Government releases Report of Second Phase Review of Committee on Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services

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Hong Kong Government Press Release

30th March 2023 – (Hong Kong)   The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today released the Report of the Second Phase Review of the Committee on Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services (the Review Committee).

The Review Committee commenced the second phase review in September last year, which comprised a comprehensive review on institutional and family-based care services (including children’s homes, boys’/girls’ homes and boys’/girls’ hostels, small group homes (SGHs) and SGHs for mildly mentally handicapped children) as well as foster care services. A total of 39 recommendations have been made.

 On institutional and family-based care services, the report has proposed recommendations in four aspects, namely service quality, regulation, planning and provision, including increasing the manpower of different ranks, expanding the scope of professional staff support services, strengthening staff training and requiring superintendents to complete training courses on child protection, improving the referral mechanism and guidelines, enhancing the functions of case workers, and enhancing post-discharge support, etc.

 On foster care services, the report recommended introducing flexible recruitment and care arrangements, strengthening the support and training for foster parents, and enhancing promotion to attract participation in foster care service, etc.

 An SWD spokesman said that the Review Committee had been established in April last year to conduct a review on residential child care and related services in two phases. The first phase of the review, completed in August last year, made 31 recommendations covering residential child care centres (RCCCs) and residential special child care centres (RSCCCs). The recommendations, which have been implemented progressively, include strengthening inspections; requiring service operators to enhance their internal audit mechanism; setting up service quality groups comprising members from medical, allied health, education and social welfare sectors as well as district leaders and the Justice of the Peace, etc, to conduct unannounced visits; setting up surveillance periods for operators which fail to meet service requirements; and issuing codes of practice to provide clearer, more targeted and more effective guidelines for service operators.

The work of the Review Committee has been completed. The Government expresses its gratitude to members for their valuable contributions and views on the relevant services, and will proactively follow up on the review reports to ensure that the recommendations for improvement are effectively implemented.

 The report of the second phase review has been uploaded to the SWD’s website (www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_listofserv/id_crcc/).