Under the Health Act 2004 the Health Service Executive (HSE) is required to manage and deliver, or arrange to be delivered on its behalf, health and personal social services, including Disability services.
Specialist Disability services are provided to enable children and adults with a disability, to achieve their full potential, including living as independently as possible. In response to the Deputy's question on whether there has been a policy change in residential care for children, the HSE has advised that the provision of a residential placement would follow a detailed assessment to establish any other means of addressing needs rather than admission to residential care.
There would generally be considerable communication between the HSE, the family/guardian of a service user and the voluntary service provider and the person themselves. The number of children and adults benefiting from residential services in 2013 was 8,880. The target for 2014 is 8,884.
Traditional disability service provision is moving towards a community based and inclusive model rather than being institutional and segregated. The key learnings from the New Direction Report on Adult Day Services and Time to Move on from Congregated Settings – A Strategy for Community Inclusion - alongside the Value for Money and Policy Review are helping us to achieve a more effective, person centred disability service provision, in line with international best practice.
The radical change involves a collaborative responsibility shared between the person, their families and carers, a multiplicity of agencies, Government and society as a whole.