Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
SWD implements integrated model for offender services

     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (July 3) implemented an integrated model for the community-based services for offenders with a view to providing more holistic support to service users so as to assist them in starting afresh and re-integrating into the community.

     The Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Youth and Corrections), Mr Fung Man-lok, paid a visit to the staff of the Sha Tin Probation and Community Service Orders Office (PCSO) and the Co-ordinating Office of Community Service Orders (COCSO), where he was able to see the new service model in operation.

     "Community-based services for offenders comprise the probation service, the Community Service Order (CSO) service and the Community Support Service Scheme. In the past, probation services were provided by Probation Offices serving their respective Magistrates' Courts, while the CSO service was provided by the CSO Office in Sha Tin. In case offenders, including probationers, were sentenced to CSO by the court, their cases had to be transferred to the CSO Office for follow-up action. The service user concerned and the Probation Officer handling the new case would have to develop rapport, re-adjust to the service details and follow up on the case all over again," Mr Fung said.

     "In addition, although there has been a slight decrease in the overall number of cases requiring the services over the past few years, social changes have complicated the problems of crime. We must make better use of the existing resources in the light of the new circumstances to provide appropriate services that can meet the needs of service users in an innovative way.

     "After an intensive review and study, we have decided to adopt an integrated model to consolidate dispersed offices. With a view to providing a more diversified and convenient one-stop professional service, separate offices have been integrated and PCSOs are now set up in seven Magistrates' Courts over the territory as a way to strengthen human resources and enhance flexibility of each office," he added.

     Under the integrated model, offenders who are ordered by the court to be placed under probation or CSO supervision can receive all necessary services for offenders in the PCSOs serving the respective Magistrate's Courts, so that their cases need not be transferred among different offices. With the new synergy generated, service delivery and the existing counselling service will also be enhanced to help offenders re-integrate into the community as soon as possible, including the provision of one-stop counselling and group services for offenders and their families.

     In the meantime, a COCSO has been set up specifically to support the seven PCSOs in arranging unpaid community work for persons who are placed under CSO by the court.

     Mr Fung believes that through the new integrated model, the SWD can utilise resources and manpower in a more flexible and effective manner in providing appropriate services for offenders and their families. Probation Officers will thus be able to adopt a more holistic approach to closely follow up the needs of the offenders and their families and to provide people-oriented services.

Ends/Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:01


Print this page