We want children, young people and parents to be happy with the speech, language and communication provision across the county of Dorset and we understand that people and communities have the experience and expertise that can help us shape what this might look like.

A child with speech, language and communication difficulties needs a whole system of support where families and professionals work together to improve their lives and enable them to thrive.

Here in Dorset, through a process of collaboration and co-production we are creating a new pathway for supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. This is a whole system approach delivery model jointly commissioned by NHS Dorset and BCP and Dorset Councils using The Balanced System® Framework.

Supporting language and communication

We have commissioned a new online speech, language and communication need (SLCN) education and information resource available to all.

The Balanced System® framework is a way of making sure that in a setting, school or local area, the right provisions are available for parents, carers and professionals to help children and young people develop their speech, language and communication.

Our new Dorset speech, language and communication pathway is a journey to support children and young people for parents, carers and professionals.

What is the Balanced System® Framework?

The framework is an online set of tools and templates which are used to help improve the commissioning and delivery of services to meet the speech, language and communication needs of children and young people. It looks at the whole system involved in providing speech and language support, including parents/carers, early years providers, schools etc.

The framework is designed around the five areas of:

  • Supporting children and young people and their families with appropriate information

  • Adapting environments to support SLCN

  • Developing the whole workforce to support SLCN

  • Supporting systems to enable identification of SLCN

  • Providing appropriate intervention to meet need

These five areas are then divided into 3 levels of intervention:

  • Universal (available for everyone)

  • Targeted (including those interventions that need the direct involvement of a speech and language therapist as well as those that have already been set up and are continuing within the setting with involvement by setting staff)

  • Specialist (will require the use of specific techniques and a highly skilled practitioner to be closely involved)