What is The Balanced System® Framework?
The Balanced System® Framework is a way of making sure that in a setting, school or local area, the right provisions are available for parents, carers and professionals to help children and young people develop their speech, language and communication. These provisions include speech and language therapy services but most importantly also the other provisions from parts of the system such as the work of health visitors, early years settings and schools, specialist teaching services and many more.
The framework is organised in the Balanced System® Five Strands or themes and across three levels. There are outcomes to work towards in all of these areas to get the whole system working at its best. The ambition in each local area is to have a range of provisions that can ensure that outcomes are met in each of the five strand areas and at universal, targeted and specialist levels. This Prove It! tool is about making sure that the system can show the change that is being made for children and young people, their families and carers and the people that support them.
How can I prove that parents have confidence, knowledge and skills to support their role as a key communicative partner for their child
How can I prove that environments for all children are enhanced to support all children to understand and express themselves effectively?
How can I prove that the wider workforce is confident and competent to support children with speech, language and communication needs
How can I prove that children's speech, language and communication needs are identified early and effectively?
How can I prove that children receive support to help them make progress in their speech, language and communication?
Universal, targeted and specialist (or individualised)
Each of the Five Strand areas has outcomes at a universal, targeted or specialist (or individualised) level.
Universal outcomes and the provisions that help deliver them are for everyone in a community or setting. For example, information about language development on a website or the developmental check that health visitors offer every family.
Targeted outcomes and the provisions that help deliver them can are for children and young people and their families where there is some more definite need and where the provisions are 'high frequency' or predicted to be useful to large numbers of children and young people and their families. Targeted provisions might be delivered by speech and language therapists, delivered by speech and language therapists alongside colleagues in schools or settings, or delivered by school or setting based staff who have received specific additional training. Targeted provisions may be of benefit to children and young people with complex speech, language and communication needs as part of their wider support.
Specialist or individualised outcomes and the provisions that help deliver them are for the smaller number of children and young people and their families who need some more specific provisions to meet their outcomes, possibly alongside targeted provisions. Specialist provisions may follow a similar format to targeted provisions but differ in the technical delivery or the rate of change expected from the child or young person or the specific or unpredictable nature of the speech, language and communication needs that mean that a speech and language therapist remains closely involved.