SALT: Julia Phillips, Head of Integrated Support, Children and Families - Video

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SALT: Julia Phillips, Head of Integrated Support, Children and Families

Short film by the Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy Service at Oxleas.

“My name is Julia Phillips, and I’m the head of Integrated Support Children and Families in the broad borough of Greenwich.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Speech and Language Therapy Services for many years now and we have been working together in very close partnership to make services really respond well to particular needs for children and families.

Speech and Language therapy services have been really critical to our joint vision of supporting children as soon as possible in their language skills and communication skills and one of the things in particular that we’ve worked a lot on is actually supporting parents’ understanding of how important communication with their child is, and from the child being a baby and many people don’t actually recognise, I think, how important that is and we’ve done a lot of work together on picking up early that positive benefits of communication.

But also because of the way in which the service has worked with us, we’ve also been able to identify where there are difficulties emerging and also to be able to respond really quickly and positively and hopefully to improve much more the outcomes for those individual children that might have had some speech and language difficulties otherwise.

When we first started working on developing our Early Years services in particular the children’s centres, one of the things we realised was that the health funding wasn’t specifically targeting the kind of work we wanted to do with families and children.

And by us providing the additional funding has allowed us to particularly develop the services that we wanted jointly to see happening.

So we’ve got these very specific programmes that work from 0-5 and compliment the more referrals that might be made through the health service but these are much more providing early intervention opportunities, a lot more work with parents, and also one of the things that we’ve been able to have is training and development and role modelling for staff, which means we’ve got a much more skilled early years workforce, who can actually translate some of the understanding and experience to the parents and children.

So we’ve multiplied the impact through that process of buying in additional and working together very well on what we wanted to do with that.

The impact of the loss of services that we’ve now established would be that many children and families, the outcomes for many children and families in terms of their learning and development and parents engagement with their children’s learning would be much less in those early years, and what the combined impact of our Speech and Language Service and the other multi-agent services that we bring in to children’s centres is that we really are preparing children to make the most out of their learning opportunities later, and to make sure they’ve got their outcomes really firmly established by the time they leave us at 5 and are taken up formal schooling.

So it would be a loss in a great deal of outcomes for children and families.”