Priority 3: Develop a range of organisations locally with the skills to support autistic people

Ensure that a wide range of organisations that can provide skilled support and services are available and accessible in local areas to meet the health, care and education needs of autistic people. Enhance the skills of our existing workforce to achieve more personalised support from services through an increased understanding of autism across the workforce, from awareness raising through to specialist autism expertise.

This objective aims to ensure that where autistic people require support, that there is a choice of organisations and providers who can offer personalised, skilled and high quality support. Some services will be formally commissioned by statutory bodies and other support will be available through the voluntary sector and in local community networks. All of these services and support networks need to be connected to each other and the autistic community so they can meet the needs of autistic people. Where people are eligible for support through the local authority or the NHS we want to make sure there are providers available who specialise in supporting autistic people and who have an appropriately skilled workforce.  

I statements

  • I have a network of people who support me – carers, family, friends, community and if needed paid support staff.
  • I have choice and access to a range of support that helps me to live the life I want and remain a contributing member of my community.
  • I have care and support that is directed by me, responsive to my needs and helps me to live independently
  • I am supported by people who help me to make links in my local community.
  • I have considerate support delivered by skilled people who understand that I am autistic and how this affects me in different settings and in all aspects of my life.

What we will do

3.1 Work with charities and other third sector organisations to map the support available for autistic people in local areas and strengthen the enablement offer by ensuring this community support is autism friendly.

3.2 Develop local specialist education provision to meet the needs of autistic young people with high support needs. This includes both school age and increasing local options for post 16 provision for autistic young people.

3.3 Develop the market for community and accommodation- based support for autistic people (including short breaks, respite, supported living and residential services) ensuring a personalised approached which promotes independence, autonomy and self-care

3.4 With housing leads and housing providers, develop suitable housing options to enable people with autism to live independently, supported by skilled staff where needed. This will include developing a joint approach to commissioning autism friendly physical environments, using tools such as NICE endorsed checklist, to respond to sensory needs of autistic people.

3.5 Connect organisations and people who provide support through regular conferences and training opportunities and develop pathways of support that are easy for people to navigate.

3.6 Develop a systemwide workforce development plan for autism, including identification of training needs within education, primary care, acute hospitals, mental health services, community services, and for unpaid carers and families and development of new roles.

3.7 Work with Universities and Colleges to include learning objectives relating to supporting autistic people in training programmes and professional qualifications for all health, social care and education staff groups.