Who We Are And What We Do
Progressing Disability Services for Children & Young People – Information Bulletin February 2013
Day services for adults with disabilities provide a vital network of support for over 25,000 people. The people who use these services have a widely diverse set of interests, aspirations and personal circumstances. They are people with physical and sensory disabilities, with learning disabilities and with mental health difficulties. They include young people, people who have been in day services for many years and older people of retirement age. They live in small communities, in isolated rural areas and in cities and towns.
The focus of the Report is on the requirement to accommodate a wide diversity of need among service users. This spectrum of need ranges from those with severe and profound disabilities, challenging behaviours and high support needs who are likely to need long-term, specialist service provision to people with lower support needs and greater potential for community participation and inclusion.
The central approach within the report focuses on the core values of person-centeredness, community inclusion, active citizenship and high quality service provision. It will be underpinned by good governance, monitoring and guidance to providers. The vision contained in the report will provide people with the personal individualised supports they require to access a whole range of community services as well as proving for their health related needs.
The ambitious change envisaged in New Directions will depend on and benefit from an acceleration of the policy of mainstreaming that is central to the National Disability Strategy (NDS). This will require joint planning between the HSE and key government departments to maximise the approach outlined in the NDS.
This Report was commissioned by the HSE in late 2007 and identifies that approximately 4,000 (based on 2008 census) people with disabilities in the Republic of Ireland live in congregated settings, a residential setting where they live with ten or more people. Notwithstanding the commitment and initiative of dedicated staff and management, the picture that emerged in the course of preparing this Report is one of a group of people who live isolated lives apart from any community and from families; many experience institutional living conditions where they lack basic privacy and dignity. Most have multiple disabilities and complex needs.
Community living is no more expensive than institutional care once the comparison is made on the basis of comparable needs and comparable quality of care. Accommodation will primarily be in ordinary houses and made available for local (public or private) housing stock.
The significant challenge that implementing the Report poses to the many stakeholders, including clients, families, service providers, the HSE and the various Departments; will require the need for a major change programme. Furthermore, everyone currently living in congregated settings should have the opportunity and right to move to a home of their choice in the community and therefore engaging with clients and families’ will take time and it is difficult to predict how clients will choose to live in the future.
Information Pack: A Guide to Disability Law and Policy in Ireland
This information pack contains a series of factsheets on reports and reviews that are often discussed, but rarely explained, including the National Disability Strategy, the Congregated Settings Report, and the New Directions Report. It can be downloaded via
National Federation of Voluntary Bodies –Spring 2013 Newsletter