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Annual Report 2022/23

Population health

Early Intervention Speech Pathology

CESPHN has commissioned a region-wide Early Intervention Speech Pathology program since 2017. This program is delivered by SLHD, SESLHD and SCHN. The program aims to provide screening, assessment, and early intervention to vulnerable children aged 0-6 years. The SCHN service specifically targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

In the past year, with COVID restrictions easing and face-to-face services returning, the speech pathology services have offered screening to more than 4,500 children and provided over 2,400 screening assessments.  

100 per cent of children identified as being at ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk of communication difficulties were offered speech pathology assessment and intervention. 

“Thank you so much for this screening service. We have been ever so slightly worried about XX’s speech development so we’re very grateful and relieved we had the opportunity to receive this service. Thank you as well for also including a leaflet about bilingual children. Thank you very much for your time, very much appreciated.” – Parent 
“We appreciate the detailed checkup and the service you provide to families at Rise & Shine Kindergarten Carlton.” – Childcare Provider 

In 2022, CESPHN engaged a consultant to conduct an independent evaluation of the Early Intervention Speech Pathology program.  The evaluation confirmed the program has successfully achieved its aims and objectives, delivering substantive benefits to vulnerable children and their families in the CESPHN region.  

 Since 2017, program highlights include:  

  • Screening more than 11,000 vulnerable children  
  • Offering speech pathology assessment to 100% of children identified as being at ‘moderate’ or ‘high’ risk of communication difficulties  
  • Improving access to diagnostic and therapeutic supports for children with speech and communication difficulties 
  • Improving access to speech pathology services for children from priority population group and increasing their likelihood of achieving developmental milestones 
  • Upskilling of staff from participating early childhood education centres

South East Sydney Schools Collaborative

The South East Sydney Schools Collaborative is a place-based initiative operating in four schools within the Randwick and Bayside LGAs. Its primary goal is to address developmental vulnerability and adversity in preschool and school-aged children, with the aim of enhancing school and life outcomes for families.

Sydney Children’s Hospital Network is funded to provide a Care Navigation service to families across the four schools, offering psychosocial support and assistance in navigating health and social services. This includes housing, parenting and emotional support, access to early childhood checks, and referrals to allied health and paediatric services.  

In the past year, the Care Navigator has provided crucial support to 69 families, including over 680 occasions of service. 

“"[The Care Navigator] completely changed my life. I was in the middle of the ocean and [the Care Navigator/she] came and gave me a life raft. I didn't know how to get my son diagnosed with ADHD, but I knew something was wrong. I didn’t know how to access services. [The Care Navigator/she] helped me to access the right services for my children. There are so many things that she helped with."”

Client of Care Navigator