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Here’s a dilemma: You’re the parent of an adult with complex needs, and you wish to spend lots of time with your child. Yet to be the best parent you can be, you also need regular breaks and days apart.

What’s the solution?

Let’s ask Karen, the mother of Liam. Liam’s in his late twenties, and has a learning disability, autism, and other complex needs.

“As he is non-verbal, I rely on his behaviour to tell me how he feeling,” says Karen.

In order to balance being together with time spent separately, several years ago, Liam’s mum had worked out a unique placement with another social care provider.

Under the terms of the placement, Liam would spend time at a residential service for several days of the week, with long weekends and occasional days during the week at home arranged on an as-and-when basis with Liam’s support team.

“I realise this is an unusual and bespoke pattern of care,” says Karen. “But this works extremely well for Liam. It has always been very important to maintain family life with all members of our family.”

“But I am in no doubt about the high level of care and supervision that Liam needs, especially after living through COVID.”

A placement breakdown

This arrangement proved successful – until Liam’s previous provider said it could no longer support his placement during the pandemic. As a result, Liam moved back home full-time.

In late 2022, Karen got in touch with Lifeways to find a new placement for Liam.

Working with Kieran Money, one of our Enquiry, Referral and Assessment Managers (ERAMs), we were able to quickly accommodate Liam in a temporary placement at Kingdom House, our Sheffield residential service.

From the first point of contact until moving in, the transition took less than two months.

While there, Liam and mum Karen were able to restart the arrangement that had worked so well -with Liam dividing his time between home and the Sheffield residential service.

Moving closer to home

However, Sheffield was far from Liam’s home near Castleford. So when in spring this year a new placement opened up at our Whitwood Hall residential service, our referrals team was quick to help Liam make the move.

In May, Liam moved from Kingdom House to Whitwood Hall’s specialist service, The Lodge.

The Lodge is a four-bedroom service with an open plan living room, kitchen and dining area with an outdoor patio.

Liam’s mum is delighted at the transition – and how it’s helped Liam.

“He is settled, and appears really happy both at the Lodge and at home,” says Karen.

“The periods of distress that he has experienced over the years are much less and he is always happy to go to the Lodge and come home again.”

“This is the smoothest transition we have ever had,” Karen adds.

‘Quality family life’

To help make Liam’s placement even more convenient, his support team at The Lodge at Whitwood Hall regularly drive Liam to his mum’s house.

Caption: Liam visiting the Yorkshire Wildlife Park!

Today, Liam enjoys the balance of family life and his life at The Lodge. He enjoys going on day trips to nearby attractions, such as the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, and the Junction 32 shopping outlet in Castleford.

“Lifeways and Whitwood Hall has enabled us to have quality family life and good care and support for Liam,” says Karen.

It’s our pleasure to support you, Liam – and Karen, we love working with you to support this flexible placement!


About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community. 

Our 11,000 colleagues currently support close to 4,500 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales. 

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