All-Age Autism Service

Warwickshire All-Age Autism Strategy Consultation - Results of Consultation

On Thursday 8 May 2014, Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet approved the new all-Age Autism strategy (2014–2017) and the associated action plan for its delivery.

Warwickshire are committed to commissioning high quality autism services and working with partner organisations to improve the lives and opportunities for children, young people and adults with autism. In order to achieve this, this three-year local strategy has been created with involvement and engagement from a wide range of people, including children and adults with autism and their families. Its purpose is to provide a clear plan for support in Warwickshire and identify objectives and actions, which reflect the local needs of people with autism whatever their age.

This strategy meets the council's statutory requirement as outlined in the Autism Act 2009 and the national Adult Autism Strategy, 'Rewarding and Full Filling Lives' 2010 which places a legal duty on all local authorities to develop and implement a local autism plan in partnership with health.

It provides a clear and consistent joined up approach to support throughout a person’s life. It also highlights the importance of personalised services and support offering individual’s more choice and control, with a particular emphasis on a clear plan and support when moving from children’s to adult’s services.

A co-productive approach has been adopted to shape and influence this strategy, a two phased consultation process was vital in order to initially gather people’s views on different areas of a person’s life and then undertake a ‘checking exercise’ for respondents to confirm accurate interpretation of these views as well as sharing future commissioning intentions.

Needs Assessment

A local autism needs assessment has been completed providing an analysis of the predominantly quantitative data, available locally and partners’ systems along with the publicly available information on autism at a national and local level. This supplements the qualitative information and insight gained from the consultation and together provides the most informed and accurate picture of autism in Warwickshire to date.

There is recognition that we do not have a comprehensive picture of the autism population in Warwickshire and this will be addressed through the implementation of this strategy.

Autism Partnership Board

Following cabinet endorsement of the strategy, an Autism Partnership Board will be developed, (a multi-agency group) including people with autism and their families. This board’s primary role and purpose will be to implement, monitor and track progress of the strategy & ensuring that progress is reviewed and updates provided to the board on a regular basis.

It is envisaged that there will also be a number of small sub-groups formed, whose role will focus on working on completing key actions for each of the seven strategic objectives outlined in the delivery plan. These subgroups will be required to provide regular feedback to the Autism Partnership Board on the progress of the delivery plan. Membership of these subgroups will include people with autism and family & parent carers as well as professionals from a range of different service areas and organisations.

Further details on the development of the Autism Partnership Board, including details on the recruitment and selection process will be available shortly.

The new strategy has 7 key strategic objectives, which look at the delivery of the strategy while bearing in mind the savings required from Warwickshire’s One Organisational Plan. The 7 key strategic objectives from the strategy are:

1. To develop a clear & consistent pathway including offer of support following diagnosis – This will support adults with autism to be diagnosed locally and offer support to people with autism and their families following diagnosis.

2. To increasing awareness and understanding of autism – Through training front line staff and professionals within local organisations and communities to have a greater understanding of autism, which will in-turn improve societal attitudes towards autism and promote a more positive image of autism and associated spectrum conditions.

3. Education, Learning & Employment – Provides a consistent, joined-up, approach to supporting people with autism to have positive experiences through increased access to education, learning and employment opportunities.

4. Transition into Adulthood – Looking at how services respond to young people with autism moving between children-focused to adult-focused services of support.

5. Access to Services and Support – Will focus on how people on the autistic spectrum can access both specialist and mainstream services that meet their care and support needs.

6. Community Life (Social Inclusion, Housing support and Keeping Safe) – This will focus on continued work with the voluntary and community sector to explore ways for local autism social and support groups to be further developed and to increasing publicity around the Safer Places Scheme and Autism Attention Cards to ensure everyone with autism are aware of these existing services.

7. Supporting carers and families of people with autism – This will part-focus on delivery of objectives from the Carers Strategy while looking at the commissioning of Short Breaks services for people able to self-fund and to explore and maximise all opportunities for co-production by the carers of people with autism.

