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Sinn Féin lobbies for improvements to Adult Special Needs provision in Strabane.

11 August, 2008 - by Michaela Boyle


Sinn Féin lobbies for improvements to Adult Special Needs provision in Strabane.

Sinn Féin representatives Claire Mc Gill MLA and Cllr Michaela Boyle met with Department of Health officials in Strabane this morning to press for progress on issues of concern expressed by parents of young adults transferring from Knockavoe Special School to Glenside Adult Training Centre as well as to lobby for much needed investment to improve the physical environment at the Glenside facility itself.

In a statement following the meeting the Sinn Fein representatives said,

"We held an informative and constructive meeting this morning with Mr Trevor Millar, Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at the Western Health Trust and fellow team member Mr Brian Mc Garvey on a number of issues of concern relating to shortcoming in adult special needs provision in Strabane.

"We raised the issue of there often being a lack of clarity for parents in terms of what

'Transition Plans' are available for those children who have been assessed to transfer from Knockavoe Special School to Glenside Adult Training Centre when they become 18 years of age. Furthermore, it is often the case that parents of these young adults with special needs having to 'fight battles' with the Department of Health to ensure that the necessary finance and accommodation is in place to ensure the individual transition plans are acted upon.

"The Department of Health officials said that they would take these issues on board and acknowledged the need for improved clarity and communication with parents and where necessary a more joined up multi-agency approach to ensure that cases requiring such an approach are dealt with in this way.

"We also pressed the officials for much needed investment to improve the physical environment at the Glenside facility itself. The officials could not give us a definitive timescale for a planned new build for Glenside but promised that substantial investment would shortly be made to improve and upgrade the current facilities." ENDS

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