Brian's Story

Since he was 10 months old Brian has been involved with an array of state services. Abused as a young child, Brian was taken from his family and placed in foster homes and special education residences. When he aged out of school at 21 his services ended. Brian was not prepared to manage life on his own.

Brian meeting with his guardianRichard Julian, Brian's public guardian, tried unsuccessfully to find help for him. Brian's disabilities, though severe when combined, were not severe enough individually for him to qualify for services. Richard said not being able to secure services for young adults like Brian is particularly frustrating when you realize what “a staggering difference” these services make in a person’s life. It took an appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court before Brian was at last found eligible for Area Agency services. The decision can too late; Brian went to jail shortly before the Moore Center was able to begin providing services.

Granite State Guardianship Services has had several wards in situations similar to Brian’s. Transition planning for most of these young people has been inadequate. Richard talked about his experience, “There isn't a plan. There is this gap between the adult services and the school that I thought was supposed to have been closed many years ago.” Richard is not hopeful about what the future holds for Brian. “When (Brian) leaves jail, there will be no placement plan, unless possibly the probation officer orders him to go to a particular address.” Brian’s goal is to stay out of trouble when he gets out of jail. He’s not planning to look for work. “No one’s going to hire me anyway”, he says. “They never do.”

What would it have taken to prepare Brian for the adult world? Richard thinks providing Brian with a vocational program that included on the job training and practical life skills would have been helpful. A real transition plan that guaranteed training after graduation could have provided Brian with the structure and support he needed to learn a vocation. Instead of working Brian is languishing in jail. The cost of Brian’s incarceration is considerably higher than the cost of supporting him to be a productive, contributing member of his community.

 

updated July 20, 2017