Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath officially opened a new Children’s Respite Centre on Wednesday 13th February 2019.
The new Children’s Disability Respite Service will provide residential respite. The service will be provided by HSE Community Healthcare Organisation Dublin North City & County (CHO DNCC) in conjunction with Praxis Care. The Children’s Disability Respite Service is located in Ashbourne, Co. Meath and will provide a seven night service with five individual bedrooms, it will provide a minimum of 1,200 bed nights annually.
Speaking at the official opening Mairead Lyons, Head of Social Care, CHO DNCC said ‘The HSE very much welcomes the additional funding from Government which has enabled the development of this much needed residential respite service to address the needs identified by children and their families and carers in CHO Dublin North City & County. The CHO commissioned this Children’s Disability Residential Respite Service in order to meet the needs of children and families with moderate to high support needs living in the catchment area. ‘
She added ‘From a parents/carers perspective handing over the responsibility of a child can be a real challenge. The bond and intimacy between parent/carer and their child is unique, they may often feel and doubt that organisations can meet all of their child’s needs in a way they do.
It is a necessity for families and carers to take a break from time to time. Taking time for a break is a very powerful coping mechanism. The underlying goal of respite is to provide a positive experience for the child with a disability, the carer and other family members so that in the long term, their relationships are supported and they may continue to live at home with their family.’
The aim of the Children Disability Residential Respite Service is to provide quality respite care to children with disabilities and their families/carers who currently receive services from the HSE, Private Disability Providers and Voluntary Organisations.
Minister Mc Grath said ‘The Government’s on-going priority is the safeguarding of vulnerable people in the care of the health service. Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives. Respite services are an important part of the range of services supporting people with disabilities and their families. In 2018, there was a significant improvement in respite with an additional €10m provided to fund respite houses. These additional houses, including this house in Ashbourne, are providing additional respite for families that need it. I have visited a number of these new respite houses and seen at first hand this positive impact’
Respite care is a form of short-term substitute care for children with disabilities and is provided by someone other than parents or the usual carers of the child. It may form part of a support package based on the particular needs of individual children and their families.
Carol Breen, Director of Care & Development, Praxis Care said ‘This new service is the result of a successful collaboration between Praxis Care and CHO DNCC. The respite house is registered with HIQA and complies with the regulations set out in the 2007 Health Act and will be monitored by the HSE and HIQA ongoing for compliance and quality. The standards developed by HIQA and Praxis Care ltd with the HSE detail how centres and the people who work with children in residential based respite care can ensure each child gets the care and support they need, that they are listened to, that their rights are protected and promoted and that they are involved in making decisions about their respite breaks.’
‘Residential Respite Services aim to be a positive experience for a child. Children can learn to count on other people for support and help and to feel safe and well in other settings other than home or school. There may be opportunities to provide training for family and friends who may be willing to take a child overnight. ‘
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