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Parents invited to communication skills seminar

09 June 2011

A multi-agency group set up in Jersey to look at language, communication and listening skills is urging parents and those working with children to come along to a seminar next week to learn about how with the right support and opportunities children can be helped in this area.

The multi-agency group is made up of The Jersey Probation Service, Health and Social Services and Education, Sport and Culture.

The seminar on Monday 13 June will be given by visiting speaker Associate Professor, Pam Snow who is based at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and Dr Lisa Perkins, head of Jersey’s speech and language therapy service.

Dr Perkins said "Speech, language and communication are foundation skills for life. They underpin a child’s social, emotional and educational development and provide children and young people with skills to avoid getting into trouble. The Jersey Probation Service, Speech and Language Therapy Service and Education, Sport and Culture have formed the multi-agency group to consider the implications for Jersey of the growing body of international research on the speech, language and communication needs of young offenders. We warmly welcome Associate Professor Snow to Jersey to talk about this important topic.

“Through our Early Years strategy, there is a real commitment in Jersey to working with parents, teachers, schools, and other agencies to intervene early to promote good communication, language and listening in children and young people.”

Brian Heath added “We would encourage parents to come along and hear Lisa and Pam speak. It is a fascinating subject, and we know that it is an important area which we are keen to look at in more detail. The formation of our multi-agency group is a really important start to this work, and we want to maintain this. We are looking at how we work to stop the problem of poor communication skills in the first place.”

During the seminar, Dr Perkins will present the preliminary findings of a snapshot audit of Jersey’s young offenders and will provide an overview of the ‘Language for Life’ strategy currently being developed through the Early Years Care Partnership (EYCP) to ensure a co-ordinated approach to speech, language and communication in the early years.

Speaking about the ongoing research, Dr Perkins said “Associate Professor Pam Snow has undertaken significant research in the arena of the youth criminal justice system. Her work demonstrates that young offenders are at high risk of undetected but clinically significant oral language difficulties. She will present an overview of the research and its implications with respect to policy and practice about early intervention for vulnerable children and implications for service delivery within the justice system.”

The seminar will be held on Monday 13 June at Haute Vallee School Theatre at 5.15 pm. 

Anyone wishing to attend is asked to confirm their attendance by emailing:

Parents can find out more at or


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