MAPS Advocacy: Sam's Story

Sam, a 17 year old care leaver, was at risk of becoming homeless but her volunteer Advocate helped her to secure a Care Leavers support package, including a secure home.

Sam, a care-experienced 17 year-old, self-referred to MAPS Advocacy having been declined Care Leaver’s support by the local authority. Sam was facing homelessness, having spent a while sofa surfing at friends’ houses. She had just been offered emergency accommodation out of borough, but this meant it was difficult to maintain her connections with friends and family. Sam was unsure what the future held and the uncertainty was very stressful for her. 

Sam met with her Advocate, and explained all the history of her care experience, providing as many details and dates as possible. The Advocate was then able to start a dialogue with the local authority, seeking clarification on their process and decision making throughout the years they’d been involved with Sam and her family. The Advocate also sought reflection on those decisions to ensure that Sam had been offered all the support she was entitled to. The dialogue was complex, involving several contacts from the local authority as well as a housing officer.

Throughout the time, the Advocate stayed in contact with Sam, clarifying the responses from the local authority and Housing Office. Amidst all the uncertainty, Sam was able to find a full-time role with a local company, meaning the need to return to Sutton became even more pressing. As a result of the Advocate’s careful communication and examination of Sam’s case history, the local authority reached the conclusion that Sam would be entitled to a Care Leaver’s support package, providing Sam with a secure home and a personal advisor to support with taking the next steps into early adulthood. Sam was incredibly grateful for the support from MAPS Advocacy and found it difficult to express the impact that the change in the local authority's position would have on her life. 

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