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Government releases Report of First Phase Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (September 29) released the Report of the First Phase Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services.

     Formed in April this year, the Committee on Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services (Review Committee) has been conducting a review on residential child care and related services in two phases according to the recommendations made in the Review Report on Enhancement of Lump Sum Grant Subvention System on quality enhancement of subvented services. The first phase of the review, which covered residential child care centres (RCCCs) and residential special child care centres, has been completed. The Review Committee has made a total of 31 recommendations on three major review areas, namely service regulation and monitoring, service quality, and service planning.

     On service regulation and monitoring, the report recommended stepping up inspection efforts, including setting up service quality groups formed by Justices of the Peace and independent persons from different professional sectors to conduct unannounced inspections; the provision of staff with medical and law enforcement experience in the Child Care Centres Advisory Inspectorate of the SWD; introducing new technologies to the closed-circuit television system to promptly identify any improper behaviour by staff, enhancing unannounced inspections based on the principles of risk management and increasing the frequency of inspections in different periods, etc.

     On service quality, the report recommended to enhance the manning ratio of child care workers in RCCCs and provide additional Child Care Aides; introduce cross-disciplinary professional support; strengthen training for staff; introduce a registration mechanism for superintendents and stipulate the requirements for new superintendents to complete training courses on child protection before their appointment and to receive continuous professional training; and establish clear responsibility of superintendents to report suspected child abuse cases, etc.

     On service planning, apart from increasing the provision of more residential child care services premises, the report recommended to strengthen the recruitment of and support for foster care parents to provide more family-based care services.

     A SWD spokesman said that the Government will follow up on the recommendations formulated in the report of the first phase review. The Review Committee has just commenced the second phase of the review, which will cover other related residential child care services, namely children's homes, boys'/girls' homes and boys'/girls' hostels, as well as non-institutional services, including foster care service, small group homes (SGHs) and SGHs for mildly mentally handicapped children. The review is targeted to be completed by March 2023.

     The report of the first phase review has been uploaded to the SWD's website (www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_listofserv/id_crcc/).
Ends/Thursday, September 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:00
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