People & Families
Commissioners ask me to work directly with people and families to think about what would take to get a gloriously ordinary life.
I choose those words carefully, as often it feels that the parallel universe of “Serviceland” takes over and steers people to the least ordinary life possible. This is often at huge cost to the public purse and immeasurable cost to the rights of someone to live, love and contribute.
I’m not really concerned about whether someone happens (like my kids) to live with complex autism, or (like me) with bi-polar disorder. Whether they are old, young or pottering along in middle age, I do have an uncompromising belief in the potential of people and their ability to take greater control of their lives.
As the commissioner, I will agree with you the parameters of the person’s budget; my bottom line being that we will spend no more than is spent on the current service, but that there must be genuine flexibility to spend money differently and more effectively for better outcomes.
I will always start with a telephone or Skype call with the person and/or their family to see if we feel like a good fit.
We will then plan how and when to meet so I can get a really good sense of who they are, what makes them tick and what a gloriously ordinary life would look like.
Over a few face to face meetings, we will reflect on life as it is now for the person, what “great” would look like and what it would take to get there. The outcome of my work will be a fully costed support plan, and hand holding for the family to make it happen, in partnership with statutory services.
We will also agree a process for them to share their learning as they start to get their gloriously ordinary life.