Post Support Approach
"G" had autism, learning disabilities, and required 24/7 support, with sleep-in night workers. We knew it was unlikely they’d be able to live fully independently at 18 due to multiple challenges – and the planned outcome was for LCS to prepare him for a semi-supported adult placement.
We worked with Children's Social Care (CSC) and "G" to develop an ongoing plan for support after they left LCS accommodation. We helped him to carry out research and identify a placement with an adult provider that would be able to meet their needs, while continuing the work we’d done with him. Liaising with CSC, they agreed two options, and we supported "G" to visit/meet both so they could make their final decision.
LCS staff were heavily involved in assessments for "G" to move to their adult placement. With "G"’s permission and input we ensured the provider had all the information they needed to ensure a smooth transition, and make their new placement successful.
This included writing reports, giving evidence and detailing information about "G"’s skills/capabilities, and methods we’d found effective in supporting him that would be valuable to continue like:
- Approaches to overcome/manage their extreme sensory dependence, including:
- Specific bedding they found comfortable. When joining LCS, "G" wasn’t comfortable in a bed, and would often not sleep at all
- Clear boxes for clothes storage, as wardrobes disturbed him
- Their father being Appointee for benefits payments. This prevented "G"’s missing episodes by reducing immediately accessible funds (often long, unplanned train journeys) and strengthened their relationship
- Detailed chore lists – as "G" required repeated prompts
With "G", we provided bridging step-down support over 6 weeks starting at 20 hours/week and reducing to welfare calls, providing support including:
- Visits to new accommodation – familiarising him with it
- Meetings with new staff – including inviting to meals and community activities like go-carting and bowling – supporting relationship building
- Move planning
- Nice ending/celebrations with LCS to help him to say goodbye and move-on positively on their terms
- LCS staff assisted move. Supporting amenities set-up (gas, electric)
- Spent first night in property with G
- Unpacking, setting-up new home
- Shopping for supplies – including planning meals
- Creating new chore lists/prompts for the new home
- Exploring their new community, and forging appropriate links within it
- Advice/support addressing concerns
We also created memory books, reminding "G" of progress/achievements. With our support, they settled into new accommodation and (with CSC’s agreement) regularly provides updates to their former LCS workers.
16-year-old "A"’s history included 22 placement breakdowns in the two years before referral to LCS. They frequently went missing, engaged in substance misuse and experienced sexual exploitation.
"B" was a 16-year-old nearing the end of a custodial sentence when referred to LCS. They had a history of abuse that resulted in racist behaviours and were involved in petty crimes, shoplifting and gang activity.
16-year-old "C" was referred to an LCS Shared House as “medium risk”. The referral identified risks including inappropriate sexual behaviour, frequent missing episodes and hygiene issues, including bedwetting.
Mental Health Support
"D" was 16 when referred to LCS, having been hospitalised for 3 years with mental health issues, anorexia and self-harm. They had no sense of self-worth and was at high risk of death by misadventure.
"T" was 16 when they were referred to an LCS Shared House. They’d been in 20+ placements over the last few years. They had low self-esteem, was self-conscious and struggled with depression and intense emotional outbursts.
Preparation for Independence
"F" was referred to LCS and offered placement in a shared house after a kinship placement broke down. Their mother had substance misuse issues and their father and brother were in jail – with offences including armed robbery.
"H" had highly complex needs, a history including self-harm and repeated suicide attempts, historic sexual abuse, extreme attachment issues, high-risk sexual behaviours and grooming.