The Camphill Family & Friends Association (CFFA) has been a large part of Camphill life over many decades and has been a key supporter of the Camphill life. The Association has become increasingly aware of the dire financial situation that Camphill is in through underinvestment over many decades but in particular since 2004. Camphill Communities of Ireland (CCoI) has been engaged in discussions with the HSE since 2004 and to date there has been very little movement. In 2008 there was an acknowledgement by HSE officials that the funding levels for residential placements were too low and a substantial once off payment was made as a ‘top up’ payment. However over the intervening years the top up payments have reduced by almost two million Euro.
CCoI has held more than 30 meetings with HSE officials since 2011, to impress on them the urgent need for realistic funding for residential placements in our Communities. Most residential placements in Communities are funded at around 60% of the normal fees for other agencies. The CFFA with the kind assistance of Finian McGrath TD, organised a presentation to TDs and Senators on the four main issues for Camphill:
- Increased capitation fees based on the needs of the individual and cost of providing such supports and not on historical precedence.
- Capital grants towards HIQA fire safety upgrades and registration works.
- Sustainable regular funding towards maintaining and upgrading housing stock to ensure safe, comfortable, energy efficient homes that meet the needs of residents.
- Payments for Sleepover rates increase in line with the Labour Court Ruling in September 2014.
More than sixty TDs and Senators or their representatives attended the meeting which was chaired by Bernard Haslam and heard presentations from Joe Lynch, Miriam Moffitt, Stuart O’Neill, Sean Durkin Adrienne Smith and Thomas Horan. As a follow on, CCoI has requested a hearing with the Dail Committee on Health & Children in the coming weeks and we will also be seeking meetings with Ministers Kathleen Lynch and Leo Varadkar. We are also asking all parents, family members and friends of Camphill to carry our message to their local TDs and Senators.