Moving house, financial support?

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First time posting and looking for some support

My LO (aged 2) has been home 5 months and has settled wonderfully, he was labelled with mild developmental delay and was unable to walk independently. He has thrived since being home and made massive progress however was still struggling with walking and balance. Everyone was happy for paper work for AO to go in however I was advised to wait (by my SW) and a paediatric assessment was requested due to his lack of progress with walking.

My LO has now been diagnosed with Ataxic cereal palsy and is going to need intense physio therapy, and in reality is not going to manage living safely in a house with stairs. I've been very clear with LA that he is my son and I will not break down the placement (which was their concern) however I am a single adopter and cannot afford to move into a bungalow although I know it would absolutely be in his best interests. I currently live in a house with steps into the back and front and have a tiered garden.

Sorry for the ramble but my question is has any one else found themselves in a similar situation?

I'm asking for the LA to offer financial support to enable us to move, they are not saying no at this time but also haven't said yes!

Does anyone have any advice please?

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Have you spoken to an OT about adaptations inside and outside the house? We have a through floor lift and had our front garden has been been made to a driveway for our car. I know that they can put outdoor lift to the house if needs be.

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The law says that they should give financial support....

Regulations here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/691/introduction/made

Circumstances in which financial support is payable

8.—(1) Financial support is payable under this Part to an adoptive parent for the purpose of supporting the placement of the adoptive child or the continuation of adoption arrangements after an adoption order is made.

(2) Such support is payable only in the following circumstances—

(a)where it is necessary to ensure that the adoptive parent can look after the child;

(b)where the child needs special care which requires greater expenditure of resources by reason of illness, disability, emotional or behavioural difficulties or the continuing consequences of past abuse or neglect;

(c)where it is necessary for the local authority to make any special arrangements to facilitate the placement or the adoption by reason of—

(i)the age or ethnic origin of the child; or

(ii)the desirability of the child being placed with the same adoptive parent as his brother or sister (whether of full or half-blood) or with a child with whom he previously shared a home;

Regulation 8 (2) (b) covers emotional and behavioural issues, and Regulation 8 (2) (c) covers siblings.

Not sure where you are, but there are similar regulations on the same website covering Wales and Scotland.

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In the current financial climate I wouldn't hold your breath hoping for a funded move, I think it's unlikely they'll be willing to help. You say he is now walking, albeit with an unsteady gait and needing help with balancing. With physio, taking advantage of toddler exercise classes etc. this will improve and his strength and balance may improve as he gets stronger.

He will probably be fine in a house with stairs, and if adaptations are required later, they will direct you to health and social care budgets for disability and at least for the time being (the next few years) he's likely to be regarded as small enough to be carried or need adult assistance anyway on the stairs. I would guess that he is potentially easily teachable to go up and downstairs on his bottom in the house.

I would go for a commitment to financial support that you can spend as you see fit on what you want. That will be more useful to you.

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I would say it is far too early to suggest your LO will need to live in a bungalow. We adopted a LO with CP at 18 months and were told he wouldn't walk and if he did he would never run, kick a ball etc and would need aids. Based on this we moved house to one which could be adapted but our DS runs, swims, kicks a ball and certainly now has no issue with stairs.

A lot of children with CP are given the worst case scenario and most do much better than expected. Rather than waste energy fighting for support to move I would be getting as much physio as possible, use stairs gates everywhere needed, start going swimming and try to access horse riding to build core strength etc. Join a CP support group to get lots of ideas and support. Unless doctors have suggested your LO will need a wheelchair I wouldn't be writing him off to a bungalow yet.

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As Bop says there is a legal duty and think you meet it. Think because of the economic climate it is going to be a challenge. I don't know what part of the country you are in, but usually your area will have some good advocates through Carers or Disability Rights who will assist you with challenging the LA if you need to. I ac recommend Contact A Family who are also nationally based. They have a dedicated section for disability legislation. You can also use CA. Good Luck Gill

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