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Nova - the path to her own front door

Nova Cox 031

Nova is in her 40s, friendly and fun with a wicked sense of humour. She has a moderate learning disability, autism, Tourette’s syndrome and epilepsy. These conditions impact on Nova’s ability to live her life independently.

As a child, Nova lived in a residential care setting and as an adult, she moved around various different models of support and location. Most recently, Nova lived in England for several years. She stayed in her own flat but was supported by care staff 24-hours a day. Following her return to the family home in Scotland, due to COVID-19, Nova made the decision to move here permanently, to be closer to her family.

It was agreed that Nova would live with her sister on a temporary basis until accommodation and support could be arranged. While social work agreed immediately to a full support package and budget, it was harder to find a place for Nova to live. Options around shared living were offered, as was a care home.

Throughout her life Nova has had many people make decisions for her which were not always the right ones. Fundamentally, Nova wants to live on her own. She has tried living with other people, and she did not like it. Nova was adamant that this is not what she wanted, and her family supported her to speak up for herself.

They did not know how to navigate the system and found their way to our national SDS service. Thanks to a significant amount of advocacy and partnership working across the family, housing and social work, the panel authorised a budget for Nova based on 24-hour support, and a brand new flat close to her family was identified. After 12 months of wanting to be in her own flat, and the impact on her own family of 24/7 support, Nova now has the keys to her own front door, and started 2022 in her own home.

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