Local TD Denis Naughten has told the Dáil that children’s services throughout the country are in crisis.
He called on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to use the new unit established in his Department to focus on improving children’s well-being to prioritise access to such services.
Deputy Naughten said the Taoiseach announced that a unit would be set up within his Department to focus on reducing child poverty and improving well-being in order to make Ireland the best country in Europe in which to be a child.
“I believe it would help if we started by improving access to necessary therapies through primary care services, including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and physiotherapy.”
The Independent TD said that we have all seen the crisis in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, CAMHS, exposed by the Mental Health Commission report, but the reality is that ‘all services for children are in crisis’.
“Two of the most significant battles faced by parents of children with a disability relate to getting a diagnosis and after that long, tortuous process, the second struggle is the inaccessibility of regular supports.”
In response, the Taoiseach acknowledged that there is a “very real problem when it comes to children being able to access the therapies, assessments, treatment and counselling they need. Children are being let down.”
He also committed to addressing the problem as part of the work programme of the child poverty and wellbeing unit being established in his Department.