ALL Cork general election candidates have been invited to visit any of Cope Foundation’s facilities as part of their campaign to see the challenges facing the disability sector.
Cope Foundation has a shortfall of €38m per annum to meet the rapidly growing demands of its service. There are currently 400 children waiting for an assessment for autism spectrum disorder, while 1,350 others are awaiting specialist intervention.
Of the adults requiring support, there are 174 currently on a residential waiting list, with many having nowhere to call their permanent home.
Specifically Cope Foundation need an additional €5m to recruit 87 additional members of the interdisciplinary team to meet the needs of children on the waiting list for ASD services
They need €1.9m to meet the needs of people requiring home support; €11.55m is needed to provide safer services and better quality of life for people currently in Cope Foundation’s day services and residences in order to employ 214 full-time additional staff; €13.2m to transition and support people to live in their own homes in the community and €1.6m to provide respite and short breaks to the adults supported by Cope Foundation.
Chief executive Sean Abbott says the challenges facing Cope Foundation and the people it supports are very real. ‘Every politician running for election needs to be aware of the impact of waiting lists on families, and of the impact of delays in treatment caused as a result of funding shortfalls,’ he said. ‘We will post a list of the candidates who accept our offer, and regularly update it on our social media.’