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Key National Documents

These reports and guidance documents have all been developed at a national level to support Local Implementation Groups and to establish consistency and equity across the country.

Telepractice: A Practical Guide for Children’s Disability Teams

This guide provides advice and suggestions to teams on how to prepare for and deliver services and supports to children and families through the use of technology, such as video-conferencing and pre-recorded materials.

It draws on the international experience of telepractice, in particular from Australia, and includes useful checklists and links to other resources.

Report of Reference Group on Multidisciplinary Services for Children aged 5 to 18 Years 2009

This report forms the basis for the programme’s planned changes to disability services for children and young people. It includes recommendations on a national structure for delivering services and on improving linkages between Education and Health Services.


Guidelines for local implementation groups on developing a governance structure and policies for children’s disability services;October 2011 (Structures Guidelines)

These guidelines give local implementation groups the stages they need to work through when developing a new structure for the delivery of disability services.


Framework for Collaborative Working between Education and Health Professionals June 2013

This Framework was developed by a working group comprised of people working in the health services and in education and a parent. It sets out the links needed between the two sectors at national and local level in order for them to work together for the benefit of children with a disability. A guide to the supports needed around the planning for transition stages for children in the education system (into primary school, from primary school to post-primary school etc.) is included.


Report on the Findings of the Consultation on Outcome Statements;2013

A working group was convened to develop a framework for measuring services according to the outcomes achieved for children and families. As part of their work the group consulted with service users, parents and staff through an online survey and this report gives the findings. The final report of the group 'Outcomes for Children and Their Families' was issued subsequently.


Outcomes for Children and Their Families September 2013

This report sets out a new approach to measuring our services according to the outcomes achieved for children and their families.


Guidance on Reconfiguration of Services under the Programme;February 2014

Using experience from areas which have already reconfigured this guidance takes Local Implementation Groups through the detailed planning required when services are to be reconfigured.


Guidance on Specialist Supports;January 2016

This Guidance outlines the need for specialist support for a small number of children whose specific needs require a level of expertise which may not solely be met by the Children’s Disability Network Team or Primary Care services.


National Policy on Access to Health Services for Children with Disability or Developmental Delay 2019

There is one policy on access to Primary Care and Children’s Disability Network services. This will ensure consistency across the country and will make referral easier and more straightforward for parents and other referrers. There is a national referral form with additional information forms according to the child’s age, which are designed to be completed by parents and carers to find out all their concerns about their child’s development.

National Policy on Discharge and Transfer from Children’s Disability Network Teams 2017

The national policy for the management of the discharge and transfer of services for a child from a CDNT.

National Policy on Prioritisation of Referrals to Children’s Disability Network Teams 2016

The national policy for all Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs) on prioritisation of referrals for assessment and intervention, taking into account both the child’s and the family’s needs.


Guidelines on parent and service user representation on local implementation groups 24.6.13

A guide on how parent representatives on Local implementation Groups should be supported in the role and suggestions on also engaging children and young people to hear their views on services.

Guidance on Individual Family Service Plans 2017

Guidance for teams on what constitutes an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) for national performance reporting under this programme, the process for developing an IFSP and sample IFSP template and forms which could be used to gather information from children/young people and families on their priorities and goals.

Report of the National Advisory Group on Specialist Supports for Deaf Children 2017

The National Advisory Group on Services for Deaf Children gathered information on existing services for deaf children in the Health, Education and non-statutory sectors. The Group identified the specialist supports required in order to assist Primary Care and Children’s Disability Network Teams and ensure best practice. They recommended a model of specialist support at national level through a three-tiered model of training for front line staff, consultation regarding individual children and specialist assessment for the very small number of children for whom all efforts to assess their needs have been unsuccessful.

HSE Joint Working Protocol between Primary Care, Disability and child and Adolescent Mental Health Services September 2017

This joint protocol identifies how services will work seamlessly for children whose needs cross these three services. It includes flow charts for the referral processes and outlines the operation of an Integrated Children’s Services Forum in each area to discuss and decide on pathways for children when this is not clear or when shared care is required.

HSE/Tusla Joint Working Protocol March 2017

This inter-agency protocol clarifies the respective roles, duties and legal requirements of the HSE and Tusla the Child and Family Agency, in relation to children and young people with a disability and /or mental health issues. It establishes areas of joint responsibility and pathways for collaboration between the HSE and Tusla the Child and Family Agency.

Policy Framework for Children’s Disability Network Teams

This is a template to assist managers and staff in Children’s Disability Network Teams (CDNTs) with the operation of the service and to promote consistency across all CDNTs.

It refers to the PDS principles and the national policies which apply to CDNTs and has guidance on sources and supports in order to develop other necessary team policies and procedures.

In the appendix is the Self-audit tool for CDNTs, which is a means for teams to assess their progress and identify areas for improvement.

National Team Development Programme

This phased programme will be delivered for Children’s Disability Network Managers and Children’s Disability Network Teams to support them and to drive consistency in moving to the PDS model of service delivery. The programme is based on the twelve PDS principles, core deliverables under each principle and the team competencies required.

National Policy on the Lead Agency Model 2019

The Lead Agency Model is the agreed structure for the future service delivery of children’s disability services. Each lead agency will have the responsibility for the provision of services for children aged from birth to 18 years with complex disability in the Children’s Disability Network Team(s) (CDNT) assigned to that agency. The lead agency may be a HSE funded non-statutory organisation or a HSE Community Healthcare Organisation.

Joint Working Protocol between Health, Better Start Early Years Specialists and Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA)

This protocol is for the provision of health service supports for children with a disability under the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) 2020.

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme. This document sets out how the HSE (Disabilities and Primary Care) and HSE funded organisations will provide the relevant health service supports for Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the model.