Two weeks after her boss, we had our social worker in the kitchen.
She had been rebranded, barely recognisable from previous visits.
Before bombastic, be suited, with short dark hair, now be dressed, people pleasing, with long fringed, Cleopatra styled auburn locks, and, the dulcet tones of a jackanory counsellor.
I’d seen it happen before, to Issy’s residential care manager.
Again, neither the reason for meeting, nor, my complaints were referred to.
Not too many long silences, or at least, they felt less oppressive, under this new collaborative regime
She admitted our particular care agency, ‘were perhaps, not the most suitable’, and asked why we had chosen them.
But then answered her own question with, I suppose you weren’t given the choice.
And from whom could we choose, as her boss, had to approve the service.
I suggested we clear the workers out of the kitchen for a few weeks.
As they had become largely superfluous.
And, were becoming, infuriatingly stepford.
She asked, if we’d met yet, with the man coordinating Issy’s supposed ‘education package’.
She went into see Issy’s bedroom; surprisingly Issy took to her, and demanded to be tickled.
So maybe she’s not so bad.
And after all, she is only doing her job.
And that was that.
Again we did not know the purpose of her visit.
A few days later, after ‘an opportunity to meet’ email.
The second ‘education’ package LA coordinator was in the kitchen.
A genteel cross, between a senior manager, and Jesuit priest.
He said, he had been told little about Issy.
We had the previous education package report, care plans, children in need meeting notes, core assessments, adult services domain forms….
But what was the point in asking?.
So for the millionth time, I outlined her history.
Weary, from the proven futility of my ramblings.
Issy came in for juice several times.
The gentlemen made the right sounds, and expressions, but said, little.
And thanked us for sharing ‘our story’, which he ought to have known as Issy’s future education commissioner.
And as he already, knew just the lady, who could help, who herself had an autistic son, and, would put her in touch.
And felt sure, she would get Issy out of the house again.
He assured us, he was not connected to the previous education package.
Omitting to say this lady’s company’s office, was the same address, as the previous education package.
He made no comment, SEN statements no longer existed.
And fudged Issy ever attending school .
He offered a facility of a ‘lodge’ nearby, which Issy could use two days a week as a home from home, and, take walks around the area.
And asked us to visit it the next day.
He left, having spent nearly two hours in the kitchen, cleared of care workers, in anticipation.
The next day we drove up to the facility, a former care taker’s house, of the special school, which Issy was, not now, funded to attend.
We met the manager of the facility, although there appeared little to manage, as it was empty, and, within an hour, we were back in the kitchen with the care workers.
A week later, after another ‘opportunity to meet’ email, the lady he spoke of entered our kitchen.
She said the genteel man had told her little of Isabel.
Again why not, but again not asked, and again our story was repeated.
The lady was measured, and said little.
She could get 2 PAs in tomorrow, but Issy needed proper handling, with music and dance therapy.
With people who would need time to build up hers and our trust.
How one wondered?
She said, ‘it would not be cheap’.
She said, if we were agreeable, she would get back to the genteel man, to propose this, and, left after nearly two hours in the kitchen.
It would appear the government, has a duty to educate those, termed to have’ special needs’, but not via schools.
At great expense to these children, and, their families.
And in breach of their statutory duty to educate them.
The only route for these ‘special needs’ children, was the ticked boxed nonsense of ‘independent skills’ training, provided by a feeding frenzy of packages, funded by the 73 million allotted to the LA, and then expensive agency encagement, away from their family.
Where the ‘education package’. could tick along in secret, to drugged inmates, until they are 25.