Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Disability Services Funding
The Government values the role which people with disabilities play in Irish society. I believe they are playing a far greater role now, which is a significant change. The Government also values those who support and care for them and is committed to facilitating the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the life of the community through access to individualised personal social supports and services. The vital role performed by carers is acknowledged in the national carers’ strategy, published in 2012, which sets the strategic direction for the policies, services and supports provided across the public sector for family carers.
This year the Government will provide €1.56 billion for health-funded services and supports to enable all individuals with a disability to achieve their full potential and maximise their independence. The quantum of services to be provided, together with key deliverables and priorities, are outlined in the HSE’s national service plan for 2016. The HSE is committed to protecting front-line services for people with disabilities and at a minimum maintaining the overall level of service provided in 2015 with targeted improvement in priority areas.
The Deputy will be happy to know that these areas include: the reconfiguration of children's therapy services, for which an additional €4 million has been provided; the provision of services for 1,500 young people on leaving school and rehabilitative training, which has been allocated an additional €7.25 million; the development of alternative respite models, with €1 million targeted in this area; the reconfiguration of residential services, supported by €20 million in capital funding; and quality improvements to increase compliance with national standards for residential centres for children and adults with disabilities. As the Deputy is well aware, this is now being inspected by HIQA, which, I know, she also welcomes.