Skip to main content

Urgent reform is needed to maximise people’s potential for independence and self-determination, living the lives they want and are entitled to live

More investment is also urgently needed in specialist social work skills and services

BASW comment on the Joint Select Committee for Human Rights report calling for an overhaul of inspections and changes to the Mental Health Act to protect autistic adults and people with learning disability:

It is wholly unacceptable that autistic adults and people with learning disability of any age continue to be placed in inappropriate state and private assessment centres, hospitals and other institutions which consistently fail to meet their basic human rights and do not provide person centred care. For most people, community living with the appropriate support will be the long term solution. For people needing intensive support, this must be for as short a time as possible and in wholly rights-compliant, person centred, compassionate places of true care and support, that includes caring families and friends as much as possible.

Urgent reform is needed by the government to drive the recommendations of the report. 

Specialist social work with autistic adults and people with learning disability is essential within multidisciplinary services and commissioning to accelerate improvements in the quality of care and support.  Social workers have a vital role in reviewing and facilitating moves out of institutions, finding and advocating alternatives to institutional care, and promoting  community living. They connect people to services, make proactive plans with people to ensure they are safe and able to thrive, and they are intrinsic to supporting families and carers.  

More investment is urgently needed in these specialist social work skills and services, to work with and alongside people and their carers to prevent crises, reducning the use of institutions, maximising people’s potential for independence and self-determination and ensuring people have the chance to live the lives they want and are entitled to.

BASW England continues to work in partnership with people with lived experience, families, carers and partnership organisations and we committed to improving professional practice standards underpinned by human rights. 

Find out more about the Framework to support social work practice with adults who have learning disabilities and Capabilities Statement for Social Work with Autistic Adults.


Further information