31 May 2023

The RCSLT  has responded to Centre for Social Justice Call for Evidence on Poverty and Disadvantage

In February, the Social Justice Commission launched a Call for Evidence to canvass views across a range of stakeholders and people with lived experience of poverty  and disadvantage.

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has made a submission to the question “what elements of poverty and disadvantage are not being talked about enough?”

The RCSLT made recommendations on ways to ensure the links between speech, language and communication needs (of children, young people and adults) and poverty and disadvantage are taken into consideration.

The submission highlighted that:

  • There is a strong correlation between socioeconomic disadvantage and speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
  • SLCN are particularly prevalent amongst children and young people in touch with social care services.
  • Poverty can strongly reduce parents’ ability to respond to their child’s early language needs and offer a home learning environment that enhances language skills in the early years. As a group, children from disadvantaged backgrounds more commonly have reduced developmental opportunities that can limit their learning of language.
  • Poverty also plays a significant barrier to accessing treatment. Disadvantaged families may have fewer chances to have a communication difficulty identified and supported early because they have fewer opportunities to recognize a problem.
  • Intergenerational disability plays a role in the link between poverty and SEND. Research found a high prevalence of disabled children living with disabled parents. There is also strong evidence that parental disability is a driver of poverty as certain disabilities lead to a decline in income and employment rates.

Read the submissions in full