4 hours of care to do activities. Social Services said the figure could be higher or lower but they could not tell him for sure until he got there. Social Services also refused to say at what point they would consider my brother inappropriate for semi independent living in terms of the care hours needed.
My brother said no and chose to continue to live with me in a different city to where he was. We then found out that Social Services had moved all of my brother's possessions without him knowing from the care home to the semi independent living placement whilst they were also asking him to make a decision as to whether he wanted to go for it. When my brother said no, the Social Worker said that she could not pretend that she wasn't disappointed.
She then told me that it was important that a mental capacity act assessment was undertaken and that it was important that I wasn't there. I contacted my council who have received the referral and they tell me that the referral is open as a Safeguarding concern.
I contacted the old Social Worker to ask why, she told me that anybody with care needs who moved in such an unplanned way and across to another council would need to be referred as a Safeguarding concern, that they'd ordinarily have had face to face meetings but that there had also been issues with their beloved Microsoft Teams (The Social Worker refused to use Skype).
On the night that my brother was threatened, I called 999 ahead of me going down. I then chased up the local police as I drove down. They told me that they needed to check the authenticity of the report before they would do anything. Although the incident happened at around 9:00pm, when I got down there at 2am, and got my brother to quietly pack a bag and jump in the car (to confirm, after he'd asked me to pick him up), I was the first person to arrive from 150 miles away. I'd also contacted the Emergency Duty Team Social Worker too after I'd called 999.
The next morning, thinking about bed for both my brother and I and shattered after getting us both food and having had a long conversation with the Social Worker and her having spoken to my brother too, I received a call from the police down there saying that they needed to conduct an immediate safe and well check and that my local police would need to do it.
I contacted the Social Worker for support and she simply said to go along with it. I now believe that she instigated it. I took my brother down there and the Police said that they had no concerns.
As I write a month later, the Police say they are taking no further action against the care home staff member as there is no evidence to back up his report. I have been told that the care home are subject to ongoing Safeguarding investigations and that 80% of the Social Worker's week is taken up dealing with issues with the care home. There was a whole lot of abuse since 2012 (at least) that I had raised as Safeguarding concerns and that I complained to the council about and also made the CQC aware of. Nobody did anything.
The history of this is that in 2014, our mother passed away and I offered my brother the opportunity to move in with me into our Mother's two bedroom house. The housing association had been pretty nasty about it as they had left our Mother in squalor (she had a lot of mental health problems and wouldn't let me in or speak to me for years until a year or so before she died). They were trying to evict me and didn't accept that I had succeeded to the tenancy.
My brother wanted to live with me. The care home placement continued to be funded, I also have previous experience as a community carer and I also have obviously known my brother all my life. I am the only family involved, his Dad has never been on the scene.
Another previous Social Worker had been interrupting my brother's college lunch breaks and taking another so called independent Advocate up there and tried to talk my brother out of living with me. Due to my brother's communication issues, he said "no" to living with me but they did not bother to ask why. What emerged was that my brother was concerned about potentially being homeless if we lost the house but he wanted to live with me.
When I complained to the hapless Advocacy organisation, they told me that they did not see the need to ask my brother for reasoning behind any of his decisions. They would have found the answer to actually be "yes" had they bothered. It would appear that Social Services had some sort of financial motive because my brother was hardly ever going out and spending money and had more savings, presumably resulting in less of a contribution needing to be made by Social Services than what it would cost if he didn't have such substantial savings and he was living with me with Social Services support.
The care home started badgering my brother into returning the night before, only giving us short supplies of his meds so we had to keep going back there. He had eventually moved all of his clothes out. I sensed what they were up to and eventually, they took my brother from a Christmas party when all else failed, telling me he had wet himself and needed a change of clothes, when I pointed out that my brother never wet himself and that all of his clothes were with me, the Social Worker stuttered and said my brother had expressed an immediate wish to return to the care home.
I called the care home to try and speak to my brother and I was told that Social Services would not allow me to speak to him. The Social Worker invited themselves around to collect my brothers possessions, offered no explanation as to why he would not let me speak to my brother and he posted a letter (supposedly from my brother as he cannot write) through the door. I eventually returned my brother's possessions to the care home as it was pointless my brother not having what he needed. I also dropped off some old toys he wanted to keep - I found out that the care home binned them against my brother's wishes.
A year passed and I went up there the following Christmas, bought my brother a bottle of Morgan Spiced that he likes and, since there is a high level of staff turnover at the care home, I simply took my brother out and did so for 7 consecutive days. They could hardly justify interfering again then. I lost the house though and was made homeless hence I had to move 150 miles away where I could get housing due to circumstances.
