The purpose behind putting together a centralised team for people with Learning Disabilities and Autism, is to deliver on our vision for a more tailored support service. This essentially means providing people the opportunity to enjoy a home of their own, in an environment where they feel safe, have friends and are encouraged or supported to live a healthy meaningful lifestyle.
As part of the Central Learning Disability and Autism Team, we are responsible for completing Adult Social Care Assessments and support plans, enabling us to deliver bespoke personalised care to each person we provide support to.
Within the local authority we are reviewing those who have either a learning disability or autism that have been placed in residential care, and reassessing their needs. We look to establish if these could be met within a supported living environment which may provide them with a better quality of life. As part of the team, this will be part of your role when reviewing and reassessing our service users.
The team are responsible for managing risk and completing risk assessments, managing safeguarding concerns, completing mental capacity assessments, making applications for Surrey County Council to be appointed as financial deputy where appropriate as well as community DOLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) applications.
Why has the team been put in place?
Individuals who have a learning disability or autism often 'fall between the cracks' because there is a lack of knowledge around how they should be supported as individuals and the eligibility criteria being misapplied. The statistics show that people with a learning disability or autism are less likely to access education or employment enabling them to make a valuable contribution to society. They are also more likely to have additional physical health conditions.
Working alongside central government, we are aligned to the nation-wide plan which requires local authorities and the NHS to review the support that is currently provided to people with a learning disability or autism.
We appreciate that this area needs a considerable amount of co-ordinated help to ensure people can take or retain their rightful place in our communities, have more choices about where they wish to live and that such resources are available in a crisis or as part of their long term planning.
We do not wish to continue supporting the idea people should have to spend their lives aspiring to a room in a residential care home. We are also determined to ensure people become active in the decisions that affect them and have the ability to use their power of being a consumer to change attitudes where needed. We will do this by making a direct payment option front and centre to ensure the outcomes identified in their support plans are delivered.
In addition to developing a specialist team to support people with learning disabilities and autism, there has been a cost of care project which has been running concurrently to ensure that services we commission provide value for money and meet the needs of the individual. This has involved an extensive look at how we as a local authority commission our services for people with learning disabilities and moving forward how we will do this differently.
By setting up a specialised centralised team, the local authority will have access to a specialist team who can support the most high needs and complex of service users but also provide advice and guidance to our Adult Social Care Team's who will continue to support individuals with a learning disability or autism.
This is an exciting opportunity for anyone looking to work in the Central Learning Disability and Autism Team. As a new team still in its formation stages, every team member will have a valuable contribution to make in setting up the team and ensuring its success. Being part of this new team will no doubt stretch every team member and as it's a new team which is being built from the ground up, you will have an opportunity to develop a new host of skills. The Central Learning Disability and Autism team will also be a specialist team enabling you to develop specialist knowledge around learning disabilities and autism.
While having a background in learning disabilities and autism would be ideal, do not let this deter you as you will have transferable skills around completing assessments, support plans, risk assessments, safeguarding and so much more. It is however essential to have a positive attitude towards making a difference and a willingness to develop knowledge around learning disabilities and autism.
Being part of the Central Learning Disability and Autism Team will provide you with the same benefits and career opportunities as a generic social care team including the opportunity to apply for promotions including your social work.
Nikki Browne is our team manager. Nikki will be assisted by four assistant team managers. Together they will provide all the support and encouragement to allow staff in the new team to really apply their skills to help change lives forever for the better.
The team is backed fully by the Adult Social Care Leadership Team and across the council by many other essential specialists, including Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), our improvement partner. We are therefore expecting a multidisciplinary and a focused approach to our interventions.
We have a number of positions available ranging from our unqualified roles of social care assistants and senior social care assistants to our qualified roles of social workers, senior social workers and assistant team managers. We would also be happy to consider ASYE candidates.
The work of the team will be organised around four themes:
- Building community capacity and access to universal services- connecting people to people.
- Shaping independence and day opportunities-developing support that helps people acquire everyday skills for an independent life, creating the opportunities to be in paid employment.
- Transforming accommodation and support – having conversations with people about obtaining a home of their own, with the right networks of support around them.
- Delivering an 'Own front door' programme – ensuring people who wish to move, are fully involved in the development phase and ensuring the complicated processes to enable this to happen are as smooth as possible.
Each of these themes are interdependent, as is every member of the team. We have set extremely challenging targets for the team, but realise it will take time to achieve them all.