When Brendan was 13, his grandparents couldn’t look after him any longer, so they sent him to live in a foster home. Because Brendan was under 18, the law saw said he needed a guardian to make life decisions for him. This included decisions about where he lived and where he went to school. The Department of Human Services (DHS) became Brendan’s guardian. This meant that people working at DHS could make life decisions for Brendan.
Brendan was having trouble at school. His school were not giving him the support he needed to learn as well as he could. Brendan needed an aide and an individual education plan. But his school was not giving him to get this support. Because of this, Brendan started leaving school during the day to hang out at the park. He didn’t feel like there was any point going to school.
The Department of Human Services found out that Brendan wasn’t doing well at school. They thought the best thing was to send Brendan to a special school. Brendan’s mainstream school also wanted Brendan to go to a special school, because they said they couldn’t support Brendan.
Brendan really didn’t want to go to a special school. He wanted to go to a mainstream school, and have the same opportunities as young people without disabilities. But Brendan felt that nobody was listening to him. So Brendan contacted the Youth Disability Advocacy Service.
Brendan’s advocate helped him stand up for his right to go to a mainstream school. She spoke to DHS and Brendan’s school, wrote letters and went to lots of meetings. Brendan and his advocate decided the best thing was for him to start at a new mainstream school that would support him better. They chose a new school, and the advocate helped the new school get ready to support Brendan.
Brendan is now happy learning at his new mainstream school, which works really hard to support him.