Services Admissions Policy

POLICY STATEMENT

Autistic girls and women may prefer not to attend large mainstream social activity groups due to anxiety, preferences, discomfort in male-dominated autistic-specific groups, or other reasons. Autistic Girls Network (AGN) brings together autistic girls, women and non-binary people with their peers to share life experience, fostering connections, enjoying activities, sharing passionate interests, building a positive autistic identity, learning to self-advocate and improving wellbeing, life, and work skills. It is AGN’s policy, in line with the Equality Act 2010, not to exclude any eligible participant based on specific needs or medical conditions, provided that their needs can be met, and the duty of care to all participants can be fulfilled. AGN will implement Reasonable Adjustments for disabled participants meeting the Admissions criteria.

ADMISSIONS CRITERIA

To ensure appropriate peer support and fulfill our safeguarding duty, AGN will only allocate a place to participants who meet the criteria for the service being applied for, and who can be supported within the scope of our expertise and resources. Decisions are made considering the unique profiles and needs of each individual. Applicants should read AGN’s Admissions Policy and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy before applying.

This admissions process prioritises the wellbeing of the autistic person and their family. Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Have a diagnosis of autism or are actively seeking a diagnosis (self-diagnosis is valid).
  • Meet the age criteria for the Session or programme being applied for.
  • Identify as a girl/woman and/or were assigned female at birth, including non-binary people.
  • Are based in England or Wales for virtual programmes, or in the local area for Face to Face programmes.
  • Can access the Session or programme being applied for alone, without need for 1:1 support or a parent to be present.
  • Wish to attend themselves (we regard autonomy for autistic people as highly important, so if a parent/carer is applying it’s vital that your child or young person actively wants to come themselves).

UNDER 18 ADMISSIONS PROCEDURE

Parents/carers of eligible autistic girls/non-binary young people need to complete the AGN Registration Form to apply. Accurate information about the young person’s health, including allergies, dietary needs, medical conditions, mental health issues and other relevant details such as passionate interests should be provided in order for us to give appropriate support. The application will be reviewed to ensure criteria are met.

The first session is considered a trial to assess compatibility and support capacity. Reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure nobody is disadvantaged. Families are encouraged to contact AGN with any concerns before the first session. Should either party feel the group or programme is not a good fit, the application will not be taken further.

OVER 18 ADMISSIONS PROCEDURE

Eligible autistic women/non-binary people need to complete the AGN Registration Form to apply. Accurate information about the applicant’s health, including allergies, dietary needs, medical conditions, mental health issues and other relevant details such as passionate interests should be provided in order for us to give appropriate support. The application will be reviewed to ensure criteria are met.

The first session is considered a trial to assess compatibility and support capacity. Reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure nobody is disadvantaged. Families are encouraged to contact AGN with any concerns before the first session. Should either party feel the group or programme is not a good fit, the application will not be taken further.

ADMISSIONS TO COMMISSIONED PROGRAMMES

Some programmes, particularly those commissioned by a Local Authority, may have additional admissions criteria and require additional information or may require a professional referral.

COMPLAINTS

While the admissions process aims to support applicants and participants, appeals or complaints about outcomes should be submitted in writing to the CEO, Cathy Wassell (cathy@autisticgirlsnetwork.org) within one calendar month.

VARIATIONS

AGN reserves the right to vary this policy unilaterally. Any request to amend the policy will require written consent from AGN.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

For questions or concerns, contact the CEO, Cathy Wassell (cathy@autisticgirlsnetwork.org).

Approval and Review

Approval by Date Next Review Date
Trustee Board January 2024 January 2025