Why Advocacy Matters: A Case Study

Nathan was referred to Solihull Action through Advocacy because he was seeking to move house but didn’t know the necessary steps to take to make this happen.

Nathan was living in supporting living and was very unhappy in his accommodation. Supported living is a way of thinking about managing housing needs when working with disabled people. As disabled people, we have the right to lead our own lives and make choices like determining where we live, how we live, with who live and who gives us our support — supported living helps us to protect our choices and independence. Nathan felt that the staff weren’t meeting his needs.

Our advocate began their work by co-ordinating with a Resettlement Officer. A resettlement officer helps people to find out their housing needs and get appropriate accommodation. We began finding care providers who had suitable homes for Nathan and available rooms. Nathan wanted a care provider that could provide a home with other residents who would be happy making conversation with him, as well as having consistent staff who understood Nathan’s autism and his needs. Our advocate made sure that Nathan’s needs were well communicated to the resettlement officer.

Choosing where you live is very important and not everyone gets the chance to choose. We helped make this happen for Nathan.

Once appropriate accommodation was found Nathan, the resettlement officer and our advocate went to visit each home. After visiting several homes Nathan found his favourite and had his heart set on it. He asked our advocate to support him in meeting with the care provider. During the meeting, the care provider explained to Nathan how they worked and they asked Nathan how he would like to be supported and how he would like his support to be structured. This approach to care provision is called ‘person-centred’, and it focuses on the needs of an individual like Nathan instead of what would be most convenient for the care provider. In the past, person-centred approached were not common and people like Nathan would end up having to live without making choices about how they wanted to live their life.

Nathan was very happy with what the care provider had to say, and from here his social worker oversaw the paperwork process and a moving date was set. Nathan was able to move into his new accommodation.

Three weeks later our advocate went to visit him, to see how Nathan had settled and how he was. He mentioned how much he was enjoying the new home and how helpful the new staff had been. Before we were involved Nathan was living somewhere that was inappropriate, with staff who weren’t meeting his needs and helping him to live his full and independent life. Now, Nathan is happy, in new accommodation that he chose and is pleased with the staff. The process took a few months but Nathan was very pleased with the outcome of our work and appreciative of the support he received.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.