Minister for Disabilities welcomes temporary assignment of SNAs to health and social services supports

Wednesday 1st April 2020

Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues, Finian McGrath, has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Education and Skills today that Special Needs Assistants are being nominated for a new temporary assignment scheme as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.  


Minister McGrath said:

“I welcome this positive intervention on the part of the Minister for Education & Skills which underscores the whole of government approach genuinely being taken to support our health and social care services during this public health emergency. In particular, I wish to pay special tribute to the Special Needs Assistance personnel whom in the first instance will play a vital role in supporting vulnerable children with disabilities and their families during this time of great need as part of an integrated response including HSE delivered and funded disability agencies. Our aim is to provide additional support to families who may be vulnerable at this difficult time.”

As Chair of the NPHET Subgroup on vulnerable people, Assistant Secretary in Social Care in the Department of Health, Dr. Kathleen McLellan said:

“This announcement recognises the important role that Special Needs Assistants play in the lives of children with disabilities in attending school on a regular basis. SNA have established relationships with many children and their families and it is their unique skills that we are drawing on. Maintaining social support and responding to the child’s individual needs across settings is very important now more than ever”


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