The preliminary assessments were deemed to be unlawful because a full and comprehensive assessment of a child’s needs is required under the 2005 Disability Act.
The HSE has confirmed it will contact the families of 10,000 children who underwent an assessment of need using a screening procedure now deemed unlawful, to see if they want their case reviewed.
A standard operating procedure for assessment of need was implemented for all new applications from January 15, 2020, in the face of stiff opposition from psychologists, therapists and others.
Two test cases challenged whether the process complied with the law as set out by the Disability Act 2005. In the High Court earlier this month, Ms Justice Siobhán Phelan said the preliminary assessments were unlawful because a full and comprehensive assessment of a child’s needs is required under the Act.
The HSE said about 10,000 preliminary team assessments have been completed under the procedure.
“The HSE will engage directly with these families to establish if they wish to receive a further assessment under the terms of the Disability Act,” a HSE spokesperson said.
The HSE is prioritising the establishment of a group to develop a revised approach to assessment of need under the Disability Act 2005.
“The group will also develop a plan to address the needs of those children who received a preliminary team assessment and who may need additional diagnostic assessments.
“In the interim, assessment of need reports will no longer be issued on the basis of a preliminary team assessment. A memo has been issued to all stakeholders to this effect.”
Gareth Noble of law firm KOD Lyons, which has also brought challenges to the system of assessing children, said that the situation should be a resignation matter for those who implemented the unlawful system.
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See the original article on the Irish Examiner.