The story of Petr begins in an institution in Czech Republic where he was put at the age of 12. He spent 18 years in institutions, which had a huge impact on his life.
When we met him, he had a civil guardian and was living in a hostel. He didn’t have any support: no social worker,no network of people helping him, only one good friend who used to be his social worker.
He was put in a position of a “small child” although he was 30 years old. He did not have legal capacity and could not decide anything regarding his daily life or his finances. He did not know anything about self-advocacy. Nobody has told him that he could make his voice heard. It was not needed and wanted in institutions where he had lived.
The guardian did all his payments and administrative tasks without informing him of anything. He did not know how much his rent costs or how much he has on his bank account. His guardian thought it was not necessary for him to know such information.
He could only manage 4 euros (100 CZK) a week. He usually got the rest of his money for the week (around 18 euros, 500 CZK) every Monday under the condition that he documents all his expenses with receipts.
But Petr decided to change his destiny. He decided to ask for help to restore his legal capacity. So he contacted Quip and we helped him to prepare all the important documents for the court. The court confirmed restored his legal capacity and approved an agreement in support in decision-making between Petr and Radka, his only good friend and supporter. The intention was to create a guardian council but he did not have enough friends to join it.
We had to make a plan for Petr’s future life:
- how to adjust his finances in order to be more convenient for him, while protecting him
- find a flat
- find a job
- make friends
- go to a music festival
- regularly inform his mother how he is doing
Even though Petr does not like changes as he always says: “Changes are hard for me, I do not like them…,“ he managed to reach some of his targets.
Now, he has his own bank account registered on his name. He withdraws money every week from the ATM, lists the things he needs to buy and plan when to go to the grocery store. Radka, his supporter in financial decision-making, helps him and they check his bank statements together. He slowly learns how to communicate with authorities and how to make his voice heard. For the first time in his life, he went to buy a pair of shoes and a sweatshirt. He knows his shoe and clothing size, and where to shop clothing and shoes.
With the support of his social worker, he made a list of available flats nearby, communicated with real estate agencies, and visited 4 flats. But finally he did not decide to move from the hostel he lives in.
Changes are challenging, but also scary and demanding for Petr who had to deal with so many issues after the restoration of his legal capacity.
Together with his support, he started looking for a job. He made a list of local work possibilities, consulted work places on open labour market with a local labour department, called and arranged meetings with employers before meeting them in person. Petr find out about work requirements, took into account his health, and finally decided to not accept any job. In his opinion, he has enough of money and he likes his current life as it is. Radka and his social worker thinks that it is not a wise decision but Petr feels fine.
He has his life under control!
Thanks to our partner QUIP for sharing Petr's story with us