Today was draining and emotionally difficult. Two big meetings – with consultants from CAMHS, social workers, LA education officials, parents, and other professionals – for two very complex and needy young men.
The first meeting lasted around an hour and was for a Year 8 student who has ASC and ADHD, other social complexities and significant learning and behavioural needs. A complex young man, but one whom I have a lot of time for – however draining it sometimes seems to be.
Even though he is only in Year 8 we had asked our Connexions officer to assess his needs and come up with some ideas…as a school, no matter how good we are, sustaining things in September with full-time education is not a realistic option. And although planning for September may appear a long way off, I can assure you we will be against the clock on this one!
The second meeting lasted nearly two hours. Previously we (myself and the CAMHS had considered the need for sectioning this 14 year old young man under the Mental Health Act. Although it appeared things had improved and he had managed a few days of a part-time timetable, unfortunately the situation was now as grave as ever.
His mum lives in fear. The real threat of violence is only diminished by his nocturnal existence. Personal hygiene is also a significant factor, so some potentially serious health risks in addition to the mental health ones.
It was a really tough meeting, but the social worker, consultant, LA officer, mum and I stayed as long as it took to work out a way forward. Tri-partied funding for a 52-week residential placement appeared to be the only realistic option. His mum is at the end of her ability to cope; a broken woman. Days like this are hard, but if I didn’t advocate and drive things forward who would? Undoubtedly this young man is very close to crisis. The legal minefield of (potentially) having to forcibly remove this young man from his home and into residential provision is a concern above and beyond emotional stress. But it would appear to be our last hope.