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Over 300 families praised for commitment to foster care service (with photos)

     More than 300 foster families were commended today (May 3) for their selfless contribution and prolonged commitment to the foster care service by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at the Foster Families Service Award Presentation Ceremony 2015.

     Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Social Welfare, Ms Carol Yip, praised foster parents for their contribution to society. She said that foster parents uphold the virtues of sharing and love, and called on all family members to provide a stable home filled with love and care for children in need. This would enable these children to grow up in a healthy way, which in turn helps to create a more harmonious and caring society, she added.

     "The idea of 'a home' and 'living in a warm and loving home' is crucial to everyone. Foster care services, with the participation of the foster family, fill the gap by offering a warm home for those children whose parents are temporarily unable to take care of them and helps them overcome adversities.

     "The theme of today's ceremony is 'A Loving Foster Home', which is aimed at commending the dedicated contribution of foster parents. I am pleased to know that out of 323 award-winning foster families, about half of them have been serving for more than 10 years. Three of them have even served for over 25 years," she said.

     Ms Yip also thanked social workers from the 11 NGOs, which are providing foster care services for their joint efforts with the Central Foster Care Unit of the SWD in supervising and supporting foster families to make possible a steady development of foster care services.

     During the ceremony, various long-service awards were presented to foster families that have offered foster care services for five to more than 25 years. Special awards were also given to those taking care of children with special needs.

     Established in 1982, the SWD's Central Foster Care Unit oversees and co-ordinates the provision of the foster care services currently provided by 11 NGOs. Foster care provides substitute family care for children whose parents cannot adequately take care of them for various reasons, so that the children can continue to enjoy family life until they reunite with their families or when other long-term welfare plans are arranged for them. To enhance the recruitment of suitable foster homes, three NGOs have been provided with additional subventions since December 2012 to operate cluster-based foster home pools and directly recruit foster homes on Hong Kong Island, in West Kowloon and New Territories East, so that more needy children can receive residential care services.

     As at end of March, 2015, there were 931 registered foster families and 941 children receiving foster care services.

     Members of the public who are interested in offering foster care services can visit the SWD website
or contact the intake worker on duty at the Central Foster Care Unit at 2573 2282.

Ends/Sunday, May 3, 2015
Issued at HKT 12:30


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