'A’ was a gentleman in his late forties with severe learning difficulties and 3 years previously the client was diagnosed with cancer. The client’s residential home contacted Advocacy as they believed that he should be given the opportunity to see his family before he died.
Unfortunately neither the home nor Social Services had contact details for them. It was believed that his parents were dead but that a sister, who possibly had mild learning difficulties, was alive. The home had an address for the sister (in a town in Wales) and had written to that address but got no reply.
The Advocate visited ‘A’ and agreed that he could benefit from family contact. It was established that ‘A’ had been in Social Services Care since childhood and had been moved all around the country – including living on the South Coast. The Advocate took the contact details for the sister and upon searching the electoral roll, found a possible match to someone with the same name and living in the same welsh town. A brief letter was sent asking whether they were related to ‘A’ (only name and birth date given) and the next day 'A’s mother called. The sister did indeed have learning difficulties and the mother lived close by to her and had seen the letter.
It seems that 'A' came from a large family and at the time of his birth his mother had felt unable to cope either financially or emotionally. The mother had always hoped that one day contact would be made but had not tried to find him as she felt shame that she had had to put her child into care. In due course introductions were made and the family were able to visit 'A'.