Calls to Action for Parents

The Bercow: Ten Years On report is a follow-up to the 2008 Bercow review of services for children and young people (0 -19) with speech, language and communication needs, which identified a number of shortcomings and led to a range of initiatives to improve services for children with SLCN. The Bercow: Ten Years On report was commissioned by ICAN and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists to examine the current state of provision for children’s speech, language and communication needs in England.

An analysis of the evidence collected for the report identified five key themes:

  • Communication is crucial, yet awareness of children and young people’s speech, language and communication is not sufficient.
  • Systemic change is needed – speech, language and communication must form a core part of national and local plans.
  • Services must be equitable. Currently there is far too much variation in the support children and young people receive for their SLCN.
  • Support must make a difference and be based on the evidence of what works.
  • Children and young people’s needs must be identified early and then supported appropriately

The report included a number of Recommendations and Calls to Action for professionals, managers and commissioners.

Afasic is all about parents actively advocating for their children, and we believe that parents can help to make a real difference too. So we have drawn up our own Calls to Action for Parents:

  • Knowledge is power, so educate yourself about speech and language difficulties and the SEN system.
  • Join your Parent/Carer Forum, or at least sign up to their newsletter, and be a champion for SLCN.
  • Try and get together with other local parents, online or in support groups, and link up to Afasic for our mutual benefit.
  • Regularly remind local professionals and services to signpost parents to Afasic and other voluntary organisations that can help parents.
  • Work with your child’s school, and other parents, to make sure the SEN Information Report adequately includes SLCN.