Homes Caring for Autism is committed to providing specialist services for individuals with complex needs. In order to meet every individual’s needs in the most appropriate way for them, we undertake a thorough assessment process to fully evaluate every potential service user and determine the best possible support package for them.
Typically, the assessment process will be started following an initial enquiry from an individual’s social worker or family. This enables us to gather as much background information as possible about the individual from Community Care Assessment, support plan, psychiatry reports, person centred reviews, school reports and any other relevant documentation. We would then hope to speak to the people who know that individual best, be they residential support staff, teaching staff, the individual’s family or other professionals, in order to build a more personal perspective about what is important to, and for, the individual.
Once we have an understanding of an individual’s personality and needs, we would arrange to visit them in their residential or educational setting. The structure of such visits will be completely dependent on the person themselves but ideally we would aim to observe them participating in normal day-to-day activities. These visits offer us the chance to find out more about the individual from their current support staff.
Based on everything we have learned about the person we will create an Initial Assessment document. This will bring together our assessment and understanding of their particular needs and contribute to our decision about whether or not we would be able to offer the individual a suitable service.
For people who are autistic, changes in their lives can often be a source of anxiety and worry, and few changes are as big as moving home. At Homes Caring for Autism we believe that enabling someone to make a good start in a new service is of the utmost importance and can have lasting benefits for that individual.
The first stage in the transition process is a meeting involving people who know the individual well and have their best interests in mind. The people involved in each meeting will vary from individual to individual but is likely to include parents, social workers, teachers, support workers, medical professionals and other specialists. Such a transition meeting is important for us to gain a consensus opinion on what is important to and for the individual and tailor a transition plan to best suit their needs.
Following the transition meeting, we will prepare an accessible information pack about the new service for the individual and their current staff team to look at. This may include staff photographs, pictures of the environment, surrounding area and activities as well as a visual timetable of the transition plan.
Typically, the transition will be run by a small team of our staff. A typical transition might involve the individual being visited several times and us working with them alongside their current support team. This allows us to gain valuable information on how best to work with an individual and also allows that individual to get to know their new support team and begin to build good working relationships.
We will also begin the process of preparing person-specific training for the whole staff team including information such as a Communication Profile and a Time Intensity Model. These tools provide clear concise information about the individual’s preferred communication styles, together with detailed guidance about their anxieties, behaviours and how the individual will be supported.
During the transition, we would typically support the individual to visit the new service and participate in activities. If appropriate, these visits would also offer the opportunity for the individual to be involved in preparing their room; for example, shopping for furniture, curtains and bed clothes, with the aim of supporting the individual to make the move into their new environment as positive an experience as possible.
Here are some feedback quotes from professionals and parents involved with our team during an assessment and transition;
“We are both very happy with the assessment contents. A very thorough piece of work which covers all areas well. You have communicated well the sort of provision we are looking for to be able to develop our son to his full potential. You also provided a co-ordinated approach between HCA, college and family. An excellent job. Thank you.”
“……he called just to say how impressed he was by the way your visit was conducted. Feedback from the staff at the school was very positive, and he holds them in high regards. Also he feels the assessment itself is spot on and, again, ‘very impressive’.”
“What can I say - superb job. What a brilliant read with everything in it that needs to be and so well written in every way. Thank you to all the team.”