This article is part eight in a series. For the full series, go here.

Some readers may find aspects of this article distressing.

Jack* hasn’t seen his father, David*, and stepmother, Karen* in nine months. He’s 25 and has autism, an intellectual disability and epilepsy. Because of his high care needs, several years ago his parents (who are separated) decided to place him in the care of a public guardian to better manage his care.