Handling with care

Handling with care

July 28, 2015

28 July, 2015

The aunt and uncle of a 16-year-old boy with Down Syndrome needed help finding the boy a place to live after his mother died of cancer. They were concerned that they would not be able to care for him because they lived 270 kilometres away, both worked odd hours, and, due to their age, wouldn’t be able to look after him on a long-term basis.

The aunt and uncle of a 16-year-old boy with Down Syndrome needed help finding the boy a place to live after his mother died of cancer. They were concerned that they would not be able to care for him because they lived 270 kilometres away, both worked odd hours, and, due to their age, wouldn’t be able to look after him on a long-term basis.

The nephew was receiving help from a Ministry-funded service provider in his community, but the agency said there was nothing it could do to help find somewhere for the boy to live. It suggested they contact the relevant children’s aid society.

Ombudsman staff contacted officials at the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, who were able to find the boy a family home provider in the couple’s community, as well as assign him a case manager and other local resources. The aunt and uncle were able to continue having a relationship with their nephew and were extremely pleased with his placement. The Ministry also said it would follow up with the local service provider, letting it know that its suggestion to contact the children’s aid society was wrong (as there were no protection concerns), and that it should co-ordinate with similar services in other regions to find the best possible solution for clients.