A summary of Policy, Strategic Guidance and Codes of Practice relating to Children and Young People on the Autism Spectrum.
This summary provides an overview and could provide useful context when commissioning services or for providers being commissioned to deliver services for children and young people (CYP) on the autism spectrum. Please note that the Autism Act and Strategy focuses on adults only, although reference is made to transitions between child and adult services.
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AutismAct(2009)– the only ‘condition-specific’ legislation, for adults and not CYP but reference is made to transition from childhood to adulthood
‘Autism Strategy – Statutory Guidance’(2015) – section 2 of the Autism Act (replaces 2010 guidance), introduced the annual local Self-Assessment Framework to demonstrate progress being made in implementing the Autism Strategy. Part 3 covers ‘Planning in relation to transitions from school / college to adulthood’
Mental Health Act– amended the 1983 Act rather than replaced it for England and Wales, aimed to tackle concerns about people with a serious mental disorder living in the community. New definition of ‘any disorder or disability of the mind’, it also excluded people with a learning disability unless ‘abnormally aggressive or showing irresponsible conduct’. Creation of an ‘Approved Mental Health Professional’ (AMHP) and a ‘responsible clinician’ (RC). From 2010 to ensure that CYP under 18 must be treated in ‘ age appropriate settings’. Not autism or CYP specific.
TheCare Act(2014)– strong emphasis on preventing and delaying needs for care and support, promoting the need for stronger integration between social care and healthcare. Not autism specific.
The Equality Act(2016)– simplifies, strengthen and harmonises the current legislation to provide a new discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment. Not autism specific. However, it includes a section on codes of practice for service providers and users and technical guidance on reasonable adjustments for school / FE / HE providers, providing useful examples of good practice relating to CYP on the autism spectrum.
The Children and Families Act(2014)– generic but highlights new joint (education, health and care) arrangements for assessing, planning and commissioning services for CYP with SEND. Not autism specific
Future in Mind (2015)– national CAMHS taskforce report on CYP mental health. ‘Promoting, protecting and improving our children’s mental health and wellbeing’. Not autism specific but has a section on vulnerable CYP
TheLenehan Review – ‘These are our Children’ (2017)– the purpose of the review was to draw attention to the care, support and treatment provided to ‘CYP with complex needs and behaviour that challenges mental health problems, learning disabilities and / or autism’. Specific reference is made to: Integrated Personalised Commissioning, Transforming care, Transformation programme and generic pathway for CYP, Residential Care Review (Narey), Focus on Commissioning. Eleven recommendations made, with an emphasis on developing coherent multi-disciplinary services. Not autism specific, but very relevant and featured in the report