We can offer 1:1, autism-specific support for children and families within the community or in their own homes.
This support will be outcome- focused and can be used to help individual children with their specific goals and aspirations, such as building confidence and independence in the community, travel training to get to and from college or accessing social activities or groups. We can provide assistance to children to enhance their communication skills through the use of PECS and visual schedules.
It can also be used to assist families to develop strategies to support the child with autism. This may include toileting routines, sleep or bathing routines, or help for children to understand their autism diagnosis.
The support may also just be to assist families in their day-to-day lives, such as providing a few hours respite for a night out or some help in the school holidays to provide support to working parents.
Our Support Staff
Here at Autism Together we are aware that staff play a vital role in the welfare of the people we support. To make sure that staff have the skill and experience they need to support the children, we do the following:
- We employ enough staff and with lots of different skills to meet your needs.
- The staff are contracted to work a flexible rota, set in advance of the shifts required to be covered.
- We have recruitment policies and practices that respect equal opportunities and protect service users’ safety and welfare.
- The staff have a range of training, specifically designed to enable them to meet the needs of service users with an autistic spectrum condition and/or learning difficulties.
All staff receive induction and ongoing training, with enhanced autism and communication training included within this along with training to support other conditions associated with autism, such as epilepsy and diabetes. All staff are trained in Positive Behaviour Support, MAPA (Management of Actual or Potential Aggression) and Safeguarding Adults and Children at Risk.
Will I have a consistent support worker?
Within the Children and Family service we try to assign consistent support workers to children, however, this will depend on the amount of support that a child requires and the length of time it is required for. This may be one specific individual, or a team of two to three for someone who requires a lot of intensive support.
If only a specific individual is required, then we will only offer the support for up to 42 weeks per year as the staff member will have some time off for annual leave and training.
When can I have the support?
We try to be as flexible as we can with the support hours, however, as we support a number of families it is not always possible to accommodate all requests, therefore a degree of negotiation is always required. Support can be provided on any day of the year, apart from Christmas Eve/Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve/Day.
How much support can I have?
A support session will be a minimum of 2 hours. An individual child’s support level will be based on their individual needs which are assessed and the outcomes that the individual wants to achieve from the support that we offer.
How much does the service cost?
The service costs £17.50 per hour of support per staff member – this cost is the same regardless of if support is delivered at the weekend or during the week. This cost will rise annually in line with inflation and will be communicated to families in advance.
Food and activity costs for the time supported will be met by the individual/family.
Leisure activities unless otherwise specified will be paid for by the family. If in addition to this, if there is a staff cost for activities then this will be met by an individual/family.
Children/young people may be entitled to a free travel pass to use on public transport. However, if support is required on public transport, then the individual/family would be liable for the support workers travel costs. Should a vehicle be required to transport the individual, then the cost of this would need to be paid by the family/individual. This would be mileage charge for staff cars (if the staff member had business use), or petrol in mobility cars (should the driver meet insurance requirements).
How is the service funded?
The service can be funded through direct payments, personal budgets, privately or through a local authority or NHS commissioning.
What if I need to cancel my support?
If you need to cancel your support at less than one-week’s notice, then sessions will still be charged. Should you be able to give more than one week’s notice, then the support will be rearranged.
What if my support is cancelled for any other reason?
There may be occasions due to unforeseen circumstances that we need to cancel the planned support.
We would not take any decision about this lightly and would try to give as much notice about this as possible.
If we needed to do this, we would attempt to rearrange the support for you to an alternative date/time. Should you not wish for this to happen, then you would not be charged for the support.