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About Progressing Disability Services:

Cope Foundation, in partnership with the HSE, Enable Ireland, Brothers of Charity Services Ireland, St Joseph’s Foundation and CoAction, are working together to rollout ‘Progressing Disability Services for Children & Young People’ in Cork and Kerry. This programme is changing the way services are provided across the country to make it equitable and consistent for all.

The central focus of this programme is to provide a clear pathway to services regardless of where a child lives, goes to school, or the nature of their disability or delay. At present there are some very good services for children with disabilities and their families but also some large gaps. We need a fairer way to provide services for children with disabilities. Access to services should be based on a child’s needs rather than just on their diagnosis.  Children and families should have services available wherever they live.

As part of the national changes some children will have their needs supported by their Primary Care Children’s Services. A Children’s Disability Network Team will support children with more complex needs in a defined geographic area, regardless of the nature of their disability.

What is a Primary Care Children’s Service?

Primary Care Children’s Services include: Speech & Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Psychology. These disciplines work closely with other core Primary Care Services such as Dietetics, Community Medical Doctors and Public Health Nurses. These services are for children and young people with non-complex needs.

What is a Children's Disability Network Team?

The Children’s Disability Network Team (CDNT) supports children and young people with complex needs. This service is for children who need the supports of an interdisciplinary team. The CDNT is an interdisciplinary team who work collaboratively with the child and family to identify the needs and priorities of the child and family. From this process a written plan is developed over time, called an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). This IFSP will include the goals chosen with you and what strategies and supports are required to achieve your goals.

What is a Lead Agency?

The Lead Agency Model is the agreed structure for the future service delivery of children’s disability services. Each Lead Agency will have the responsibility for the provision of services for children with complex disability in the CDNT’s assigned to that agency. The Lead Agency for each team is listed on the table below. All CDNT’s regardless of their Lead Agency will have similar pathways for supporting your child and family priorities. Each CDNT has an appointed Children’s Disability Network Manager (CDNM) responsible for the operation of the team.

What happens now?

Reconfiguration to the new service is ongoing and families involved are being informed of the plans. You will remain with your current service provider until the reconfiguration date in 2021. During this period your service provider will be in contact with you to inform you of where your child will be transferring to following reconfiguration. They will assist you in terms of any queries you may have during this period.

Where do I go if I have questions?

An information session for families of children supported by Cope Foundation (COPE Early Intervention, North Lee ASD Service and Special Schools) took place on 16th December 2020. You can view this online information session here. Following the live information session, a number of questions were put to the presenters. These questions are answered in this document here

Your current service provider should be able to help you with any questions that you may have on the process at this time. The HSE website also has some useful information that you can access at this link: www.hse.ie/childdisability

Progressing Disability Services Referral Forms and Additional Information Forms

Other useful information