The aim of the Youth Communication Team is that young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) will be identified earlier, in order to increase their ability to be involved in decision making about their lives and be able to become involved in education and work.
- To identify young people who may have SLCN. When young people are identified, input may be direct speech and language therapy working with all involved services. Where direct therapy is not required, advice is given to the appropriate staff and family.
- To ensure the environment is supportive to the communication needs of the young people by collaborating on materials.
- To develop skills in the workforce in identifying and meeting communication needs of the young people.
The three year project, with Trust Speech and Language Therapists funded by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) since November 2013, was a radical approach to working with young people with multiple vulnerabilities aged from 11-25 years old with No Wrong Door (NWD) and the Youth Justice Service.
Outcomes from 2013-16
349 young people in the Youth Justice Service were screened from December 2013 until May 2017 of which 47% (164) were identified as having speech, language and communication needs. 93% of this cohort was not previously identified as having SLCN.
Where possible, all young people known to the NWD service had a communication screen to identify any previously undiagnosed communication difficulties. This has continued to show approximately 50% of the NWD population as having an SLCN.
Assessments identified poor comprehension, difficulties managing conversation, memory and processing difficulties. These can all have a huge impact on the young person’s ability to be involved in relationships, education and work.
What’s happening now?
A new contract was agreed between North Yorkshire County Council and the Trust from April 2017 until March 2020 for four speech and language therapy posts:
- To build upon the work already being undertaken in the No Wrong Door (NWD) residential and outreach hubs.
- To deliver a Care Leavers element with the No Wrong Door distinguishers.
- To deliver interventions within a new SEMH service (Back on Track).
Although these services are explained as separate elements, this is a holistic service and the SLTs appointed to deliver this service are flexible in delivering all aspects of the requirement. The Speech and Language Therapists are an embedded part of the NWD and Leaving Care teams.
The Back on Track team have extended the NWD methodology to children and young people with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH), ensuring a multi-agency, intelligence led approach to meet the pupils needs and maintain permanence in mainstream education placement. In particular, the support provided focuses on those vulnerable young people, known or at risk of being known to social care, with SEMH needs and within mainstream secondary schools, alternative provision and special schools.
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Professional Lead Speech and Language Therapy: Anne Elliott
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist: Hilary Curtis
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist: Georgina Miller
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist: Kirsty Basnett
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist: Cathy Hemsley
Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist: Lauren Macready
North Yorkshire County Council sites across the county.
Anne Elliott, Professional Lead Speech and Language Therapy, 01723 580940, firstname.lastname@example.org.