Residential Services - The Community Living Transition Plan 2016 - 2018

What is the Community Living Transition Plan?

The HSE, with the Department of Health, is working to accelerate the reform of residential services for persons with an intellectual disability, from an institutional or congregated model of care to a community based model of care.

This is in line national policy, informed by the Time to Move on from Congregated Settings Report 2011, the New Directions Report (day-services) 2012, and the Value for Money Policy Review 2009-2011(now called The Transforming Lives Programme).

Separate to decongregating, there is also the statutory requirement to comply with the Regulations and Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities (HIQA) and comply with the National Policy on Safeguarding.

Oversight of the transition plan will be provided through Working Group 2 of the Transforming Lives process – a Department of Health working group.

Focus of the Plan

For 2016 and over the next 3 years the Community Living Transition Plan will focus particularly on the congregated residential services with significant non-compliance with the National Regulations and Standards for Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities.

Community Living

The Community Living Transition Plan says that -  

  • The individualised needs assessment process will determine that some residents can transition to community living with appropriate additional supports.
  • Other residents will require significant support in order to progress to community and preparation time will take longer.
  • A further group have significant complex needs, ageing or medical conditions and further transitional planning will be required to establish the most appropriate supports and services to meet their needs.
  • Residents with deteriorating health and care needs will require specific attention to establish the most appropriate home and service supports for them.

Other than the general term “community living” the HSE does not identify the range of home and support options that may be proposed.

An Action Plan for Each Service 

Each participating residential service is required to prepare an action plan which will identify the future development of the service, the actions to be taken, the resources and staff mix available and the process of consultation and engagement with all who have an interest or concern.

The HSE states that the process of identifying and supporting individuals to move to the community will be based on the individual assessment of needs, along with engagement with service users and their families about their choices and preferences.

Each service action plan will include details of planned collaboration with local voluntary and supporting bodies including approved housing bodies, community networks and resource centres, employment networks, the HSE and Genio etc.

The HSE target for completion of the service action plans is the first quarter 2016.


The HSE Social Care Operation Plan 2016 advises that dedicated government capital funding of €100m for disability services, together with the additional HSE Existing Level of Service (ELS) Funding for residential services will enable a reconfiguration of supports and the provision of accommodation required to enable the transition to the community of at least an additional 160 service users in 2016.

The Department of the Environment have developed arrangements to facilitate access by voluntary sector service providers and voluntary housing associations to the Social Housing fund.

Additionally a Service Reform Fund (SRF) has been agreed between Atlantic Philanthropies, the Department of Health, HSE Social Care and Mental Health Divisions and Genio.

This fund will prioritise transition to a person centred model of services and supports, developing capability, research and evaluation and developing an advocacy framework.

There will be an application process for the service reform funding

Useful Links:

The Community Living Transition Plan 2016 - 2018

HSE Social Care Division Operational Plan 2016

Genio (external website)