Find out more about the all-age autism strategy on the Warwickshire Website: Warwickshire all-age autism strategy

All Age Autism Strategy Warwickshire (PDF, 1.24 MB)

Autism Strategy Delivery Plan (PDF, 552.87 KB)

ASD Needs Assessment 2013 (PDF, 714 KB)

Phase 1 Creative Consultation Appendix 2 (PDF, 1.58 MB)

Phase 1 Consultation Report Autism Appendix 3 (PDF, 326.19 KB)

Phase 1 Observatory Consultation Report Appendix 4 (PDF, 600.53 KB)

Phase 2 Consultation Report Autism Appendix 5 (PDF, 433.95 KB)

Phase 2 Observatory Consultation Report Autism Appendix 6 (PDF, 1.1 MB)

The art of consultation

View this photo gallery on Flickr

Autism Alert Card

autism alert card

The Attention Card is aimed at individuals who are likely to be out in the community on their own.

Autism West Midlands have developed the Attention Card in partnership with police services across the West Midlands. It has space on the back to include the contact details of a trusted person. In stressful situations professionals are able to contact this person. Cards are only issued from the age of 11 (when a child begins secondary school). If your child is younger than this small cards will be sent out indicating that they have autism, and what this means. For further information or clarification please call the helpline on 0303 03 00 111.

If you or someone you know needs to carry this card, you can apply for one online. Just complete the form and your card will be with you within 3 weeks (usually sooner).

To apply for an Attention Card or for more information:

Who can access the service?

You can apply for support if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • You must live in Warwickshire.
  • You must have a diagnosis of autism, an autism spectrum condition or Asperger syndrome.

What does adult autism and asperger service do?

We have to make sure that we help those people with the greatest need for support. To do this we use the Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) eligibility criteria. We will discuss this with you at your assessment.

If you are not eligible for help from us, we can give you information about other organisations that may be able to help you.

The service can provide support if:

  • You need to develop sustainable networks to help you avoid crisis.
  • Your main carers, relatives, friends or neighbours who provide a lot of help cannot continue to provide all the help you need.
  • You are a carer and you are putting your own health and welfare at risk because of your caring tasks or you might need support to continue in your caring role.

And you need help with:

  • Planning daily activities and routines that will help promote or maintain independence.
  • To understand and develop your personal social network.
  • Signposting to other services/agencies who may be able to help.
  • Finding housing or specialist housing related support.
  • Help to set up home or develop more independent living skills.
  • Accessing social activities.
  • Referrals to adult health services.
  • Support to access employment.

The service does not:

  • Diagnose you. If you need a diagnosis you should contact your GP for more information.
  • Assist you in a mental health emergency or if you require hospital treatment.
  • Help with a medical emergency. If you have a medical emergency you should contact your GP or their out of hour’s service.
  • Provide Crisis support – we will help you put strategies in place to avoid crisis wherever possible and ensure you are supported through a crisis with help from other services.
  • Provide you with counselling or therapy.

How do I access the service?

You need to contact the customer service centre on 01926 410410.

If you do not feel comfortable in using the telephone, you can ask a friend or relative to support you. Or you can complete the Referral Form (DOCX, 306.89 KB) and email it to: ac-sswebenquiries@warwickshire.gov.uk.

We do provide an emergency social work service at night, weekends and on all public and local authority holidays, wherever you live in the County. Call us on 01926 886922 outside office hours only

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What happens next?

Once we have received your referral form one of the team will contact you. If you are eligible for support you will be allocated a named worker who will visit and plan with you how they can help.

Warwickshire All-Age Autism Strategy Consultation – Phase 1

Please Note: Phase 1 of the All-Age Autism Strategy consultation is now closed.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete one of our surveys, we received back:

 

  • 268 completed Adult Surveys;
  • 75 surveys completed by people under the age of 16; and
  • In addition to these, 11 schools across Coventry and Warwickshire took part in our highly-innovative Creative Consultation Process.

