The Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services just released their Report on the Budget 2018 Consultation. We are thrilled to let you know that speech-language pathology (SLP) services for young children have been clearly identified as a priority in their recommendations. The importance of these services is mentioned under Themes 1 and 3.
Theme 1: Health Care
Speech-Language Pathology or Therapy
Recommendation #20. Prioritize and increase funding for speech-language pathology services for children to address the urgent need for access to timely and effective services, and to ensure an appropriate number of speech-language pathologists are available to assist young children prior to starting kindergarten.
Theme 3: Social Services
Child Care and Early Childhood Development
Recommendation #37. Increase access to early childhood identification and intervention services, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language pathology, with a focus on addressing urgent recruitment and retention challenges of professionals in this sector.
Special thanks to all of the parents, caregivers, grandparents, concerned citizens, communication health assistants, and speech-language pathologists who took the time to share their stories and get our message to policymakers. This historic step forward would not have happened without you!
The public consultations by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services closed yesterday evening. The Committee’s report will be released by November 15, 2017.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2017 Call to Action. If you haven’t already, please fill out this short poll to let us know if, and how, you participated.
Our hearts are full with gratitude to everyone who supported this initiative.
Each year, the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (SSCFGS) holds province-wide consultations so the public can provide input on their priorities for the upcoming provincial budget.
Earlier this year Communication Matters put out a call to action for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) interested in speaking at the public consultations held by the SSCFGS. We are extremely grateful to every volunteer who came forward to express their interest in participating in these public consultations.
On September 20th, the SSCFGS released the schedule for their public consultations across the province and registration opened up on the 21st. Our volunteers found that the spaces to speak at the in-person consultations were filling up fast. However, this year the Committee has also included two additional ways for British Columbians to participate in the public consultations: submit a written or recorded statement and/or complete an online survey. All three participation options are available on their Consultation Portal site.
Now, we are putting out our second call to action for this year and this time we are calling on everyone in BC:
If you would like the next budget to prioritize early and effective speech-language therapy services for young children, then please provide input to the Committee by completing the short online survey and/or submitting a written or recorded statement. The more people they hear from, the more likely they will be to realize that this is important to so many British Columbians.
We are aiming to have 100 people provide input to the SSCFGS. If you have participated to express a concern about speech and language services for young children, please let us know by completing this short form.
The consultation process closes on October 16, 2017, at 5:00 pm. Between now and then, let’s do everything we can to create awareness about why it is important to treat speech and language delays as soon as possible. Over the next couple weeks, we will be sharing these key messages and other links of interest via Twitter and Facebook. Please help support this initiative by sharing these links, and your personal stories of why this is important to you, with your friends and family using the hashtag #CommunicationMattersBC.
Communication Matters, An SLP Advocacy Group for Young Children, is excited to announce the official launch of our new website. From here we can share our vision and plans with both professionals and the public. We are particularly excited about our Parent/Caregiver Resources page which provides information for families about what they can do as well as links to resources within BC. Stay tuned for future blog posts.