HSE figures reveal Government is Breaking the Law in terms of Assessment of Need for thousands of vulnerable children.

In a statement Gino Kenny People Before Profit TD said figures he has received from the HSE following a Parliamentary Question (attached) on the numbers of children awaiting Assessment of Need, beyond the statutory (legally required) timeframe are “shocking”.

The figures for all CHO areas across the country show that 3768 children are awaiting the completion of their assessment beyond the legally required 6-month timeline and a further 1076 children are waiting beyond the legally required 3 months for commencement of Stage 2.

(See PQ HSE response attached)

The HSE figures show CHO areas 4, 9 & 7 are the worst affected but that back-logs beyond the legally required timeline for needs assessment exist in every area of the country.

Gino Kenny TD said:

“It is utterly incredulous and a shocking dereliction of duty that the Government and the HSE are breaking the law in term of their obligations to thousands of the most vulnerable children”

“Parents are at breaking point because their children’s’ rights to supports, services and a decent education are being denied, due to shortfalls in resources & staffing. Schools ability to apply for SNA allocations and resource hours are also being affected by the huge waiting lists of children with needs up and down the country.”

“Parents in the constituency I represent have spoken of pleading to the HSE School Age Teams, begging them to assess their children, many who have been waiting 1, 2 and even 3 years for Multi-Disciplinary Assessment of Need. How can this Government stand over such shocking negligence in the care of children who need supports in education and therapeutic supports”

“These figures show a total failure of duty of care for children in this state. CHO 7 which caters for West Dublin including areas such as Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Lucan are among the worst services in the country.

“Already hard-pressed parents struggle daily to cope with their children special needs without any state support.

“This government is contravening the law (Disability Act 2005) by not providing the assessments on time and the follow up care. Those who can afford private psychology services do not bear the brunt of the delays but as usual it’s the ordinary working parents and their children who suffer. This has to stop.