Community Employment (CE) provides a range of supports to services in the health and social care related sector in the community. The main sponsors are organisations in the disability sector. The total number of ring-fenced places available to support health services is 2,800 places. Other health and social care places on CE are on non-specific or mixed CE schemes. These schemes are not meant to be stand-alone services but function as an added support to the mainstream statutory or voluntary provider. The Department of Social Protection recognises that CE acts as a resource for communities to identify their own needs and priorities and over the years has become a vital service to communities.
Following the completion of the CE Financial Review, at the June, DSP regions were notified of their revised budget allocation for all CE Schemes, this includes disability services and providers of such services. CE Scheme Sponsors were then notified individually of their budget allocations for materials and training. Under the revised arrangements notified to Sponsors, schemes were provided with a specific level of support aimed at meeting the particular costs necessarily incurred by them, as recommended by the Region, having regard to the overall level of funding available for community employment nationally.