Learning Disability Week 2019 is the 17th to 23rd of June. POhWER will share one client story each day to show how we support people with learning disabilities.

Today's story is

Holly’s Story

Holly is a 60 year old woman who lives in supported accommodation. She has a learning disability and also suffers with anxiety and a form of paranoid psychosis.

Holly can communicate verbally but has difficulty processing information and needs someone with her who can read information to her. She also finds Easy-read information with pictures and symbols helpful.


Holly was referred for advocacy under the Care Act to support her with a safeguarding enquiry into allegations of financial abuse by Holly’s sister-in-law who is appointed to manage her money. Our advocate Sonia made contact with the Social Worker who had referred Holly. They arranged a joint visit so that the Social Worker could explain the safeguarding enquiry and Sonia could explain her role as an Independent Advocate to help Holly understand and be involved in the process.


Sonia and the Social Worker visited Holly at home when her support worker was present. The Social Worker explained that concerns had been raised about how Holly’s money was being used because there were unexplained transactions on her bank statement. Sonia provided Holly with an Easy Read leaflet about advocacy and gave her a short, clear explanation of what advocacy is.


Sonia spoke to Holly alone to check that she understood why the safeguarding investigation was happening. Holly understood it was about her money but did not feel her sister-in-law would take her money. She said she would like someone to support her to look at her bank statements in future so Sonia asked the support worker to start doing this.


Holly said she would like Sonia to support her through the safeguarding process. She said she would like the Social Worker to speak to her relatives to clarify the situation then come back and explain it to her. It was agreed that when the Social Worker had completed her investigation Sonia would return to support Holly to understand the findings and decide what she would like to do.


The Social Worker wanted to assess Holly’s financial understanding so they made another joint visit so Sonia could support Holly whilst she did this. Sonia spoke to Holly alone and checked if she had any worries or concerns or if there was anything else she wanted to say. She said she was concerned that the Social Worker had not spoken to her brother yet as she had told him that he would be getting a call. Sonia reassured Holly that the Social Worker would be contacting him soon.


The Social Worker spoke to Holly’s family and kept in touch with Sonia while the investigation was completed. Sonia then returned to support Holly in a meeting with the Social Worker, her support workers and her family. The Social Worker explained that the investigation had found explanations for all the transactions on Holly’s bank statements and that there had been no financial abuse by her sister-in-law. Sonia checked that Holly understood why they were talking about her money, why there had been concerns, what the investigation had found and that she was happy for things to continue as they were - she said she was.


Holly thanked Sonia for her support and gave feedback about her experience of the safeguarding process.