Yesterday I wrote about the wonderful people we met at the demonstration that took place on the day of the "window dressing" case conference. Back down to earth with a bump, here is the story of the actual conference.
The meeting was scheduled to begin at 2pm - I was hardly likely to forget something as important as the meeting where Hillingdon lay their cards on the table about their plan for Steven's future. At 1.45, I received a call from one of the managers, asking me why I was 15 minutes late. I lost count of the number of times when meetings would be put back or cancelled without me knowing, but this was the first time, they tried to unsettle me by insisting I was late. So, I put down my placard and went into the Civic Centre.
My friend came with me and the first shock was that none of the usual suspects were present - just three very very senior managers. This was never explained but I guess it had something to do with the press coverage our case had been receiving. Time for the big guns.
It was utterly depressing. One of the managers kept saying that she wanted Steven to be "futureproof" but she couldn't explain what she meant by that.
They stuck to their guns about Steven never being allowed to return home. And they refused to allow a trial period where we could put to the test, whether I could cope with Steven at home. Nothing would shift them. Instead, they talked about their plans to call for "tenders for Steven's care" from residential facilities. There was nothing locally, so they said I should prepare myself that the move could be many miles away.
By now, I knew more about the MCA and DoLs and knew that Hillingdon didn't have the authority to make these decisions - they had to be put before the court. Hillingdon had already thought about this and said they would be making an application to court by the end of the week (it was the 10th August).
They didn't. It took them until 25th October to submit their court application. And even at this stage, I was still sort of trusting them, so didn't bother to submit my own application believing that they would keep to their word. Ain't I a fool.
My friend took a pen camera with her but we decided not to use it. Which was a shame because it would have been great to post some footage of three people driven mad by the system in which they work, banging on about a human being becoming "futureproof".