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We have a son, Samuel who is 26 yrs. old and has microcephaly.  He lives at home with his parents who are his carers and legal guardians.   Eight years ago his dad left his job to be Sam's full time paid carer as social services were unable to offer any assistance with his challenging behaviour and care needs.  Since then, he is now happy, well looked after and secure.   When he does display outbursts of frustration or anger we have strategies to diffuse the situation. 

Sadly, social services find it anathema that he is looked after by his parents, and are trying to disrupt his care, despite the fact that they know nothing about his condition or how it affects him.  The social worker has had meetings behind our backs to discuss his care with people who have never even met him.  Now they plan a so called review, again with people who have no idea about Sam, how his condition affects him, or importantly what he actually wants.  To give an example of the ignorance of our social worker, she keeps referring to Autism and giving us information about autistic funding groups.  Sam functions on the level of a two and half to three-year-old.  You can imagine the distress that would be caused to him, if strangers try to take over his care, who know nothing about him or worse if social services try to put him in some kind of residential arrangement.  He doesn't like being around other people with learning difficulties.

At the moment he is getting 24/7 two to one care, and social services are funding for one carer for 45 hrs.  That's got to be good value for money.  More importantly he is happy and content where he is. All we ask is that we are allowed to continue with Sam's care without the constant threat of it being removed.  If they want to support us, more respite would be a good start and no more behind our backs meetings. 

Social services will not listen to us.  They don't even include us in their secret meetings. But if more people were to speak up for Samuel, maybe they would listen to you. We would be very grateful for your support.

Thank you for your time.

Hannah and Tony Lavers



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