Friday, 16 July 2010

Hillingdon Council hang your head in shame

It is not often that I read something that brings me to tears, but today I write this with tears streaming down my face.

A friend of mine brought this to my attention.

A facebook group called Get Steven Home.

Here is the description of the group. It puts in in a way far better than I could describe to you.


The campaign to bring Steven back to his family home starts here.

Steven is a 20 year old man with autism. He loves music, swimming and Mr Bean.

Since December 2009, Steven has been incarcarated in a care home, against his and his family's wishes. He went away for three days respite as his father was unwell and hasn't been home since.

On 7th July, the London Borough of Hillingdon decided Steven would never be allowed to return to the family home as he is too great a risk.

Since being in the care home, occurances of his challenging behaviour have risen by over 300%.

In April, Steven was served a "Deprivation of Liberty" order as he escaped from the home and removed a man's glasses. No staff on duty noticed he was gone until he was out on the main road.

His clothes are repeatedly torn and he appears with bite marks on his arms and hands (not self inflicted).

He has tried to escape on several occassions.

He is repeatedly forced into a double bind situation where the managing aunthority create a situation that he finds difficult to understand and gets upset about. Steven reacts to the situation and then his reaction is used as evidence that he is too challenging.

In the last two weeks the London Borough of Hillingdon have cancelled Steven's much look foward to holiday and his overnight stays at home.

He is 20 years old and could be facing the rest of his life in an institution.


Who else has now read that with disbelief that a council could remove a much loved son from his family against his families wishes. His family CAN and WANT to care for him. What gives a pen-pushing beaurocratic council the right to do this?

He is autistic, he needs the support of his loving family around him. When did we go back to the dark ages when mentally ill or disabled people were put into institutions and then forgotten about?

Is it a way of saving money? Considering that most children who are diagnosed with autism and their families are offered absolutely NO support after diagnosis, I don't think so. Families I know with a child with autism describe the fight to get support as almost impossible, and trust me, It is a fight.

Hillingdon council are playing god, it is not their place to uproot Steven. It seems to be ALL or nothing. They give you no help whatsoever and hope that you go away. Or they remove the "problem" all together.

I cannot begin to imagine the pain that Steven and his family are going through. It is like a kidnap without the ransom demand.

What can you do?

Talk about this situation, let us not let Hillingdon council get away with this. On Social Media networks, with your friends, to the council in question. Stevens incarceration is unjust and unfair and they are trying to keep it quiet. Bring it to peoples attention.

Sign the petition

Join the facebook group

Get Steven Home

Don't let Steven be forgotten, I won't.

Big Fashionista x x


  1. This is shocking! I work with severely disabled children in a place which provides summer schemes and respite for the children and to hear of this going on it terrible! I have worked with some challenging children (and terrible parents!) but to change the life of someone with autism this much without any consent from the family or young person must be so distressing for him! I hope this can be put right soon.

    Also, I can't believe he's escaped several times without being noticed! If this is possible, it's putting him in more danger than being home is!

    Thanks for writing about this, great post xxx

  2. Thank you for your comment Lauren.

    It is a terrible thing that Hillingdon council are doing and awareness of this must be raised. please spread the word about steven and join the group.

    And please sign the petition

  3. Absolutely appalling - good for you publicising!

  4. Thank you Kellie for bringing this so powerfully to the attention of more people.

    As you know I am also a parent of 2 autistic teenagers and was shocked and appalled but sadly not surprised when I heard about what was happening to Steven and his family.

    The social care system in this country is fundamentally failing disabled children, young people, adults and their families. All they seem to do is crisis intervention (normally badly) and use this antiquated system to punish families rather than support them to stay together. If they could only provide more sustainable early intervention support packages it would save them millions on residential care which is often not what families want.

    Uprooting an autistic young person from everything and everyone they know does untold damage to them and totally undermines the confidence and self esteem that they have been supported to build up for many years by their families.

    This is meant to be the age of equal human rights and person centred services. Why do young people like Steven appear to lose these rights just because they are autistic?

    My family has also suffered at the hands of this inhumane social care system and my heart goes out to Steven and his family.

  5. If this is true, it is shocking. I'm always wary of emotional facebook groups but really this is dire.

    I just wanted to touch on something you mentioned, re the dark ages and locking in institutions. Whilst this is certainly true (if you haven't already read it then I highly recommend this book, in rural areas in the not so distant past (my fathers childhood) people with these kinds of problems often became The Village Idiot. The term of course is vile and outdated thank god, but in essence the whole community would know, care for, look out for these people in a kind of extended family. This could never have happened, a whole community would have been up in arms. I suppose that in the absence of strong communities in many cases, facebook is the modern day equivalent xx

  6. I'm afraid I don't know much about social services for disabled children and their families, but the charity I work for - called KIDS is brilliant and I would recomend it to everyone x

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  8. Why does this not suprise me. I get so angry with the council and government it literally makes me want to puke! Who gives them the damn right! They try to control people too much, dictating what they can and can't do. My mother had Altzhiemers. I contacted social services for help and they made things 10 times more difficult. I can go on and on about the system. They're the scum of the earth and I have no respect for them. I've recently developed a disability and believe me it's opened my eyes up. I've signed the partition and I'm all for it....thank you for posting. There should be more people sticking together in this way and stomp them down like flies.

  9. I've joined the group & signed the petition; here's hoping he gets home to his family very soon; heartbreaking story.

  10. I have aspergers which is a type of autism so obviously feel very strongly about this , to bve treated in this way is appaling Social services i think all over the country spends far to much time filling forms in and protocal instead of treating people as individuals . THe care for people over ther age of 18 is pracrically non exixtant but can only do so much it needs people like yourselves to rise awareness i am able to portest about such matters for myself and others but so many cant

  11. Heart breaking. Sickening. Hateful. There just aren't any words that describe how vile this situation it. I really hope he gets to go home soon. :( xxx


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