Quality | Innovative | Training


The course is designed for participants to be aware of the historic inequalities in practice with parents with Learning Difficulties and/or autism, the importance of following good practice guidance to upholding the rights of children and of parents with LD and/or autism and to non-discriminatory practice. They will be able to develop skills in communicating effectively with parents with LD and/or autism as well as in assessing parenting capacity, joint working and applying thresholds in line with good practice in working with parents with LD and/or autism

Who is Working with Parents with Learning Disabilities inc Autism aimed at?

Social Workers (Children and Families)

Course Length

1 day

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this training course participants will be able to:

  • Know the five key features of good practice with parents with LD including autism:
  1. Accessible information and communication
  2. Clear and co-ordinated referral and assessment procedures and processes, eligibility criteria and care pathways
  3. Support is designed to meet the needs of parents and children and is based on assessments of their needs and strengths
  4. Long-term support where needed
  5. Access to independent advocacy and to support for self-advocacy.
  • Identify the elements of non-discriminatory practice with parents with LD including autism
  • Know how to make reasonable adjustments for LD and autism people in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and be able to put key adaptations into practice when working with families
  • Recognise the need for independent advocacy/support for self-advocacy and work effectively with advocates including self-advocates
  • Understand, in line with the legislative frameworks and good practice guidance, the importance and boundaries of joint working between children’s and adult’s services in the lives of parents with LD including autism in a range of situations, who should take the lead in assessments and good practice in commissioning
  • Understand the range of variation of parenting styles that may occur and how to distinguish between these and features of parenting which may fail to meet the needs of children
  • Understand the importance of appropriate and effective communication permitting parents to fully participate in processes and how to achieve this in practice
  • Identify good practice with parents with LD and/or autism when safeguarding procedures are necessary which promote children’s best interests and ensure equitable treatment for parents with LD and/or autism, including the use of appropriate parenting capacity assessment tools
  • Understand the importance of timely assessments, training and support for parents and that failure to build in, from the outset, the additional time needed for parents with LD and/or autism to learn and understand puts such parents at a significant disadvantage in child protection proceedings
  • Be aware how people with LD and/or autistic people may become overwhelmed with information and need time and quiet space to process and understand information
  • Actively listen to what parents with LD and/or autism are saying and be prepared to use adaptations, patience and perseverance in communication – including being silent to allow thinking time
  • Recognise the border between support needs and parenting capacity
  • Identify and record, with clear rationale, whether, in line with case law the child protection threshold is met in a particular case e.g.  A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability), Kent CC v A Mother [2011]

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