Respondents were asked to express an interest in being further involved in co-producing and monitoring delivery of the Strategy and we received 121 responses.

Creative Consultation

wooden mannequin

Children and young people who face barriers with both written and verbal communication can sometimes be “unheard” by more traditional approaches, such as questionnaires and focus groups. We looked for a method of engaging that did not rely totally on language to articulate thought, aspirations and experiences.

In a first for the development of an autism strategy, we commissioned an artist to deliver workshops in 11 non-mainstream schools and further education colleges, working with the overarching question of “what’s important to me?” The workshops explored key aspects of a person’s life, including education, transitions to adulthood, diagnosis and post-diagnosis support.

Wooden mannequin with artwork

An immediate challenge was to find an experienced artist, who was confident in their own medium, but also able to extrapolate, interpret and evaluate the information generated to ensure it influenced our strategy.

We wrote a comprehensive artist brief, which was circulated countywide and requested more than 130 times. We received 18 completed applications from artists and four shortlisted candidates were interviewed. The appointed artist, Janetka Platun, had a specific interest in this area of work, having previously completed a comparable project for the Scottish Arts Council.

4 copy

In total, the artist worked with 147 children and young people, using a wooden mannequin and an array of materials to create a visual “story” or picture that was then photographed.

She used this as the visual prompt to explore this story further. Participants could talk to her about the image as it was personal and unique to them, and the interaction didn’t rely on the social cues of direct conversation which some people with autism struggle with.

Each school and college received an individual and collated report detailing the themes of the artistic consultation session, artwork and quotes from the participants.

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A further challenge has been managing the expectations of colleagues and the participating schools and colleges. This was not about measuring the quality of the finished artwork, it was about offering a process that enabled and supported the different ways in which people communicate, without being language-driven.

In comparison to the 147 participants of the creative consultation, we received 75 responses to the online questionnaire, which explored the same areas, specifically targeted at young people 16 and under.

The creative consultation enabled us to reach and consult with more than double the number of young people than if we had been using the questionnaire alone. It ensured their views and aspirations were heard and highlighted the benefits of offering a diverse range of consultative approaches.

Our success challenges the assumptions that people who face barriers with communication cannot be meaningfully engaged, and fully participate, in expressing their views.

What Adults Told Us

  • Diagnosis should be accessible and a smooth process, with the right support throughout and after diagnosis. Also highlighted was the need for improved training and awareness of autism.
  • Educational opportunities should include social skills training and be flexible and adaptable to the needs of students with autism, and again have a smooth process for moving between schools and colleges.
  • The transitions process, moving from children’s to adult services should be smoother, with clear assessments and plans with the involvement of family and support networks, with Organisations working in partnership
  • There should be increased awareness and understanding of autism in the community and within organisations/professionals. Awareness training in schools was highlighted as way of improving this.
  • There should be opportunities for people with autism and their carers to be involved in developing services and support, be able to access services effectively and have increased independence.
  • Social and support networks, like peer and mentoring schemes should be developed and that people with autism should not face barriers to social inclusion, with training in life and social skills and increased awareness and understanding should be implemented
  • There should be increased opportunities and support for people with autism to enter and remain in the workplace with training and awareness raising for employers being strongly noted.
  • Housing and accommodation should be flexible and people offered support and advice to ensure they are able to choose the right options for them, with respondents noting that increased support for families to continue to support people within the family home, and having more accessible information available was required
  • People with autism should be safe from abuse and be aware of and able to use local resources and projects to keep safe, with again increased awareness and understanding being highlighted as a need, especially within Emergency services

What Children and Young People Told Us

  • A need for access to good information and to understand autism, and for families to understand autism
  • Having good support to move through significant events, like changing schools, transitions and ensuring there are clear care plans in place
  • An increased need for better awareness and understanding of autism to stop bullying in schools and colleges, this was a strong theme.
  • Having autism means for many children and young people that they don’t go out socially with anyone other than close family.

 

 

All-Age Autism Service was last updated on August 21, 2014.