Dáil Éireann - Volume 477 - 10 April, 1997
Written Answers. - Psychological Service.
Dr. O'Hanlon Dr. O'Hanlon
83. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Education the reason a child (details supplied) in County Monaghan is being denied a psychological assessment; where the failure lies in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9495/97]
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach) Niamh Bhreathnach
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): As I stated in my reply of 20 February 1997 the issue of when a psychological assessment may be arranged for the child referred to in the question is a matter for the director of community care in the relevant community care area. There is a schools psychological service provided by my Department to post-primary schools in the Louth-Monaghan area, but it is not yet available to national schools in the area. However, as an exceptional arrangement for the child concerned, my Department's psychological service, in consultation with the psychologists in the community care team, will ensure that the child is psychologically assessed.
Due to the need to limit public expenditure, it has not been possible to expand my Department's psychological service in the recent past. Given the current level of staffing, the schools psychological service cannot be offered to national schools in areas other than those where it is currently being provided. Any extension of the psychological service provided by my Department will take place on a phased basis, as resources become available for the purpose. It will, necessarily, be some time before the Department of Education is in a position to take over responsibility for psychological assessments for educational purposes from the health authorities.
As and when it becomes possible to extend the schools psychological service, the needs of children  and of schools in various areas, including County Monaghan, will be borne in mind.
Dáil Éireann 477 Written Answers. Psychological Service.