Case Study 1

James's Story

James is 17 and lives at home with his mum and dad, mother and father and his two sisters. James is still in fulltime supported education and hopes to go to agricultural college when he is 18. The college is away from James’ home town and would require him to leave home for the first time.

While James has mild to moderate learning disabilities his parents have encouraged and supported him to have as independent a life as possible.

Like every other teenager James likes to buy things but he has no concept of managing money or what money is worth. His mother and father manage his DLA and provide James with a weekly allowance. He has no other funds although he may receive money from his grandparents for his 18th birthday.

While James is fit and healthy he requires on-going orthodontic work. His father usually goes with him to the dentist.

James, his mother and father have come for advice to see if they require to do anything to ensure their continued support for James in particular all the issues that may arise with his move to college. They are also wondering what would happen if anything happened to them and they were not able to provide support.

After taking legal advice and considering all of the options and the types of decisions that need to be taken for James, they have decided that the appropriate way forward is to apply for a guardianship order. This will give them the necessary on-going legal authority to act and make decisions about his future healthcare and financial affairs.