Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Where's the Care for My Sister?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Where's the Care for My Sister?

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Moore Reporter

THE sister of a disabled woman claims she has been left high and dry by the council over a delay in getting supported accommodation.

Joanne King has a range of physical and mental disabilities which mean she is not capable of taking care of herself and needs full-time support.

The 42-year-old was previously living in a retirement complex in Warwickshire with a small amount of help before coming to North Kenton in Newcastle to live with her sister Rachel.

But since the move, before Christmas, Rachel claims her struggling sister has received no help or an offer of her own supported accommodation - three months down the line.

She said: "Jo always comes to me for Christmas.

"This year, it was obvious that she wasn't coping. I asked her about it, and she said 'I don't want to go home - I can't cope - I want to be here.'.

"I contacted the Newcastle City Council, they've given her a band B and given her a social worker and access to the community mental health team - but everybody I've spoken to agrees she needs a high level of care, housing, and high level support.

"A woman at Your Homes Newcastle said 'putting her in an independent tenancy would be setting her up to fail.'" ."

Despite this, the sisters have struggled to find somewhere for Joanne to live. Though Rachel and Joanne's support team have all tried to contact the council for help, Rachel says they're yet to receive any.

She said: "The social worker, myself, and anyone else who has tried to get involved are banging their heads against the wall, because all we get from whoever it is sitting in an office somewhere is 'she does not meet the age criteria'. The age criteria is 55 and she is only 42."

The council says the delay is due to it waiting for information from Joanne's previous authority, rather than her age, but Rachel claims this is not true.

"Joanne moved here immediately before Christmas. We registered quite early online, because I knew that was the start of the process," she said.

"She needs supported housing, so we have to go through a social worker - and the social worker hasn't been told they're waiting on documents from Rugby. …

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