• Barbara

transition and poor banking

Life has continued to throw me the odd curved ball recently that has left me feeling once again a little out of control of events and decision making. This seems to be a reoccurring theme for many of us in receipt of direct payments and services that require assessments and reviews, and I am always surprised by my emotional responses to such events, as you would think that by know I would be used to them being a factor in our lives.

The two main events have been a ‘hiccup’ with payroll for Direct Payments, and the commencement of my daughter’s transition into adult services, both health and social!!

So what have the Local Authority been up to? Well, they have moved from a paper payroll and payslip system to an on line one. This was apparently piloted a month prior to going live and it worked out OK, but the day before this month’s pay day I received an email informing me there were problems with the new system. I would not be able to view my daughter’s PAs payslip and therefore be unable to pay her, unless she could access hers on line and show me the pay for that month. Unfortunately the PA was unable to access her on line account too. When I tried to notify the LA, they were not answering the phone or responding to email. So how was I to pay the PA? A paper payslip was in the post but may not arrive in time for pay day (which is a Friday). As I have a prepaid card I am unable to make an advancement of part of the salary to ‘tide over’ our PA. Fortunately the paper slip arrived in time and I duly made the salary payment, but in that 24 hours or so I was left feeling angry with the LA. How would they feel if HR informed them there had been a banking error and their pay may be late? As an employer do I not have a legal responsibility to ensure salaries are paid on the due date for hours worked? The LA did not seem to see the implications of their error. If I had been in charge of my own payroll like in my previous LA this would not have occurred. This just left me feeling that I had no control over a situation where I had responsibilities and was unable to take any action.

My daughter has now been allocated an adult services social worker so we can begin the transition from children’s services to adult. The named worker visited us at home to introduce herself and the process of transitioning. Once again my daughter will have to be assessed for the services she receives, but of course, there is new criteria to qualify for support. The social worker brought us a few information booklets and spoke a lot of jargon, which although I knew what most of it meant, specifically asked her to explain these to me. The main change for me as a parent, is that my daughter is seen as an adult and individual in her own right, and although I know this is how it should be, there is a part of me that will struggle with this. Taking out the emotional aspect of your child growing up etc, we are as a family, once again finding our lives at the mercy of others and a list of qualifying criteria . This may sound a little dramatic, but as you know, one incorrect sentence or missed out word can make a lot of difference on the outcome of an assessment and panel decision. As you all know, there is nothing worse than being under the scrutiny of others, baring your soul, detailing the care and support you need to be as independent as possible, for some one in a panel to decide if that ‘qualifies’ you for a service or Direct Payments.

Sadly, I fear and know, that this transition and assessment process will be a part of our lives for the 12 months at least, whilst ‘things’ are put into place. This will also include the discussion of housing opportunities for my daughter, she has already stated that she wants to leave home, be independent from us and have her own place. The social worker was a little vague on what that may look like. I can see a few discussions and challenges in the months ahead. Looks like I will have to take some control back, or at least be prepared to put up a fight.


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