Speech and language therapy service delivery for bilingual children: a survey of three cities in Great Britain.
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Mennen, I. & Stanfield, J. (2006-11) Speech and language therapy service delivery for bilingual children: a survey of three cities in Great Britain., International journal of language & communication disorders / Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists, vol. VOL. 4, pp. 635-652.
Background: Speech and language therapy (SLT) managers are expected to ensure that there are appropriate services available for bilingual and multilingual clients in order to ensure an equitable service to all clients. However, there is a paucity of data available to inform service planning. Aims: To identify the level to which SLT services in three UK cities meet the recommendations of The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) Good Practice Guidelines. Socio-demographic information is provided about the number of children from ethnic minorities in the population and the proportion of (bilingual) children from ethnic minorities on the speech and language therapy caseload. Based on this information, it is estimated whether there is proportionate representation of bilingual children on SLT caseloads, and whether services are in place to meet the needs of those clients. Methods & Procedures: Population statistics were gathered from Census data and data were gleaned from Local Education Authorities. The study used a combination of interview and postal questionnaires to SLTs, with particular emphasis on the issues that may affect service provision. Outcomes & Results: As in previous studies, it was difficult to find reliable data. However, two of the three cities studied appeared to be offering a proportionate service to both monolingual and bilingual children in terms of the relative numbers of children on caseloads. Only one city was confident that their SLT service was fully meeting the RCSLT Good Practice Guidelines on bilingualism, although all three cities were aware of them and appeared to be making an effort at varying levels to address the principles of those guidelines.