Hackney Autism Alliance terms of reference

Note that this document is also available as a PDF.

  1. Purpose of the group
    1. The Autism Alliance Board is a consultative body of stakeholder representatives committed to working together to help autistic people and their carers in Hackney lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives.
    2. Hackney Council and City and Hackney CCG have established an Autism Board in response to the Autism Act (2009) and the National Autism Strategy (Think Autism : the strategy for adults with autism in England – 2014).
  2. Definitions
    1. It is recognised that there are a number of different terms used to describe autism, for example, autistic spectrum disorders or conditions, Asperger syndrome or neuro-divergence. For consistency with the national strategy and guidance and the Autism Plan for Adults in Hackney, the terms ‘autism’ and ‘autistic’ will be used in the context of the Autism Alliance Board. Identify-first descriptions (e.g. ‘autistic’ or ‘autistic resident’ rather than ‘resident with autism’) should be used.
  3. Aims and responsibilities
    1. To develop and agree the Autism Strategy for Adults in Hackney from 2017 to 2020. The intention is that this Strategy will also cover young people transitioning from Children’s to Adults Services.
    2. To govern the implementation of the Autism Plan to ensure its effectiveness and that it remains responsive to local need and national guidance and requirements.
    3. To provide progress reports to the Integrated Care Programme twice a year and an annual progress report to the Health and Wellbeing Board.
    4. To receive regular reports from work groups that feed into the overall work of the Board on key deliverables such as community engagement, work force development, service planning and autism pathways.
    5. Through a well-developed model of involvement, capture the widest possible range of autistic people and carer voices including those hard to reach.
    6. Share and disseminate information about the development of services and best practice examples to promote the improvement of services.
    7. To be advised on the use of future grant funding, where available, to be consulted on services that meet the objectives of the plan.
    8. Link with other partnership boards in Hackney, including the Mental Health Programme Board and the Learning Disability Section 75 Commissioning Board to ensure they are kept up-to date with the work of the Autism Board
    9. Link where appropriate with Autism Boards in other local authorities and the regional Autism Network, to share ideas and best practice.
  4. Membership
    1. Stakeholder groups represented on the Autism Alliance Board:
      • Autistic individuals
      • Family carers
      • Adult Learning Disability Commissioning
      • Adult Mental Health Commissioning
      • Adult Carers Commissioning
      • Learning and Development
      • Adult Social Care Assessment and Care Management
      • Children’s Services
      • Education
      • City and Hackney CCG
      • GPs
      • East London Foundation Trust
      • Specialist and general service providers
      • Healthwatch
      • Advocacy service
      • Job Centre Plus
      • Voluntary and community sector organisations
      • Housing
      • Police
      • Public Health
    2. Other representatives may be invited to attend as appropriate to the work of the Board.
    3. Members who cannot attend meetings of the Board should make this known in advance and where possible, organisations should send a suitable substitute (by prior arrangement).
    4. Members of the Board must adhere to the ground rules relating to behaviour and communication established by the Board. If they do not they may be asked to leave the meeting or step down from the Board.
    5. Recognising the potential for a conflict of interests, provider representatives must ensure they do not explicitly or tacitly use the Board as a platform to promote their own organisation. If they do, they may be asked to leave the meeting or step down from the Board.
    6. Meetings will be co-chaired by the Director of Adult Services or delegated as appropriate to a senior officer in the Council.
    7. The other co-chair will be autistic.
    8. The Board will not be quorate unless two representatives from Adult Social Care, one provider representative, two autistic residents and one carer representative are in attendance.
    9. Notes from the meeting will be available on the Council website.
  5. Client and Carer involvement and representation
    1. The Board must include in its membership four autistic people and two carer representatives. Autistic people should be represented on all the work streams/groups linked to the board.
    2. A model of involvement will be developed that enables autistic individuals and carers to provide their views on the Autism Plan and work of the Board in advance of meetings of the Board and in a range of different ways.
    3. Agendas for each meeting will be made available on the council website and circulated electronically to anyone wishing to receive them.
    4. An involvement tool will be developed and trialled, aimed at helping individuals and groups think about and provide views on issues and questions relating to the development of the local autism strategy.
    5. One of the key work streams that will report into the Autism Board is progress on community engagement. This will focus on communication with carers and autistic people through the development of a range of engagement tools, including support groups and the development of an online forum.
    6. The model of involvement will be reviewed after the first year of the Board’s existence.
  6. Meeting arrangements
    1. The Board will meet a minimum four times per year.
    2. Meetings will take place from 10.30am to 1pm, including a comfort break.
    3. Meetings will take place at a location that is deemed to be accessible, have adequate IT facilities and good public transport links
    4. Papers will be circulated a minimum of one week prior to meetings of the Board.
    5. Responsibility for taking minutes for the meetings will sit with Adult Services and agreed by the Board at the following meeting. Draft minutes will be agreed by the Director of Adult Services, made available on the council website and circulated to members of the Board within one month of each meeting.
    6. Actions agreed by the Board will be recorded in the meeting minutes. The person or people responsible for each action will give an update on progress against the actions when the Board checks the draft minutes.
  7. Papers and presentations
    1. Papers and presentations should be written in Plain English.
    2. There may be occasions when Easy Read format papers or presentations are needed. The Learning Disability Commissioning team can advise on production of Easy Read material.
  8. Review
    1. This Terms of Reference will be agreed at the first meeting of the Board and reviewed annually.

Document Number: 17870440
Document Name: Autism AB TOR Updated Jan 2017

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