€4.5m fund to reform disability services

Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities, Finian McGrath TD, announced a €4.5m fund to support the reform of disability services.

This funding is part of the Service Reform Fund (SRF) which was established by the Department of Health, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the HSE and Genio to support the implementation of reforms in disability and mental health services in Ireland. The SRF represents a total combined investment of €45m by the Department and Atlantic to re-configure existing services towards more person-centred supports which are also more transparent, accountable and cost-effective, in line with government policy.

Funding will be allocated under three streams:

  • Community Living – supporting people to move from congregated settings or institutions to the community; to have improved living arrangements in the community; and to lead self-directed, meaningful lives, engaged in local and mainstream activity. This will be aimed at those who are moving from an institution or those at risk of institutionalisation.
  • Reform of day services to person-centred supports – supporting alternative ways of meeting the work, education, training and recreation needs of people with a disability within mainstream, community settings.
  • Alternative Respite – developing a range of non-institutional respite options for individuals and their families.

The process will be that the HSE  invite consortia – including people with disabilities, family members, service providers and community groups –  invited to work together to develop proposals for funding. Consultations will take place with service users, families and service providers across Ireland to develop realistic, sustainable plans to reconfigure services.

Funding will be awarded by the Genio Trust through a rigorous application process jointly assessed by the Genio Trust and the HSE.