Speech & Language Therapy Graduate Programme

Sensational Kids has established a Speech & Language Therapist Graduate Programme to offer work experience opportunities for graduate therapists. As part of Sensational Kids’ social responsibility, we believe that we can provide learning and career development opportunities to graduates who may be finding it difficult to access employment or to seek opportunities to maintain or enhance their clinical skills.

The purpose of this graduate programme is to implement a structured approach that will allow us to enhance the service provided to service users in an effective, innovative and safe manner, while providing a meaningful opportunity for learning and development of recently qualified Speech & Language Therapists.


Anticipated benefits of the programme to graduate therapist:


  • Develop, maintain and enhance knowledge and clinical skills of a Speech & Language Therapist
  • Gain ‘on the job’ experience which may be of assistance when applying for further employment.
  • Personal satisfaction for the Speech & Language Therapist at making the best use of the time available to them.
  • Opportunity to participate in in-service training and clinical supervision


Anticipated benefits of the program to the Service


  • Complement the work of staff and enhance services delivered by the service
  • Graduates bringing diverse skills, knowledge, and expertise to our services


Clear roles have been established to foster mutually beneficial and complementary relationships.




The programme is open to recent graduate Speech & Language Therapists who have obtained a recognised validated University Degree or an equivalent validated qualification in their profession.




Applicants must have a validated qualification recognised by a relevant professional body or association, such as the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) or the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).


Applicants must be of good character and in a state of good health to render regular and efficient service.  Interviews will be held for this position.



Sensational Kids Information


Sensational Kids operates as a child development centre, providing three key offerings for children and their families; subsidised services for children in need of additional support, a child development and learning store providing a range of skill building toys and therapy products, and professional development training workshops for those working with children with special needs.  Collectively, these services are ensuring that the children benefitting from them can improve their skills and maximise their potential.

Sensational Kids aims to promote the health and welfare of children with special needs and children in need of additional supports by managing and operating a centre in Co. Kildare to enable such children to develop their full potential by providing clinical assessments, occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, speech and language therapy, psychological services and evidence-based therapies which impact on child development and wellbeing, and to make such services available to a wider population within the Republic of Ireland by endeavouring to open further such centres.”

Experiencing these difficulties first-hand, our CEO and Founder Karen Leigh became frustrated with the lengthy waiting lists her family faced in Ireland, not to mention the €120 per hour fees they had to pay for private occupational therapy.  In 2007, determined to make a difference, she set out to create an affordable and accessible service that families like hers could benefit from.

Skilled Multidisciplinary Team

Sensational Kids benefits from a highly skilled Multidisciplinary Team of occupational therapists, speech & language therapists, educational psychologist, play therapist, and a literacy teacher, who go above and beyond to ensure that children attending our services receive the best possible outcomes. Our full-time team are fully supported with clinical supervision, their own personal CPD budget as well as opportunities to attend all of Sensational Kids professional development workshops, presented by worldwide experts. Many of our team have undertaken further specialist training in Ireland, the UK & USA in:

  • sensory processing;
  • hippotherapy (occupational therapy using horses);
  • auditory verbal therapy (speech therapy specifically for children with hearing loss); and
  • sensory attachment intervention


Combined these supports ensure that our therapy team deliver the highest quality and most up to date interventions, ensuring that we deliver a better service and ultimately, better outcomes for children.


Services for children at Sensational Kids

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Educational Psychological Assessments
  • Literacy Teacher
  • Orthoscopics


Description of the Graduate Role



Sensational Kids, Kildare Town


Tuesday – Friday:  10am – 6pm

Saturday: 9.15am – 4.45pm

This is a 5 day per week graduate programme from Tuesday – Saturday each week


Tuesday 7 August – Saturday 22 September  2018



In recognition that that is a voluntary placement, Sensational Kids will contribute €250 per week to the graduate to contribute towards their costs of participating in the programme.



Graduates must have access to a car for any offsite visits. Mileage will be paid for any offsite visits.


Professional Membership


You are required to maintain your membership of the IASLT for the duration of your employment.  You are responsible for any membership fees or other costs incurred.



 Reporting Relationship


You will be responsible to Sarah Gorman, Senior Speech & Language Therapist, who will be your delegated Supervisor, and will participate in weekly clinical supervision arrangements. Graduates must comply with all relevant Sensational Kids policies and procedures.  These will be made available to the graduate during induction.


Particulars of Role


Graduates will be placed at Sensational Kids in Kildare Town but may be required to travel to other locations for specified service provision.


Under supervision the graduate will perform a range of clinical and administrative duties over the course of the programme, which will vary depending on needs of the service.


The graduate as a qualified professional holds a clinical autonomy that a student or support worker does not but still requires a high level of supervision. Any records/letters/summary reports etc will be reviewed and signed off on by the Senior Speech & Language Therapist


The types of tasks assigned to the graduate will take into account the best interest of our service users, particularly with regards to continuity of care and clinical governance. It is however, our intention, that the graduate will experience both direct and indirect clinical duties as well as performing administrative tasks required for delivery of effective clinical services.


It is anticipated that direct and indirect clinical activity will involve the following:

  • Provision of individual and/or group therapy to children. Appropriate record keeping using a clinical software system.
  • Attendance at team meetings/case discussions as appropriate
  • Carry out review assessments if indicated under the supervision of the Senior Speech & Language Therapist
  • Prepare summary reports and/or letters for existing clients under the supervision of the Senior Speech & Language Therapist

Administrative duties will vary as mentioned above, but may include the following:

  • Compiling home programmes and resource materials
  • Developing resource materials
  • Organising clinic resources
  • Completing of appropriate records / reports with regards to service users seen.



Termination of Programme


The programme will be terminated with immediate effect in the instance of concerns arising with regards to the performance, competence or professionalism (e.g. time keeping, confidentiality, communication) of the graduate that cannot be resolved.


This is a fixed term agreement. Your finishing date will be Saturday 22 September 2018



Roles / Responsibilities


If the graduate is in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment they are required to request and complete an application form VW1 from their local Social Welfare Office where the Deciding Officer will determine whether they may take up the volunteer work in question without affecting entitlement to their jobseekers payment.


As well as roles and responsibilities outlined above, applicants are also responsible for ensuring validation of any qualifications received outside of the Republic of Ireland prior to commencing the program.


Sensational Kids will be responsible for providing adequate clinical supervision for the graduate and providing a document on completion of placement that outlines the graduate’s roles and duties over the period of their placement.

(Certificate of Participation in Graduate Programme)


Sensational Kids will continue to be responsible for aspects of service user care delegated through this programme, and our first concern is that service user’s benefit by its operation.


The graduate will meet with their clinical supervisor weekly for the duration of this programme. Documentation for supervision records will be used



How to apply


Please email your CV and letter of application


By Email:  Karen@sensationalkids.ie




By Post

Karen Leigh


Sensational Kids

Unit F2 Kildare Business Park

Kildare Town


Closing Date for applications 8 June 2018


Interviews will be at Sensational Kids, Kildare Town