The kick-off meeting for a ground breaking new Erasmus+ project Empowering Parents of Children with Clefts, Speech, Communication and Resilience (SCR4Cleft)has taken place in Rijswijk on Wednesday 20 November, 2019.
17 participants attended from 9 partner countries including the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Serbia, Norway, Romania, Estonia, Ireland, Italy and Malta.
The representatives from Malta are Prof. Helen Grech from the Department of Communication Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences and Prof. Jean Calleja Agius from the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
The three-year project will, for the first time, bring together specialists in speech therapy and psychology to develop an education programme to be delivered by health professionals to parents of children born with clefts. The course will enable parents to identify signs of impairment and offer practical ways of supporting their child who may be experiencing speech and language difficulties and/or psychological challenges associated with their condition. Speech, appearance and psychological adjustment are inextricably linked.
Approximately 900,000 children, adults and their families are affected by this condition across Europe. The family environment is key in promoting positive adjustment in a child with a cleft.
The project consortium includes a combination of “players” in research, health care delivery and training expertise (VET) together with an international NGO meaning that the partnership possesses a variety of high-level and complementary skills. The partnership is built with organisations having extensive national and European level knowledge, networks and experience.
The next meeting will be hosted by the Irish partner in Dublin in May 2020.
For further information contact Gareth Davies, European Cleft Organisation.