Briefings launched to enhance ability of school staff in identifying and handling suspected child abuse cases (with photo)

     The Education Bureau (EDB), the Social Welfare Department (SWD) and the Hong Kong Police Force are jointly holding the first round of four briefing sessions on identifying and handling suspected child abuse cases in the end of January and in early February.
     Educational psychologists from the EDB and representatives of the SWD and the Police Force will introduce how to identify and handle suspected child abuse cases, raise the awareness of school staff and their ability in identifying signs of abused children, and discuss how to collaborate with relevant professionals in handling the related cases, with an aim of identifying and intervening in child abuse cases at an early stage.
     The first briefing session was conducted today (January 24) at the EDB Kowloon Tong Education Services Centre. About 330 representatives from kindergartens, primary schools and school sponsoring bodies joined the briefing and gave positive feedback.
     An EDB spokesperson said, "The Government is very concerned about the recent occurrence of child abuse cases. We expect that the ability of school staff in identifying and handling suspected child abuse cases could be further enhanced through multi-disciplinary collaboration across professions."
     The other three briefing sessions will be conducted tomorrow (January 25) and on February 2. The EDB, the SWD and the Police Force will continue to work together to provide more related training for school staff. The next round of briefings is tentatively planned to be held in the next quarter so as to allow more school staff to attend.
     The spokesperson said, "We consider that the key to early identification and intervention for child abuse cases is the enhancement of awareness of school personnel in identifying abused children, and their ability in crisis assessment and handling of child abuse cases through multi-disciplinary collaboration. Besides strengthening related training, the EDB will review the content of related circulars and the Operation Manual for Pre-Primary Institutions in order to provide clearer and more concrete guidelines to the education sector.
     "The Government attaches great importance to the well-being of children and firmly believes that every child should be protected against harm and abuse. Effective child protection is premised on close collaboration, mutual trust and care for the well-being of children amongst professionals across multiple disciplines."

Ends/Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Issued at HKT 14:25