I was summoned to attend a meeting in town regarding the future of Jermaine, you know, what with me being an unfit parent and all.
There were 9 other people there and just me arguing my case, hardly a balanced field.
The first priority for the chair was to ask the respite centre just how much they were put out by my actions on Friday and as they started to say how very difficult it had all been, how other service users had been affected and staff did extra time I reminded them that perhaps someone being ‘put out’ was not the primary concern of this meeting. Perhaps that should be why nothing was in place when the call for help came in, why no one had so much as considered there should be a fall back plan.
Then the chair brought up the suggestion that Jermaine really would be so much better off as everyone clearly agreed that home was not the best placement and that we could clearly not cope. I reminded her that no one had said any such thing, that what others had said was how difficult Jermaine was, not how anyone else could do better than we have. His class teacher was certainly not helping; I really don’t think she had the slightest notion of the significance of this meeting.
As they insisted on going on about residential care I challenged both health and social services to take responsibility for finding somewhere suitable but neither seemed keen to do so. Amazing how they mention it over and over as the solution to everything yet, when it comes down to actually doing the work, it too finds a way to the back burner.
We spoke briefly about direct payments but the conclusion there was that they were a long term stop gap only, not a solution.
I asked about agency workers to come in and help out at home, it is being ‘looked into’
Jermaine came back this evening but is clearly very wrong. He has changed totally, gone back months if not years. Almost totally incontinent and even more thick than usual, The school called me and just said that I had to get there within the hour to pick him up as they could not deal with him. I had to take Matt out of college to help out, it was all just so wrong.
We have had a good long talk about it and although it is going to cost us heavy financially, we have, OK, I have decided we really cannot keep Jermaine at home any longer, he has to be got out of here and into a suitable placement ASAP.
This is a huge climb down for us but due to the total lack of support there really is no option and the other kids are entitled to a life as well.
Oh, happy birthday mum, you would have been 72 today had you not left me 20 years ago