Police and Law - What you need to know

What you need to know!

1. Assisted Decision-Making Act 2015

The Assisted Decision Making Act sets out to reform the law to allow those with limited decision making capacity to better manage their personal property and financial affairs.

This new law will replace or repeal the Lunacy Act 1871, legislation which refers to persons with intellectual disabilities as ‘idiot’, ‘lunatic’ and of ‘unsound mind’ and it will end the present ward of court process.

Under the Assisted Decision Making Act a person whose decision-making capacity is in question can appoint a person to assist, co-decide or represent them for the purpose of making a decision.

Assisted-Decision Making Factsheet (webpage)

2. Congregated Settings

A congregated setting is where 10 or more people with a disability are housed in a single living unit or placed in accommodation that is campus or institution based.                  

“A Time to Move On from Congregated Settings” is a report published by the Health Service Executive in 2011.

The report found that many people with disability living in congregated settings live isolated lives, segregated from the community and family; many experience institutional living conditions where they lack basic privacy and dignity. 

The report proposed a new model of accommodation and support in the community. 

Congregated Settings webpage​

3. Hiqa National Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities

The standards set out what a good quality safe residential service for children and adults with disabilities should look like. The Health Information and Quality authority HIQA are responsible for the process of registration, inspection and monitoring against these standards.

All centres providing residential services, including respite, to children and adults with disabilities must be registered with HIQA by law and must provide an appropriate standard of care.     

Hiqa website (external link)

4. National Disability Strategy

The National Disability Strategy was launched in 2004 to secure the participation in society of people with disabilities.

There are 3 main parts to the strategy:                                             

1. Disability Legislation: the Education for People with Special Needs Act 2004, the Disability Act 2005 and the Citizens Information Act 2007.

2. Legal plans for 6 government departments showing how they will address key disability issues, including employment, environment and housing, health and disability services, social welfare and transport and communications. These plans are called statutory sectoral plans.

3. A multi-annual investment programme for disability support services for the period 2006-2009.

The National Disability Strategy Implementation Plan 2012-2015 identifies what actions can be implemented under the National Disability Strategy over the years 2012 to 2015.

Inclusion Ireland and the National Disability Strategy

5. National Housing Strategy

The National Housing Strategy 2011 – 2016 is the government plan to meet the housing needs of people with disability.

The plan aims to achieve mainstream access to independent living for adults living with physical, mental, sensory and intellectual disabilities and support people with a disability to live independently in their own homes.

Inclusion Ireland and the National Housing Strategy

6. New Directions

A review carried out between 2007 and 2012 of HSE day services and personal support services for adults with disabilities, with an implementation plan for 2012 to 2016.

New Directions described traditional day service provision and proposed a new model of day service and support in the community based on person-centeredness, community inclusion, active citizenship, and high quality service provision.         

There is no legal obligation on services to implement New Directions.   

Day services remain unregulated and uninspected.  

New Directions webpage

7. Progressing Disability Services for Children

A HSE Programme to achieve a single national approach to delivering health disability services to children with a disability.

Disability services for all children and young people will be accessed through HSE led geographically based teams.

Children with non-complex needs may have their needs met by the HSE Primary Care Team; children with complex needs may have their needs met by the HSE Children’s Disability Network Team (also referred to as the Early Intervention Team and School-age Team).

Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People webpage

Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People (HSE external website)

8. UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (also called the CRPD) provides the framework to promote, protect and ensure the rights of all people with disabilities and promotes equal rights in all areas of life.

The convention contains no new rights. What it does is bring together in one document all of the existing rights in other conventions and international human rights treaties.

The Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006. Ireland singed the CPRD in March 2007. However, Ireland is one of the few Member States of the EU yet to ratify the Convention.

Inclusion Ireland and the UNCRPD

9. Value for Money Report

Full title: Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services in Ireland

This Review is an evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of all HSE-funded disability services in Ireland. It was conducted by the Department of Health and the HSE under the Government’s programme of Value for Money Reviews for 2009-2011.

It makes a range of recommendations about how these services should be structured.

Value for Money webpage

Value for Money Report (external website)