Progress being made on Assessments of Need backlogs in Laois-Offaly – Cowen

Published on: 26 February 2021

Fianna Fáil TD for Laois-Offaly, Barry Cowen, has said progress with regards to Assessments of Need (AoN) waiting lists in Laois-Offaly, is most welcome.

Deputy Cowen commented, “We all know early diagnosis and intervention is key in supporting children who may require additional supports.

“Following Minister Rabbitte’s announcement in September that €7.8m was being provided nationally to clear the AoN backlog, great progress has been made. €900,000 of that fund was made available for CHO8, which includes Counties Offaly and Laois.

“A portion of this was provided to Laois-Offaly specifically and a robust plan was put in place to address all the outstanding Assessments of Need, which addressed both the legacy assessments and the outstanding assessments for applications made under the new Standard Operating Procedure.

“In June 2020, 410 applications were identified as outstanding and the funding was utilised to address this backlog. Currently Laois-Offaly has 100 applications that remain outstanding with plans to complete these by the end of April 2021.

“I sincerely hope after many representations this gives hope to families awaiting an assessment for their child. There is an ongoing programme of work to provide ASD classes. Many towns and schools don’t yet have them. The clearing of assessment of needs while welcome will now necessitate a concerted and targeted effort to provide the necessary classes, ” concluded Deputy Cowen.


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