I left home when I was 16, I became homeless and started sofa surfing at 17, then I was in hospital until I was 18. Now I finally have a home just before my 19th birthday.
Since the start of my desperate search for accommodation I have wanted to live in a family. Residential care is so rigid and clinical and never felt ‘normal’ to me in the slightest. Communicating with a large care team hurt my head and I was living with people who had completely different needs to me. As a result I chose to look into a ‘shared lives’ system, which is in effect fostering for adults. People who need care and support are matched with families who can give it. It takes people out of care home settings and is a much more informal way of receiving care. I am now living with a family in another county, using two 24hr carers instead of 10+ rotating staff.
“There’s a family interested! Can I send over your care plans?” Is where it all started way back in February.
‘Ha. I won’t be hearing from them again!’ I thought as I reluctantly gave file sharing consent to my social worker. I’ve read my care plans. They are not pretty and I certainly wouldn’t want me in my otherwise very nice life after reading them. But this particular family gave the green light for me and my world to merge with theirs. I went to stay with them for a few days and popped in for many, many, cups of tea. Then a week ago I moved in for good.
Getting used to the more relaxed care is a challenge but so far I’m loving it. The move seems to have been nothing but positive.
Of course I had to consider health care and my furry family before moving. I finished work with *Esther on the day I left, she told me a referral is in for me to be picked up by the nearest Community Mental Health Team. I’m really hoping this CMHT can offer more support than *Esther’s team could. Noodle and Mél the hamster are exceedingly happy in our new house, even if Noodle is still a little alarmed when she sees an over excited two year old hurtling towards her! Mél has the comfort of remaining in her own house of course, though she does venture around the living room after the tiny human’s bedtime.
So… I think we’ve finally got ourselves a home.