Cleft Lip and Palate Association

Green Man Tower First Floor


About Cleft Lip and Palate Association

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) is a registered charity in the United Kingdom and is dedicated to providing information, resources, and support to individuals affected by cleft lip and/or cleft palate, their families, and caregivers. Cleft lip and palate are common malformations that are present at birth (congenital). A cleft is an incomplete closure of the roof of the mouth (palate), lip, or both. These birth defects occur when the pair of long bones that form the upper jaw (maxillae) do not fuse properly during the early development of the embryo. The cleft may be barely noticeable or result in severe deformities requiring surgical correction. CLAPA was established in 1979 and currently consists of 45 chapters operating throughout the United Kingdom. The purpose was to forge a partnership between parents and health professionals. Today, CLAPA’s mission has evolved to include organizing local parent support groups; operating a specialist service for parents and health professionals who require help in feeding infants with cleft lip and palate; encouraging and supporting research into causes and treatment; representing the interests of patients by helping to influence national health policy; conducting educational seminars for healthcare professionals and the general public; raising funds for specific treatment and equipment; and raising public awareness of cleft lip and palate through a wide range of informational materials.