Transforming care grants 2015/16

More than 20 transforming care grants worth over £600,000 have recently been awarded to voluntary and public sector organisations to support children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism with challenging behaviours, including young people with a mental health condition.

The grants have been administered and are being monitored by NHS England, with funding from the Department of Health. The projects are funded until the end of March 2016.

For more information about any of these projects please email

Anne Webster, a lead in the learning disability programme said: “This is our first grant funding programme of this type, which we see as a vital part of helping to transform care and services for children and families. Some of these grants support good work which is already happening and we are also delighted to be funding so many new and innovative projects that meet children and families’ needs.”

Projects that have been awarded grants

Royal Borough of Greenwich (London) – Avenues is running a project which focuses on families caring for children with learning disabilities and/or autism and behaviour that challenges, offering sessions about mindfulness, positive behaviour support (PBS), and active support in the family home and local community.

Lancashire Barnardos is running a 10 week social skills course for 10 young people aged 8-12, which builds their self-confidence and self-esteem. The project will help them learn skills and give them support to join a relevant local community group when the project ends.

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust – This 10 week project for three families from BME communities is offering an innovative approach to supporting children with learning disabilities who have emotional and behavioural difficulties and their parents, working with specialist services and a respected community project.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Trust – The project provides positive behaviour support (PBS) workshops throughout Cambridgeshire, for families with children with learning disabilities and/or autism who experience difficulties with behaviour that challenges, and supporting professionals.

NationalThe Challenging Behaviour Foundation is running a project to develop a practical guide for commissioners and professionals. This will set out legal obligations and best practice in supporting children with learning disabilities and/or autism whose behaviours are described as challenging, who are living away from home.

Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire The Children’s Sleep Charity is running 10 workshops and follow up support for families of children with sleep issues who are on the autistic spectrum and practitioners who work with families.

East and West Sussex – Circle of Life is running a project to help families feel more confident to go on whole family outings and take part in adapted outdoor activities to support the needs of their children. The project is about therapeutic support for children outside of school or home.

National – The Council for Disabled Children is running a project focusing on parent led training, to develop a workshop and supporting resources for parent carers of children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism and behaviours that challenge. The workshop and resources will support parents to understand more about health systems and support available to their family.

Gloucestershire County Council is running two projects. One project is funding a positive behaviour support worker to carry out specialist work with five young people and develop the skills and confidence to help people ‘live their life’. The second project involves family positive behaviour support training’ workshops delivered in different places, training family members to produce positive behaviour support plans.

NationalThe Housing and Support Alliance is running a project to provide information and resources that support children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism and challenging behaviour to stay in their homes and communities when a housing and/or environmental solution could support this. They will develop and produce information for families, young people, housing, health and social care professionals to enable them to support families and provide accurate information.

Slough – The project run by Home-start Slough is working closely with volunteers and partners from early help and family services, educational psychology, Slough Emotional and Behavioural Outreach Service (SEBDOS), primary CAMHS, specialist CAMHS and targeted youth services, to build on their existing services to families of children with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside – Inclusion North is running a project to provide self-advocacy training for young people with autism to learn about themselves and the impact of their autism. The new self-advocacy training course consists of six training sessions and supports young people to build on self-awareness, self-confidence, emotional resilience, speaking up, while offering concentrated, autism-focussed support.

Yorkshire – KIDS is running a project to pilot and evaluate targeted support initiatives alongside training and support. It includes measures to avoid children being excluded from school, supporting children experiencing high levels of challenging behaviour, anxiety and mental health issues to prevent families going into crisis, advocacy skills and staff training.

Barnet, Newham & Greenwich (London) – Mencap is running a project to deliver the Little Lives, Big Changes (LLBC) programme. LLBC is a seven week programme of two and half hour sessions delivered to nine groups of families who have children (0-5) with a learning disability and/or autism. The project supports parents to understand and detect challenging behaviour, and improve their confidence and ability to ask for therapies and support that meet their children’s needs.

Kent & Redbridge – The Mental Health Foundation is running a project to educate and train at least 40 practitioners who work with children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism in a school setting to become licensed trainers of the Special FRIENDS programme adapted for children and young people with autism and other additional needs. FRIENDS for Life is a World Health Organisation-endorsed intervention developed to increase resilience in children and young people.

Birmingham – Midland Mencap is running a project working with six young people and their families who are currently living in residential schools or children’s homes, who are in the transition process. The project is supporting young people and their families to take part in their education, health and care transition planning, working with advocacy networks to identify barriers, challenges and solutions to support young people at risk of moving away from Birmingham.

England wide – Mixit Days based in Gateshead is working on a new play exploring the issues of being admitted to learning disability and mental health hospitals. The project is working with stakeholders, families and young people with mental health issues and/or autism and behaviours that challenge to research people’s experiences and find out what would have made those experiences better. The project will also highlight the care and treatment review process and help build the capacity of young people with disabilities and their families through co-production.

England wide – the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) project is working to improve commissioning and provision of local services for young people who challenge services, by developing and piloting an evidence-based rapid review framework and tool for children and young people for use by commissioners. The project will work in five local areas and lead to an evidence based tool to support improved commissioning and local service competence.

Isle of Wight – People Matters is running a project working with families who have children and young people with a learning disability and/or autism and behaviour that challenges and/or mental health difficulties. The project offers person-centred support to make sure that families are able to manage their own needs and avoid new or re-referrals back into services. It will also support families who have significant needs but have little support and are at risk of breakdown within the family home.

East Midlands – the School Development Support Agency is running a project to help reduce the number of children who are placed in residential special school provision outside the region, especially those placed at long distance, working with all local authorities across the East Midlands. The project will help develop agreements for a regional joint-commissioning approach that can develop further capacity across the existing special school estate or charitable private sector.

South Tyneside & Northumberland – The Toby Henderson Trust is running a project to support families who have children diagnosed with autism (and may or may not have a learning disability). Families will have improved access to information about approaches to improve their resilience and understanding of issues in relation to people who have autism, ultimately aiming to increase the likelihood that their children continue to live within the family home or local community.