I am an aunt to an almost 30 year old young man who lives with his grandparents as he has had problems with his mother and second husband since he was 16. Half his life has been spent with grandparents that are trying to take the place of his parents (his dad is dead) - this is not a good combination when the grandparents are in the 80's.
He is a clever boy and was diagnosed as being dyspraxic when he was just 8 or 9. This however, in my opinion was not a full diagnosis as he is certainly on the autistic spectrum, maybe aspergers.
He failed his A levels despite the fact he is brilliant with facts and general knowledge. He just can't express himself and has few social skills. I am with my parents a lot but also have my own family to look after ad live abroad. He has never had a job that he has managed to keep for more than 6 weeks. He was recently told he did not fit in with the rest of the office and would have to leave. I have offered to pay for him to go to an educational psychologist but he refuses and tells me I must think he is 'crazy'. I once managed to get him to go to the Job centre and talked to the person supposedly responsible for people with disability but they were fairly useless and he got very frustrated with them and then refused to sign on or go to any more meetings as they just kept suggesting totally unsuitable jobs for him. He cannot drive but has a moped which limits his sphere of work available.
The problem now that after over 10 years of no one taking him under their wing and him not wanting to be treated as 'disabled' (I don't think he every tells employers about his disability and very few people would understand the problem if he doesn't explain it at the outset) he is getting severly depressed and has violent outbursts. In a house with 2 elderly grand parents this is very worrying for me as I can see something going very very wrong. My mum won't see him out on the road but clearly wants to see him independant, my dad just wants him out but on the other hand feels obliged to 'put up with him'. I don't think he could cope on his own but his immediate family who live just 10 minutes walk down the road have just handed the problem to my parents and when I am here, to me.
His problems are obvioulsy exacerbated by his mother and sisters rejection and his utter contemp for his step father. He needs emotional help and guidance which no one in the family seems to be able to give him. I would dearly love to find him a 'buddy' that could suggest suitable employment with an employer who understands he needs of dyspraxic/aspergers employees or someone who could suggest further training that would leed to employment. He just needs a job to give him some self worth and allow him to be independant.
Does anyone have any useful information or suggestions - I would dearly love to see him happy and content in work which would turn his life around,
I note with interest how you refer to him as a "boy" - yet say he is 30 years old. Could this be part of the wider problem... insomuch that the wider family dynamics have put him in the place of the 'child'? If so - if your family (subconsciously) see him as a 'boy' - then what motivation has he got to be anything else? You assume the role you're given.
Maybe you need to be a pioneer... and be the first family member to treat him as the man he is? Maybe, with someone treating him like an adult for the first time - which includes burdening him with the prospect of really considering his own well-being and future for the first time - he may be forced to use his smarts to more responsible and self-actualising behaviour?
Of course, if he has become accustomed to the 'child' role, then expect resistance! After all, no-one gives-up being pampered on easily (hence why it may be better to emphasise the positives of independent living, to make it more appealing than living with his grandparents). Again, this has all the hallmarks of a long game, rather than a one-off short term solution. And, a shift in the family dynamics (i.e. you and your parents thinking, perspective and behaviours) seems just as necessary a change, as does change on his behalf.
PS: I just wanted to say, he's a very lucky chap to have you looking out for him! ;-)
I would say, contact the local social services department and ask to be referred for independent advocacy. There is no fault or blame here with anybody but it is a situation which will quickly turn into a crisis situation if something isn’t done soon. The independent advocate needs to contact him and go and see him. If they don’t, we’re going to have a crisis situation. An independent advocate is the best option to start with. I would say that he temporarily lacks the capacity to make major decisions in his life, for example, where to live, and I would hate for it to get to the stage where he is sectioned. I know his consent is required for a referral to the social worker but it may not be the case with the advocates. It may be that an imca (independent mental capacity assessor) gets involved but your first port of call is to contact the local social services department and make them fully aware of the situation, so you’re not trying to deal with this yourself. Don’t take no for an answer. If they say they can’t send somebody out then say you need a psychiatrist or suitably trained person to come out to do an assessment because you are not prepared to let this get to a crisis situation, it is way too serious and dangerous for that, not to mention distressing. Be super clear about your intentions when you phone up and refuse to be fobbed off. Mention safeguarding if needs be, of three vulnerable adults. This boy needs help, you all do. Don’t take no for an answer. Tell them this is a safeguarding incident and you need somebody to take action now. Good luck, don’t be fobbed off, mention lack of capacity to make major decisions such as to where he should live, and also safeguarding. Good luck.
Blueray: you give good, sound advice. However, from my previous experience of working on behalf of a local authority social services, I think the Safeguarding issue - whilst certainly worth trying - may not result in much.
Whenever anyone used to raise a 'Safeguarding' concern, then - even if these were medical professionals like GP's or Nurses, or even the Police etc - the Social Services were very proactive in asking just how it was a 'Safeguarding'... insomuch that the person raising the safeguarding concerns has to be quite clear and specific as to just how the health, safety or well-being of the individual is at immediate risk.
And, therein lies the rub... that the safeguarding concern has to be happening now, and not based on a hypothetical situation of what may potentially happen in the future. This isn't said to be cold-hearted or callous, but simply that whilst anyone (be this a professional, family member, or just a concerned member of the public) can raise a safeguarding concern, they have to be prepared to be challenged on it, and clearly state how the immediate well-being of the person is directly at risk. If it's not, the social services never used to accept it as a high-priority 'safeguarding' issue, and would always say to raise it as a standard referral (which takes longer to be triaged to an allocated Social Worker or Community Care Worker).
The reality is that whilst NAS36348's nephew and parent's are in an immensely difficult situation - with the reality being that things will actually get worse if left unattended - social services likely wouldn't see if as a 'safeguarding' concern per se. Ultimately, he is currently sheltered, fed and surrounded by well-meaning family looking after him - which doesn't meet the safeguarding criteria.
This isn't said to be discouraging at all, but simply so that NAS36348 can go into the situation with the full facts, and realistic expectations. It's why a referral seems to be best made sooner rather than later - and as you suggest seeking Advocacy could be a good idea towards this.
I know what you’re saying Evan, I used to work as a social worker but if you mention the word safeguarding and mental capacity it sometimes gets flagged to the manager who will often turn it down, as you said, but the name will be noted and those who shout the loudest often get seen first. I think the independent advocacy will be a good option as they have more time to spend with people and a referral to a social worker won’t be made without his permission. The wellbeing team, if there is one in his area would be a good option as well. Their work is based on prevention.