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Community Pract. 2006 Mar;79(3):80-3.

Mainstreaming Sure Start speech and language therapy services.

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  • 1Sure Start Hilldene & Gooshays, Romford, Essex.


Mainstreaming is the process of transferring policy, activity or good practice from a community-based initiative, such as Sure Start, into the core service. This paper will explain how one Sure Start programme developed a strategy for speech and language therapy (S&LT) that had an impact on the development of mainstream S&LT provision. The strategy explained here has shown the potential for team working and multi-agency delivery of new services. The new service was based on quality standard setting (as highlighted in government policy); positive multi-agency working based on sharing and skill development; and consumer involvement in a quality evaluation cycle. This paper discusses the different factors in developing and mainstreaming a Sure Start initiative. These critical processes have been applied to one local Sure Start programme as an example of these elements in action.

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