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SWD's statement in response to completion of first phase report from independent review committee commissioned by Po Leung Kuk
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (December 17) said that it noted the independent review committee commissioned by Po Leung Kuk has completed the first phase report on reviewing its residential child care service.

     The SWD noted that the report has raised a series of improvement proposals and measures with a view to improving the relevant service of Po Leung Kuk as well as providing a safe and protected environment for children receiving the services.

     The Government has all along attached great importance to the well-being of children. It also understands the sector's concern on the long-term development and manpower arrangement of residential child care services. The Committee on Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services (Review Committee) chaired by the Director of Social Welfare has commenced a comprehensive review on the residential child care and related services, the interface among services and service monitoring since April this year. The first phase of the review, which covered residential child care centres (RCCCs) and residential special child care centres (RSCCCs), has been completed earlier. The Review Committee has made 31 recommendations on three major review areas, namely service regulation and monitoring, service quality, and service planning. The SWD is actively taking forward the recommendations. It has strengthened the inspection of RCCCs/RSCCCs through redeployment of manpower and increased the frequency of unannounced inspections based on the principle of risk management. All RCCCs/RSCCCs have been required to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system and formulate policies and mechanisms for monitoring and viewing CCTV footage. The inspection checklist has also been updated and six service quality groups comprising Justices of the Peace and other individuals with different backgrounds have been set up to conduct unannounced visits to RCCCs/RSCCCs. The SWD has also set a surveillance period for non-compliant operators and required operators to establish internal service audit mechanism.

     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, is now in progress and is targeted to be completed by March 2023.
Ends/Saturday, December 17, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:15
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