The idea for this information sheet came from telephone interviews, a survey and in consultation with autistic adults as part of the work on the Capabilities statement for social work with autistic adults and in the development of this toolkit.
People told us it would be helpful to create a simple information sheet about the role of the social worker that they could share with autistic adults to support their understanding of wat a social worker does and does not do.
The information sheet comes in two parts, the first is this page which introduces the resource. The second page contain the information sheet which has been developed to share with autistic adults and their families.
When can this information sheet be used?
It can be shared with a person and/or their family before a visit, during a visit or after a visit from a social worker. It can be used to demonstrate the following areas of the Capabilities Statement in practice:
- Developing relationships with people and families
- Helping people to live the life they choose
- Recognising people’s abilities and strengths
- Promoting rights- based practice
- Pursuing partnership and co-production
- Being accountable
In line with the Capabilities Statement Practice section sharing this type of information with people can help to reduce anxiety, build trust and positive relationships with autistic adults. Sharing in advance of meeting the autistic adult will also allow time for processing the information and the opportunity to think about any questions.
All the information can be adapted to reflect people’s individual circumstances or local arrangements for the provision of social work.
There is an accessible version of the information sheet in Easy Read.
The points included are also reflected in the feedback tool that has been developed to share with autistic adults to obtain their views about the service they receive. Information received from autistic adults and their families can be used to inform critical reflection, learning and development and service improvement within organisations.
What social workers do
- Find out the best way to communicate with you
- Listen to you
- Get to know you
- Find out how autism and any other health conditions affect you
- Support you to do the things you are good at
- Find out the best way to work with you
- Go at your pace
- Identify the obstacles for you
- Understand how demands can impact on your ability to process information
- Explain what your rights are
- Challenge situations when your rights are ignored
- Explain how to access the support you are entitled to
- If you are a parent, support you in your role
- Support you with decision making
- Speak up on your behalf
- Work with you to develop a plan of support
- Work with you and other people and organisations to get the services you need.
What social workers don’t do
- Make a clinical diagnosis of autism
- Focus purely on a diagnosis of autism
- Focus on what you can’t do
- Make assumptions
- Apply rules to autistic adults that do not apply to other people about behaviour
- Ignore people’s past experiences of services
- Interfere in the lives of children and/or adults unless support has been requested or there is a concern about risks to a child.