Change that leads to better lives

Helping Cliff

Staff from Advocacy Focus talk about how they initiated a Section 21a challenge to help Cliff into a new home that he was happier with.


Cliff lived in a care home where he has lived for the previous four and a half years. Cliff is 50 years old and has a diagnosis of Korsokoffs Dementia, although he is very high functioning, and has a good memory. He is unable to understand and accept risk, and cannot foresee risky behaviour rending him open to harm.

Cliff was unable to access the community unsupervised and could only do so with the support of care staff. He lived in a 24 hour supported environment with three males and one female. Cliff had his own bedroom where he tended to segregate himself, and not mix with the others. His motivation and morale where very low, and he tended to isolate himself, and would not take part in activities.

How did we help?

Cliff was under a Deprivation of Liberty Authorisation. He had a Section 21a Court Challenge instigated in 2016 which concluded that it was in his best interests to remain in his current placement. But that the Local Authority, and other professionals involved in his care wanted to continue to try to promote community access and work on these skills. Sadly this did not happen.

Our Advocate began working with Cliff in 2017 and had established clear and consistent wishes from him that he was unhappy with his current living arrangements. She once again initiated a further Section 21a Challenge.

What was the outcome?

Cliff’s social worker as part of the court process began to look at alternative placements that could be available to him. A Residential Rehabilitation Placement was found, and Cliff has now been moved to a new environment which is less restrictive. He now has more independence, unsupervised community access (following a risk assessment) and is free to access the community on his own.

Cliff is also living with new people who are more suited to him, and is now building a good relationship with his new staff team and his peers. The aim is that he spends a period of time in this less restrictive environment to build on daily living skills, including cooking, washing his own clothes, and general day-to-day running of a home, before his social worker considers and assesses whether or not he can live in the community in a flat of his own.

Cliff was very unhappy with his living arrangements. By having an Advocate this allowed him to be able to express his thoughts and opinions independently. Cliff knew that his Advocate was there purely for him, and to find out his thoughts and desires for his future. He was always open and honest with his Advocate, and said that he feels like his Advocate is “on his side”.

Why was advocacy support so effective?

Cliff had someone independent and confidential to talk to about the emotional upset he was experiencing. He was made aware of his rights, and aware of his right to challenge aspects of his wellbeing that he was not happy with. Cliff built up a very productive and trusting working relationship with his Advocate which resulted in the right outcome for him.

Without advocacy, Cliff could have potentially remained at his old placement for years to come being desperately unhappy.

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Gail Petty

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