"As an autistic care leaver, the hardest part of dealing with the Covid pandemic has been the neglect and lack of support I have experienced at my accommodation," writes Kerrie Portman in the Guardian. "When lockdown began, nearly all my university classmates went back to live with their families. But I don’t have the emotional support or safety net of a family. I didn’t see anyone I knew for 13 weeks."
Portman described becoming ill while staying in accommodation. "Though I told staff at my accommodation and my local authority, nobody got in touch to see if I needed anything. I had to self-isolate and suddenly I wasn’t in control of basic things, such as getting food or topping up my electricity. During my illness, my electricity was cut off, I ran out of food and was forced to skip meals to make it through the week."
Portman outlines some steps that social workers and leaving care personal advisers can take to ensure the young people they work with are properly supported throughout this crisis and beyond.