I’m a voluntary advocate for a person with autism, complex health needs and bi-polar disorder. I found this forum because I feel quite isolated in my role, and wanted to find a place where there was mutual support, and where I can feel not so alone, and find out information.
I don’t know if it’s appropriate for me to be on this forum, as I’m not a carer as such.
Just to briefly explain the situation, I met the person I advocate for when I started working as a care worker and she was someone I supported in a residential community. She joined the setting where I work at the same time I started working there.
After the pandemic, she became worried about her elderly mum who became isolated, so I started visiting her mum. I felt that the person with autism was vulnerable and her needs weren’t being met by the setting, so I volunteered to be her advocate.
Unfortunately the setting could not meet her needs, badly let her down, and she left to live with her elderly mother.
I still work at the residential community. One of my colleagues raised concerns about the way she was treated, but nothing was done. I also raised concerns, which were not addressed.
I support this person and her mum with visits. I try to support the person with autism by helping her with going to some appointments and some advocacy.
They live just 10 minutes drive away, so I can pop over, and at the moment they are both doing OK.
I know that things may change. If her mum becomes ill (she has a heart problem) then I do not know how she will cope.
I live with my husband and teenage daughter. I discussed my voluntary advocacy with my husband before I took it on, and I explained that once I took it on, I would not abandon the person, whatever happened. He is concerned that I do too much, but understands that it’s my nature. If the support I give increases, he will have a problem with that.
thanks for reading this.
This is a recipe for disaster! The person you support needs a long term good placement funded by the council and her mum needs good support too. You don’t have any authority to represent her.
you sound a very kind and caring person.
If a setting fails people and it is a safeguarding matter, then this needs reporting. You can do this anonymously if you are worried about your job.
The person you are voluntarily supporting needs a proper support package in place that does meet her needs so that if/when something happens to her Mum, the support is already in place. I suggest you refer her for a Needs Assessment.
I think you need to be careful, work-wise as may agencies etc have rules about employees supporting current/ex clients, though this might not apply as you are doing so in a voluntary capacity.
It might be better to find her an independent advocate.
Have you heard of Circles of Support? This might really work for her too.