Before all of this, I was caring for our Mother for the last year or so of her life. Her social housing was in disrepair, they wanted to end my mother's care home placement and return her , housebound , with the disrepair (water ingress). I threatened to take them to court to challenge the decision when all else failed. I was told that if I didn't persuade my Mother to return home, that she would be liable for costs. Also, that if I took them to Court that they would raise a Safeguarding alert accusing me of financially mismanaging my mother's money because she could potentially lose the court case and I was her DWP Appointee.
I took them to court, they filed their Safeguarding allegations to the DWP that stopped Mum's money. I didn't get anywhere with the court case but no costs were awarded either way. The social housing provider sent their own Counsel who was sent packing when the Judge asked why she had been sent but they tried their best to put the boot in. My Mum became seriously Ill again and was taken back into hospital from the care home placement.
I had single handedly done her whole house up and redecorated and totally refurbished her home, fought for unpaid benefits and replaced all her white goods - everything was horrendous and broken. I was looking forward to her enjoying her "new" home. I also bought Court of protection proceedings that successfully led to a finding that Mum lacked capacity to make medical decisions and led to an independent Psychiatrist report that finally diagnosed Mum with borderline personality disorder and a bunch of others for the first time in over 30 years of mental health services failing her and accepting her refusal of help.
As part of the Safeguarding allegations, Social Services told the hospital not to tell me anything about my Mother's care. I had been doing her food menus. They stopped me doing that. I wrote to the chief executive and received a reply to detail my Mother's allergy to milk. The Chief Executive confirmed that this had been detailed on Mum's medical file and that she was nearly fit for discharge again but that she needed to put on weight.
On one visit to see my Mum, who was responding well to the mental health meds and was like a changed person, she wasn't there. I was told that she had been moved to an isolation ward, the wall of secrecy dropped and I was told that she was suspected to have caught the hospital superbug. I saw them feeding her cornflakes, I asked what kind of milk they were giving her, they told me that it was ordinary milk. No surprise my Mum had had diarrhoea and it was quickly confirmed that Mum had tested negative for the hospital superbug. Mum was returned to the cardiology ward as she also had heart problems (although no heart attack). Mum had also gone blind through untreated diabetes.
Things quickly got worse, I had took a break and was having a pint in the sun thinking things were on a level keel in another city with my then partner and I received a telephone call to say Mum was struggling to breathe, I rushed down on the train and saw my Mother on a mask. I asked what was wrong, they said pneumonia as the result of an infection. I looked at her clipboard and saw that "icilin" or similar (definitely a penicillin derivative) had been prescribed - Mum was allergic to penicillin. Mum went on to have two strokes, was unable to speak and then financially had a heart attack that killed her.
I had arranged a funeral for her. My Mother hated Social Services and so I had little choice with my brother having been taken away from me and with them stopping me from communicating with him, to ask the cemetery to keep the arrangements (that I paid for) private. I hoped in time my brother would be able to visit the grave. She would have turned in it at the thought of Social Services or their ilk attending. The council cemetery department then released the information without my consent and I had to cancel the church service. Our family business is private and my Mum and our family had a right to that. On the flipside, my brother went.
His so called Advocate invited my brother to take away flowers to remember Mum which was a major insult - if my brother had asked it would have been fine. Notably, they did not get any flowers to bring. We couldn't even lay our mother to rest in peace.
I hope you can see why I hate their guts and I don't trust them in the slightest. I asked for a post mortem for Mum, the Coroner found no evidence of pneumonia but said my Mum didn't have a great mid term prognosis so they wouldn't open an inquest, all of my formal complaints regarding Social Services and my brother have fell on deaf ears, either totally ignored or I was told due to data protection that they could not respond.
I also found out after my brother was taken away that they did a mental capacity act assessment and decided that my brother lacked capacity in relation to his care and related accommodation. More recently they said it was my brother's choice, now they don't like my brother's choice to live with me, they are demanding another one to worm their foot in the door. Please remember, they moved my brothers possessions into this semi independent living placement whilst they were supposedly waiting for his decision.
I should probably add, of course I made sure (and make sure that) all of my brother's needs were met, in the same way as I did with my Mother. I always also keep accounts.
Hi, I understand that this is a difficult, upsetting and troubling situation. However, we are not the best people to help you through this situation. The
National Autistic Society
would be more suitable to seek help from as they will have far more specialised knowledge than us, you can call their helpline on
0808 800 4104
, 10am – 12pm and 1pm - 3pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Also, since you're having difficulties with Social Services, getting in contact with the
Family Rights Group
may be helpful, they help people who have had issues with Social Services, you can contact them on 0808 801 0366. If you feel you need further support please e-mail us at
or call our freephone helpline on 0808 800 2222.
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