Although the 2013 allocation for disability services has been reduced by 1.2%, the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Service Plan includes an additional €4m to provide training places and day services for school-leavers and Rehabilitative / Lifeskills Training (RT) graduates in 2013. This funding is being allocated to each HSE Region based on its percentage of population. Both the voluntary sector and the HSE are committed to the best use of the funding in a creative and flexible manner so as to secure as many places as possible for this cohort.
The demand for services for school-leavers continues to grow. The HSE expects that approximately 700 young people who have finished their education or life-skills training will require services in 2013. Providing the level of services required within the additional funding provided will continue to be a challenge. Work in this area will be progressed largely in line with the HSE guidance document developed in 2012, which led to the successful placement of 99% of RT graduates and 96% of school leavers last year.
It is envisaged that plans will be completed for each region shortly and submitted to Area Managers, Regional Specialists and Regional Director of Operations for agreement. Arising from completed and approved plans, a communication process will be agreed with service providers to inform families of the services that will be available from September 2013.
In respect of the specific question asked by the Deputy, as it relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.