It took some time, about a year. But finally, the powers that be have decided to let my son know where his future lies. (See post 14th April). As of this week, both Continuing Health Care and Social Services have agreed to fund his place at his residential home.
This means he can stay where he is happy and well looked after, and both of us can look forward to a more settled future. I no longer have to temper each decision with "If Steve comes/doesn't come home". I can plan for things more long term than next week.
I am thrilled he has his funding, and relieved he will stay in the place that is best for him. I am, however, very aggrieved that it took a year of wrangling and horse trading, appeals and counter appeals, meetings which were abandoned because the correct staff members didn't turn up, other meetings that were cancelled because the information wasn't in place, decisions that couldn't be made because someone was on annual leave (What? They only have one person who can deal with a case? What if, God forbid, something dire happened to that person?).
I made my position clear from the start. I wanted Steve to stay where he was, but I was well aware of the financial position and realised that we can't always get what we want. Therefore, I would accept the decision if it went against us, all be it with a heavy heart. I just wanted the situation resolved. I just wanted to know where we stood. Is that so much to ask?
The basic problem seems to be that the disabled and their carers are not classified by the authorities as people. We are counters on their snakes and ladders board, and as such we can be moved up and down at will, never quite reaching the end, and never quite mattering.
Steve and I deserve an apology for the stress, uncertainty and sheer bad manners that we have been subjected to. We won't get one. Alas, nor will we have the satisfaction of knowing that no other family will have to put up with similar treatment.
It's a disgrace.