A building with a snooker table

LB’s been off school a week now. Unmanageable distress associated with school, which manifests itself in violent outburst (towards himself and others), has led to a kind of informal home arrest. Home where he is largely a chill pill. Home which ain’t ideal when we both have full time jobs.

School are going to try to sort out some way of him returning part time. The plan was for him to stay at school until July 2014. A ‘mental health’ referral has been made with no one involved optimistic that this will happen within 4-6 weeks. ¬†The care manager (who had discharged him after success at panel finger nail blackboard¬†towards the end of last year) called today to sort out some sort of interim ‘care’ for him.

“Well he can go to respite pretty much straightaway…”
“What do you mean by respite?”
“He can go to Saxon Way. Into respite. I can get the manager to call you.”
“Sorry, I don’t understand. What is it exactly?”
“Well it’s a building.”
“It’s a building with a snooker table and other stuff to do. He can stay there or maybe the staff will take him out into the community. Or if you prefer, some staff can come to your home and look after LB there. The advantage is, it’s pretty much an instant solution.”

So, after apparently huge shifts in the organisation of social care in the UK, the development of aspirational thinking around person centred care, and having spent 16 years in education, LB is consigned to a building with a snooker table. At the first hurdle.

I don’t get it. What about his future? His life? His capacity to be meaningfully productive in some way? He’s 18 years old and should be looking forward to the start of his adult life, some type of employment and everything that comes with that. Not written off and stuck in a day centre waiting for a half arsed referral to fictional mental health support. Seriously?

I must be missing something.