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 support.
We’ve worked with the National Autistic Society and Skills for Health to develop resources to help you ensure your workers have the right skills and knowledge when working with autistic people.
What is autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with other people and how they make sense of the world around them - autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people.
It's a spectrum condition - this means that all autistic people share certain difficulties, but their condition will affect them in different ways.
Some autistic people also have a learning disability, mental health issue or other conditions. This will affect the level of support that someone needs.
How can we help?
Our resources explain what skills and knowledge workers need to support autistic people, their carers and families.
We also have resources to support adult social care employers to develop the skills of your staff when working with autistic people.
Get involved in our work
Review the 'Autism core capabilities framework'
We're working with the National Autistic Society, Skills for Health and Opening Minds Training and Consultancy to develop a new autism core capabilities framework. The framework in scheduled for completion by the end of June 2019, and we’d like as many people as possible to review the draft framework and take part in an online survey as part of the consultation process. If you'd like to get involved, register your interest here.
Learning disability and autism training for health and care staff
The government wants to know how they can make sure that health and social care staff have the right training to understand the needs of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people.
We're supporting their consultation which considers issues around the training and development that staff need to better support these people. It’ll ask people what they think about their proposals on the content of training, how training should be delivered, how to involve people with a learning disability and/or autistic people in training and how to monitor the impact of training.
Read more about the consultation and feedback online here. The consultation closes on Friday 12 April 2019.
What skills are needed to work with people with autism?
The Autism skills and knowledge list sets out the skills and knowledge adult social care workers need to deliver high quality care and support for autistic people.
Care workers can use it to see if they have the right skills and knowledge.
It will also be useful for people who are arranging or providing training to workers.
Please note, we're working with the National Autistic Society, Skills for Health and Opening Minds Training and Consultancy to develop a new autism core capabilities framework. The framework in scheduled for completion by the end of June 2019. If you'd like to review the draft framework or get involved in an interview, register your interest 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.