“The Department of Finance and Department of Health must recognise the fact that having ongoing pervasive and enduring need as assessed by a multi-disciplinary team places additional medical, economic and caring responsibilities on families, with which they must be supported.
“I will be monitoring the implementation of the assessment of need process to ensure that it facilitates individuals having their needs documented and met. I am calling on the Ministers for Finance and Health to ensure that adequate resources are allocated to meeting the need as well as identifying the need.”
Note for Editors – Information on Assessment of Need presented below Assessment of Need Process Disability Act 2005 On June 1 2007, Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005 became law for children under 5 years of age. Under Part 2 of this Act, children with disabilities have a right to: – an independent assessment of their health and educational needs arising from their disability – an assessment report – a statement of the services they will receive – make a complaint if they are not happy with any part of the process
Who can apply for an assessment? Any parent who feels that their child aged under 5 may have a disability can apply for an assessment. An application can also be made by a guardian or a personal advocate assigned by the Citizen’s Information Board .
What is an Independent Assessment of Need? An independent assessment of need is an assessment of the full range of a child’s needs associated with his or her disability. The child’s parents then receive an assessment report detailing their child’s health and educational needs and the services required to meet those needs. Who will carry out the assessment? The first point of contact for parents is the local Assessment Officer who is responsible for the co-ordination of the child’s assessment. Each Local Health Office has an Assessment Officer. They can assist with the application as well as help and support parents through the process. The Assessment Officer is responsible for issuing the assessment report. The assessment is independent, based solely on the child’s disability needs, and is carried out regardless of the cost or availability of services. All assessments will carried out in line with the standards developed by the Health Information and Quality Authority. Parents and guardians will be encouraged to take part in their child’s assessment. Where do parents apply? Applications must be made in writing on a standard form which is available from the Local Health Office. How long will it take? The assessment must start within 3 months from when the completed application form is accepted by the HSE. It must be completed within a further 3 months from the date on which the assessment commenced. In exceptional circumstances, the assessment may take longer than 3 months, but must be completed as soon as possible. What happens next? When the assessment is complete, a HSE Liaison Officer will prepare a service statement. The service statement will say what services and supports will be provided to the assessed child and will be prepared within 1 month of the assessment being completed. It is expected that parents will receive their child’s assessment report and service statement at the same time. What can parents do if dissatisfied? If parents are not happy with the assessment or service statement, they can make a complaint to the HSE, who will arrange for the case to be reviewed. Parents can complain if:
1. the child is found not to have a disability and they do not agree 2. the assessment is not done in line with the standards set by the Health Information and Quality Authority 3. an assessment is not started and completed within the agreed timeframes 4. the services in the child’s service statement are not being delivered Date: Thursday 06 December, 2007.