Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan said:
"Recently, I learned that the Southern Trust told parents and carers of children with complex needs that short break provisions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
"It came as a shock to parents as they received a letter from the Southern Trust in September relaying information on the future of short break provisions at Oakland’s Respite Unit, Armagh.
“The unit supports children and young adults with learning disabilities and provides that much needed support for parents and families. Parents understand how much the service is valued and the impact it makes on the lives of families who use it.
“Over the years I have heard of the genuine affection for the staff and how much they do for the children. To receive a letter out of the blue blind sighted parents. This service has been a lifeline.
"I have raised concerns directly with the Trust and I am glad to report that I have received a response regarding the future of its short break services.
"Reassurances have been given straight from the Director of Child and Family Services, Paul Morgan, that the Southern Trust are “committed to restoring their short breaks service to its usual levels as soon as possible.
"It is a great relief that families have been given assurances that the Trust are keen to work positively with them and are keen to meet with parents and political representatives to discuss the recent difficulties.
"It is my understanding that the Trust will be facilitating a cross party meeting in Armagh to address the complications faced, on Thursday 12th October.
"As always, the devil is in the detail, the Trust have stated that recent difficulties have been temporary, however their aim is to provide a full resumption of the service in the very near future.”