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Autism Involvment Group (AIG) – 23rd January 2020

AIG meeting held on 23rd January 2020


This AIG discussions included:

Housing and Accommodation in the strategy – Sophie Holmes

Sophie began by explaining that the AIG were being shown the draft version of the Housing and Accommodation Strategy and gave some background information about why the strategy was being planned. The plan affects the DCC area, traditionally the two-tier authority has worked separately on Housing and Accommodation, this new strategy will have them working together. A new strategy is needed because not all people are able to live where they want to, residential care would only be used when needed and new builds would adapt to meet people’s needs.

AIG saw an illustration of a Housing Pathway as part of the strategy and how all the different kinds of Housing and Accommodation will work together, this included:

  • Supported Living, to promote independence
  • Home Ownership
  • Private Rental
  • District Council Housing, via Devon Home Choice
  • Carer Households
  • Extra Care Housing
  • Care Homes
  • Short Term Crisis Centre

Extra Care Housing will be for all ages and therefore included during discussions and assessments.

Sophie continued the presentation by talking about the five areas of focus, these include:

  • Build joint understanding of market towns and localities to inform development and increase opportunities for independent living.
  • Increase the supply of accessible homes through new developments or adaptations to existing homes.
  • Develop the housing market so that housing with care settings are more flexible, support a wider range of needs and a fair price for care.
  • Develop care/nursing homes for people with only the most complex health and care needs and frailties.
  • Support recruitment and retention of workforce through access to housing.

‘Next Steps’ which included:

  • The draft strategy will be shared with the Scrutiny Committee in January and Cabinet in March
  • Discussions with District Councils, partners, and stakeholders will be ongoing.
  • We would like the Autism Involvement Group to be part of the conversation and influential in achieving the aims.

Questionnaire re pre-diagnosis support – Sophie Holmes/Laura Lewis

The survey about to be sent out will be to people on waiting list for an assessment, and people who have had a diagnosis through DANA. It seeks capture the viewpoints of these people about what we can do while people are waiting.

There was clarification from Laura about why the AIG members are being asked to look at the e-learning questionnaire before it is sent out. It was to give members a chance to have some input.

AIG members were given a chance to ask questions give opinions about what the survey should include.

DFA Update– Sam Chew

New information about DFA groups running, which was circulated to all AIG members after the meeting.

Online Radicalisation Awareness Raising Campaign – Julie Richards/Leo Trimming

AIG members were shown the Safer Devon Website platform that contained information and a short film. The film showed an example of an actor playing a person who is has been radicalised, it tried to demonstrate how people are radicalised online, how they might behave and the language that they use.

Leo and Julie made it clear that identifying types of people who are likely to be more vulnerable to radicalisation, will help to protect those people from being exploited. Information on the website landing page says:

An important part of keeping people safe is protecting them from those who may try to groom and exploit them.

Support is provided by a range of organisations which work together to safeguard and protect people from those who seek to radicalise them.

Leo summed up the importance of safeguarding, and how we have a duty to vulnerable people and raising awareness using a counterbalance of views. When we talk to people initially, we help them move on to positive things, we don’t ask their political views.

Members then asked questions regarding the information that had heard and were given the chance to raise any concerns they had.