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  • in reply to: Growing up with Mental Illness in the Foster Care System #307

    1. What can Katie do within the next few months to assist Peter?
    There is obviously a priority on finding Peter a safe and stable place to live. Katie should reach out to local organizations that specialize in supportive housing for people struggling with severe mental illness to start. New Dawn Enterpirses is a Cape Breton based organization that looks to seek out apartments for people suffering from mental illness. If this is not an option then it is also a priority to maximize Peter’s income potential through disability in order for him to afford an apartment traditionally.
    2. What are structural barriers that impact Peter?
    Peter is dealing with mental illness and a substance abuse problem which obviously makes him marginalized and facing stigma, however he is also facing a lifetime history of feeling or being powerless within the child welfare system, both as a child in care and now as a parent of a child in care.
    3. What are alternative resources that may be helpful to Peter?
    I mentioned the supportive housing for people suffering from mental disabilities. Peter is also in a tumultuous relationship with the mother of his child, it may bring peace to his life if they attend relationship building.Also, Peter is involved in many social services like child welfare, addictions services, mental health services. There should be one person in charge of assisting him and bringing all of those arenas together , making sure to look after the whole package that is Peter.
    4 Is this more of an individual or systemic challenge (or neither)?
    Both, Peter faces many individual marginalization and vulnerabilities but one major thing that is bring all of these issues to a crux is the fact that he is “aging out of the system”. The fact that Peter has multiple vulnerabilities that he needs assistance but will not be receiving it because of a timeline/deadline is an example of how the system is failing him and possibility escalating his problems.
    5. Should Katie fill out Peter’s rental applications (as he struggles to fill them
    out correctly and apply by the deadlines)? If she does, should she mention Peter’s
    tenancy history?
    yes, Katie should fill out Peter’s applications. I think it would be more un-ethical to expect him to do it himself knowing his history and challenges. Any person relies on people within their support system to help where they can. Katie may not be family but she is a major part of his support system. She should lie on the applications but she should set up supports for peter that she can discuss with landlords as being in place to help Peter be successful in his tenancy.

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