A lifeline for inseparable siblings

We worked in collaboration with the local authority, housing provider and Age UK to successfully help a
brother and sister with learning disabilities who’s existence only came to light following the death of their older brother.

For decades a family consisting of two brothers and a sister lived reclusively in one home with little to no contact with the outside world. The older brother was the sole guardian of the two younger siblings and had taken care of them all of their lives. However, when he sadly passed away authorities were unaware of the two that were remaining in the home. The brother and sister’s existence only became apparent when the council tax on the property had not been paid months later.

A social worker was assigned to the case told us that if they had not intervened when they did, the pair would not have survived. They had no hot water, heating or electricity since their brother had passed away and they were living off the bare minimum of food they had access to.

We were approached by social services looking for a placement for siblings. As they had never had any interaction with the outside world we knew it would be a difficult case but we wanted to do everything we could to help them. The brother and sister understandably found it very difficult to interact with others and local authority had to gain their trust with conversations through the letterbox. This meant that relocating them to one of our local care facilities wasn’t going to be simple, we needed build a strong rapport with them over the course of multiple joint visits. Once we felt we’d built a good relationship with them and we had their trust we requested that the family be allowed to become tenants. This was agreed and accepted by the housing authority and after some initial back and fourth visits to the property they both agreed to permanently move. This was a massive success and it was all made possible by the joint collaboration of Fosse, social services and the local housing authority.

However, that wasn’t all. The siblings had never received any income and although they knew what money was, they didn’t understand what its value was or what bills/payments could effect them. So, we reached out to Age UK to see if they could get some financial support. In doing so, the charity were able to provide them with thousands of pounds in benefits due to them never making a claim before.

The pair now live comfortably at the care facility with 24/7 care support from our staff. They are even attending all the lunch clubs and interacting with other residents at our social events as well as heading out on day trips, which is something that they have never done before!

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