Section 117 After Care: how broad is the scope?

Adult son under S117 (after care following detained period in hospital). Care team unable to let us know if anything other than visits from his care team is available through this.

Our son has a long history of going missing, finding himself homeless and, as presently, loosing accommodation. We’re on our knees and in debt funding accommodation, food, travel to come back from wherever he finds himself. He’s missing again now and, as a result has again lost his accommodation (‘intentionally homeless’). This time there’ll be no reprive. His MH team say that they can’t help and appear unwilling to help us identify suitable, supported accommodation. Since leaving hospital, he’s been living in temporary council accommodation (unsupported) but he’s now handed in his keys and said he wont come back - the council have told him and us that he has forfeited his right to get more help from them. However, he clearly needs a setting where his needs will be supported and where he’ll be able to feel that he belongs. I think part of his problem is that he feels very alone and lonely - no-one to interact with in his former temporary/homeless council accommodation except us and, from time to time, his MH team. He should, we feel, be living in some kind of community setting. I think that would a good start towards some kind of recovery.

Anyone experience of S117 and know anything about how creative teams can be in terms of what it can deliver? Maybe it differs area to area - here is seems to be very restrictive. Does it preclude help with furniture, downpayments for accommodation and, most pertinent to him, temporary accommodation and travel costs when he goes missing, lets us know where he is (sometimes after a few weeks) and has run out of money? Many thanks.

Full sp on Section 117 from MIND :


Leaving hospital.

Explains the rights you have to get your section lifted if you are being detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act, and your rights to care and support after leaving hospital. Applies to England and Wales.

Very extensive.

Finances aspect :


If I can’t get section 117 aftercare services, do I have to have to pay for my after hospital care ?

If you aren’t eligible for free section 117 aftercare (for example, if you have been discharged from a section 2), you will not have to pay for your ongoing medical treatment. But you may have to make a contribution towards the cost of your social care treatment on a means-tested basis (see our info on financial assessments to find out more).

As for " Expenses " , silent on that aspect.

Might be worthwhile bouncing that off MIND … contact details through the first link.

Very many thanks, Chris. First priority is to track my son down and I’ve spent the day doing that - no success. His MH team are silent - not a peep. Will keep one and all updated as S117 is clearly an important topic. If anyone else has ideas, please let me know. I’ll contact Mind now - thanks for the idea.

Your welcome and … good luck !

Like a tom cat , he’ll come home when his hungry … or run out of clean clothes ?

Whilst most mums are only too happy to see the return of " Junior " … hung over or otherwise … how many greet him with a clip 'round the ear , and / or a verbal tirade ?

Seasons greetings !

Hi Rhiannon,
I only know of families with adult children who have autism, learning disability and mental health problems. Their section 117 has paid the full costs of their supported living/ residential placement and care package.

Be careful on two counts, if he moves back home - then he will be viewed as housed and supported.

Secondly, other parents, partners and families on the forum of folk with MH problems often advise there is a fine line between being supportive and enabling someone with mental health problems to stay as they are and not help themselves and take responsibility. Heart wrenching though it would be, for his sake and the sake of your finances it might be time to stop bailing him out when he runs out of money on one of his jaunts.


Many thanks, both.

Sadly, son can’t come home because, years ago, he caused huge (I mean huge) upset to his younger siblings and they still feel the pain of it. We’re hoping so much that there will be healing and a reconciliation - that is very much our aim but the time sadly isn’t now.

I’ve tried speaking to the MH team about suitable housing referrals, especially supported accommodation, but they won’t engage. We’ve asked for a meeting with housing at the table and they have now said that they could arrange a Safeguarding meeting in the New Year, at which Housing would be present. I feel that we’re doing all the pushing, have the ideas - frankly, the team is, at least for our son, disengaged. Certainly not considering the massive drain on our emotions and resources at all.

Anyway, an update. Son has just come back and by the grace of God (or someone), the council will let him move back into his temporary (homeless) flat. So, this evening, we’re putting back some of the stuff we took out when he left and we are so grateful for this reprieve. It’s very temporary (the council can’t understand why he handed in his keys and warned him that he wouldn’t be able to be re-housed) but gives us a chance to get the ball rolling in terms of supported accommodation. I’ll take the issue of resourcing it under S117 up - it’ll be difficult but I’ll try.

Melly - I take your point about enabling his behaviour. You are right. It’s hard for a parent to see their kid homeless (which he has been) and I’d be move confident about him hitting rock bottom, as it were, if I felt there was a safety net re MH support. But you make a good point and I’ll talk to my husband about this.


I am so sorry to hear about all that you are coping with at the moment. Professionals would prefer that we don’t understand S117 as it has the potential to be very expensive for public sector organisations. Does your son have a MH social worker as well as his medical team? S117 places a legal duty on both social care and health care to support someone in the community and so he should have one. If he doesn’t, that is definitely something you need to follow up on. Unfortunately, no matter what we, and professionals, do to support someone, if they choose to decline or walk away from that support then we need to accept that, whether or not we agree with it.
Supported living would be funded under S117, and is not means tested under S117. It may be worth doing your own investigations into supported living in your local area to identify what is out there because then you are in a position to point the professionals in the right direction. Do also check out Rethink Mental Illness as they have good information on S117 and what it covers -
I hope your son is safe.

Thanks for this Shelagh, it’s really useful information.
It seems that increasingly social workers are being economical with the truth to make their budgets work!

Oh yes Rhiannon and that is why it is so important that we gather and share knowledge where we can!

That is enormously useful - thank you all, including Shelagh. I’m sorry that I haven’t thanked you recently. I’ve been away from the forum, frantically busy coping with my son whose behavious is causing great concern. Eventually, he came back but he’s been off a few times since then and has now been told that the council will not provide him with any accommodation (intentionally homeless and all that). The MH team are not being nearly as pro-active as they could be. It’s very difficult and we have no idea, as things stand, what the future holds for this young man with serious MH needs. His housing situation is so critical that I’ll shortly post again but with a subject line that makes it clear what I’m writing about.