Day Opportunities Service

The Day Opportunities Officers meet with all school leavers who may have support needs, arising from a disability, and for whom a HSE-funded day service may be the best option for future training and education. See here for details of the HSE-funded day services in the CHO7 area

These services are part of Adult Disability Services, and young people must be 18 years of age to participate in them.

Contact details for Day Opportunities in CHO7

HSE Day Opportunities Service,

Hawthorn House,

Millennium Park,


Co Kildare, W91FY53.

Tel: 045 931551

Who is the service for?

Most of the referrals are for students from:

  • Special Schools
  • Special classes in mainstream schools
  • The service also receives referrals for students from mainstream schools (pupils with additional needs, such as autism, who have attended mainstream school).

Who can refer?

  • Schools
  • Family members
  • Clinicians and any other professional who may be involved with a school leaver.

A Referral Form is required to refer to the service, which you can access here

What to expect?

The calendar year for a Day Opportunities Officer follows the school year cycle:

September to December

The Day Opportunities Officer will hold their Initial Profile Meeting for each referral sent to them. Students in the same school may be assigned to different Day Opportunities Officers, depending on their address.

The Initial Profile Meeting is to establish what supports the young person would need to participate in the training and education the HSE-funded day services offer. During the meeting, the Day Opportunities Officer will fill out a Profile Form. It takes about 45 minutes to complete.

The Profile Form covers the following details:

  • The young person’s personal care needs
  • Their independent living skills
  • Their organisational skills / money management
  •  If they suffer from anxiety
  • What their verbal skills are
  • What their medical needs are
  • If there are any points to note around behaviours or vulnerability.

January to February

In consultation with the parent/guardian/school, the Day Opportunities Officer will make their onward referral to the day service provider identified as best suited to the young person.

They will look at the closest service to the student’s home and the service that most suits their needs and/or the service they prefer.

For this onward referral, they will need up-to-date psychological assessments and any other reports that are available.

March to April

The referrals are processed by each day service provider, and, where possible, families are invited to visit those services. This is to facilitate the young person’s transition to the new service and is normally supported by school staff.

A longer-term transition arrangement can be put in place in exceptional circumstances (for example, in the case of a school placement breakdown).


Day Service places are confirmed.


Day Service starts.


The above timelines can vary depending on several factors (for example, when the young person turns 18).

New Directions

New Directions is the current policy which governs HSE-funded Day Services.  New Directions sets out 12 supports that should be available to people with disabilities using day services:

  1. Support for making choices and plans.
  2. Support for making transitions and progression.
  3. Support for inclusion in one’s local community.
  4. Support for accessing education and formal learning.
  5. Support for maximising independence.
  6. Support for personal and social development.
  7. Support for health and wellbeing.
  8. Support for accessing bridging programmes to vocational training.
  9. Support for accessing vocational training and work opportunities.
  10. Support for personal expression and creativity.
  11. Support for having meaningful social roles.
  12. Support for influencing service policy and practice.

New Directions proposes that day services should take the form of individualised outcome-focussed supports to allow adults using those services to live a life of their choosing in accordance with their own wishes, needs and aspirations. It is based on the person’s needs and goals.

What Day Services provide

  • Independent Living Skills
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Various forms of soft skills training e.g., IT skills: Nutrition: Money Management
  • Travel training
  • Personal development
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Work experience
  • Community Education
  • Community Integration
  • Accessing resources and community facilities.

Person-centred planning (PCP)

  • A person-centred plan is put in place for each young person. This informs the service of the programmes the student wants to avail of and what supports they will need to achieve their goals.
  • Families and any other member of the young person’s circle of support are invited to the PCP meeting.
  • Each young person is assigned a key worker.
  • In some cases, this person-centred plan may begin when your young person is still in school, but most often will be developed once they are attending their new day service.


  • The HSE has moved away from the traditional training centre model. It has evolved into a HUB model which is a drop-in type centre where the young person can get support to achieve their goals in the community.
  • These HUBS are in the local communities and staffed by key workers.


  • Most centres offer certification mainly at level QQI level 1 and 2 but the National Learning Network (NLN) offer level 3 in some subjects certified by FETAC or ASDAN.
  • There is also the opportunity for trainees to participate in community education where their chosen subject is available. They have support from the centre to avail of this.


  • For many young people with more complex needs the service can last for life.


Watch the video below, 'Introducing New Directions', to learn more about the Day Opportunities Service.