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SLW visits Working Family Allowance Office and Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home (with photos)

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, visited the Working Family Allowance Office and the Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home today (July 21) to understand at first hand the progress of preparatory work on the Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme as well as the residential and training service for maladjusted children, juveniles and young offenders provided by the Social Welfare Department.

     Accompanied by the Head of the Working Family and Student Financial Assistance Agency, Mr Esmond Lee, Mr Cheung visited the offices of the core teams responsible for recruitment, administration for setting up a permanent office, operational planning and information technology infrastructure where he was briefed on the progress of preparatory work on all fronts.

     "The Low-income Working Family Allowance Scheme is an important measure initiated by the current-term Government to alleviate poverty. The scheme aims to ease the financial burden of low-income working families by promoting self-reliance through continuous employment and reducing inter-generational poverty. Over 200 000 low-income working households involving 710 000 persons, of whom some 170 000 will be eligible children or youngsters, are expected to benefit. The estimated expenditure for subsidy payment will amount to $3 billion a year. Since the number of beneficiaries is about the sum of the recipients for Old Age Living Allowance and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, the scheme poses a huge challenge to our manpower and computer systems," Mr Cheung said.

     With the core teams charging ahead at full steam, Mr Cheung was pleased to know that preparatory work has been making good progress. He was confident that the scheme could be launched within the second quarter next year. Mr Cheung also took the opportunity to thank the colleagues for their dedication and encouraged them to keep up their good work so as to launch the scheme as early as possible.

     In the afternoon, Mr Cheung paid a visit to the Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home in the company of the Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Youth and Corrections), Mr Peter Ng, and the Chief Social Work Officer (Corrections) and Superintendent of the Home, Mr Cheung Tat-ming.

     The Tuen Mun Children and Juvenile Home was set up in 2007 after the co-location of six correctional and residential homes under the purview of the Social Welfare Department. It serves the functions of a place of refuge, a remand home, a place of detention, an approved institution (probation home) and a reformatory school. The Home, with a capacity of 388, is tasked with providing temporary custody and residential training to maladjusted children and juveniles as well as young offenders which includes education and vocational programmes, community service and recreational activities.

     Mr Cheung inspected the Home's facilities including the training block, workshops and dormitories, and met with the staff and residents. He commended the staff for their professionalism and encouraged them to continue to provide the best service to assist and equip the boys and girls for reintegration into the community.

Ends/Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:02


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