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SWD raises foster care allowances
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) announced today (December 1) that the level of various foster care allowances will be raised by more than 20 per cent (see attached table) with effect from today with a view to enhancing support for families in need and recruiting more foster families.

     An SWD spokesman said that the Government promulgated in the January 2017 Policy Address to increase the level of various foster care allowances and to provide 240 additional foster care places in phases, raising the total number of foster care places from 1 070 to 1 310. In order to encourage foster families to take care of young children, the SWD will also introduce a new grant of extra incentive payment for taking care of children under the age of 3. 

     The SWD has all along been closely collaborating with the 11 foster care agencies to promote foster care service and encourage more families to join as foster families through various channels. Moreover, the department organises the Foster Families Service Award Presentation Ceremony on a biennial basis to recognise and commend the foster families for their long-standing commitment to foster care service, the spokesman noted.

     Foster care service provides residential family care for children aged under 18 who cannot adequately be taken care of by their families due to family problems or crisis, so that they may continue to enjoy family life before they reunite with their own families or join an adoptive family or live independently. Meanwhile, foster care (emergency) service provides immediate and short-term residential family care service for children aged under 18 who cannot be taken care of by their parents temporarily, until they reunite with their families or secure a long-term residential placement.

     Foster families, characterised by love and full dedication, provide children who cannot adequately be taken care of by their families a warm home so that they may grow up healthily in a loving and caring environment. The SWD now appeals to suitable families to join as foster families to provide stable family care for more children in need.

     The spokesman added that in general ideal foster parents should preferably have the following:
  • happy family life and stable living;
  • good health and stable emotions;
  • reached the age of 25 or above;
  • primary education standard or above;
  • tidy, clean and safe living conditions with adequate living space;
  • fondness for children and experience and ability in child care;
  • arrangement of an adequate care plan for the child; and
  • readiness to accept a social worker's guidance.

     Persons who are interested in foster care service can visit the SWD website (www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_listofserv/id_fostercare/) or contact the intake worker of the Central Foster Care Unit of the SWD on 2573 2282.
Ends/Friday, December 1, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:30
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