Today I met with Jan Forward, the Service Manager of the Devon Youth Intervention Team (YIT). This team works with young people to divert them away from offending and the criminal justice system at the earliest possible opportunity. Many of these young people have unidentified language and communication needs which make school and friendships difficult for them. I also met with a crucial member of the team, Dr Val Brooks, a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. Val works with the young people to identify their communication needs in order that they can be supported to be successful in education and to improve their life chances. The team's figures for first time entrants into the youth justice system, are substanaily below both the national and local South West average. Also attending the meeting to learn more about the Devon team's successes was Derek Munn, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
Bercow: Ten Years On is a review of provision for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs published by I CAN, the children's communication charity, and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Communication is our most important life skill, but many children and young people have difficulties communicating. Left unidentified and unsupported, these needs can have a negative impact on many aspects of life. The report makes recommendations to improve support for children and young people with communication needs and their families. More details about the review are available here