Teens Autism Confident Evaluation
7th June 2022
During 2019-22 Autism West Midlands was one of 23 organisations across England who received funding from the Health and Wellbeing Fund. The fund asked organisations to expand and evaluate already successful, innovative projects to help to improve the mental health of children and young people.
We decided to build on our very successful Adult Autism Confident programme and develop Teens Autism Confident in Birmingham. Across 8 weeks the programme supports autistic teenagers to understand their condition and respond positively to it. It helps young people to develop support networks, build resilience, improve self-esteem, and increase confidence.
Coproduction was key to the development of this programme to ensure it was relevant, motivating, and accessible. Young people have been involved from the start, through a focus group and ongoing engagement.
The pilot ran from September 2019 to March 2022 and has been externally evaluated.
The evaluation found that Teens Autism Confident met the Health and Wellbeing Fund’s core objectives and outcomes. The programme has created a solution that will help to mitigate and prevent inequalities for autistic teenagers and have a lasting impact on them for years to come.
Since the initial pilot NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG have provided continuation funding, enabling us to deliver Teens Autism Confident across Birmingham and Solihull into 2022-23. We have also been commissioned to deliver Teens Autism Confident pilots in the Black Country, Shropshire & Telford and Herefordshire & Worcestershire.