It is estimated half a million people in the UK are living with Autism.
We estimate that over half a million adult social care workers support people who are living with a learning disability and/or autistic people in England.
It's vital that these workers have the right values, skills and knowledge to provide high quality, person-centred care and support.
We’ve worked with the National Autistic Society and Skills for Health to develop resources to help you ensure that your staff have the right skills and knowledge when working with autistic people.
Our resources explain what skills and knowledge workers need to support autistic people, their carers and families, and can help employers to develop their workforce.
We also facilitate an 'Expert group of people with a learning disability and autistic people' to support this work. Find out more about the group, including how to join, below.
Keep up to date
There's lots of work happening, nationally and locally, to develop and support the learning disability and/or autism workforce. Register to receive updates by creating an account on the Skills for Care website, and selecting the ‘Learning disability and/or autism’ option under the ‘Areas of interest’ section.
If you already have an account, login and click on 'Update your contact preferences' under the 'Manage account settings' box. You can then select the ‘Learning disability and/or autism’ option under the ‘Areas of interest’ section.
Read the latest newsletters here.
Mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and care staff - trials 2020
In November 2019, the Government announced the introduction of mandatory training in learning disability and autism for all health and social care staff, relevant to their role. This was in response to a consultation on the proposal of mandatory training.
Health Education England and Skills for Care are now working with the Department of Health and Social Care to find partners for these trials. We will be appointing a number of training partners/partnerships who will develop and test training methods and materials. An evaluation provider will also be appointed.
We are currently developing specifications for the trials and evaluation and intend to publish an invitation to tender soon.
Read the full briefing here to find out more and how you can get involved.
What skills are needed to work with people with autism?
The Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People (Nov 2019) sets out the skills and knowledge that health and social care workers need to deliver high-quality care and support for autistic people.
You can use it to support the development and planning of the workforce, and to inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes.
Skills for Care was involved in developing the framework in 2019.
Download the framework here.
Download the Easy Read version here.
Download a summary briefing paper here.
Increasing awareness and understanding of autism
Our Autism awareness learning resources lists training materials that have been developed by a range of organisations in the sector. The materials can help you to increase awareness and understanding of autism, so that your workforce better recognise and respond to the needs of autistic people.
Here are some other resources we've developed.
- How to do a great assessment for someone who has autism will be useful for social workers, community care assessors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals, including those who are working to assess people for benefit claims. It will provide these workers with the knowledge to undertake assessments with autistic people.
- How to be a great autistic individual employer is for autistic individual employers who are employing a personal assistant(s) for themselves or on behalf of an autistic person.
- How to be a great personal assistant for someone with autism is for personal assistants who are providing care and support for an autistic person.
Supporting autistic people to have meaningful personal relationships
Everyone has the right to have meaningful personal relationships, including people with learning disabilities and/ or autistic people.
It’s vital that adult social care workers have the right values, skills and knowledge to support people with personal relationships – and training is a vital part of this.
This guidance helps employers to think about how they can develop their staff through training. It explains what workers need to know and understand about personal relationships, and how you can create a workforce development programme.
The workforce supporting people with a learning disability and/ or autistic people
This research report (published in December 2018) explores the adult social care workforce supporting people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people, using data from the National Minimum Data Set for Social Care.
Here are some of the key findings.
- There were an estimated 665,000 jobs in the learning disabilities and/or autism workforce.
- 57,600 workers were in the local authority sector and 575,000 were in the independent sector.
Download the full report here.
Expert group of people with a learning disability and autistic people
Skills for Care has set up an expert group of people with a learning disability, autistic people and family members and/or carers. The group will get involved in different parts of Skills for Care’s and Health Education England’s work to help us to get better at what we do.
This is a great opportunity to do things differently. We want to develop true co-creation and collaboration - we want to share our power and we want to work together in new ways that really make a difference!
There will be lots of opportunities to get involved through:
- face-to-face meetings
- webinars and/or Skype
If you want to join the group, or know people that might be interested in joining, find out more here.