Commission on Children convenes 16th meeting (with photos)
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     ‚ÄčThe Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, today (March 16) chaired the 16th meeting of Commission on Children. It is also the first meeting of the third-term Commission.
      
     Mr Chan welcomed the new members. He said that he looked forward to close collaboration with all members of the Commission in taking forward various initiatives at full steam to jointly safeguard the well-being of children and also assist the sector in enhancing their service quality, thereby building a pro-child and inclusive community.
      
     At the meeting, members were briefed by the representatives of the Social Welfare Department (SWD) on the report of the Second Phase Review of the Committee on Review of Residential Child Care and Related Services, covering children's homes, boys'/girls' homes and boys'/girls' hostels, as well as non-institutional care (including foster care service, small group homes (SGHs) and SGHs for mildly mentally handicapped children). On service quality, the Report recommended to increase the manpower of different ranks, expand the scope of professional staff support services in residential care homes, strengthen staff training, and require superintendents to complete training courses on child protection. On service regulation, the Report recommended to enhance the internal audit mechanism of service operators, and set a surveillance period for non-compliant operators, etc. On service planning, the Report recommended to improve the referral mechanism and guidelines, establish the functions of "case managers", enhance post-discharge support, and flexibly deploy residential care places, etc. On foster care service, the Report recommended to introduce flexible recruitment and care arrangements, and strengthen the support and training for foster parents, etc. Members welcomed the various recommendations of the Report. They offered views on enhancing the service quality and monitoring, strengthening manpower deployment, introducing professional support, strengthening staff training and post-discharge support measures, as well as the priorities and implementation arrangements of the recommendations.
      
     Furthermore, members discussed the strategy and major directions on how to promote public education and public relations on the well-being of children. The Commission will launch a series of education and publicity activities related to child protection with the SWD, the Education Bureau, Hong Kong Police Force, etc. to achieve synergies. The Commission will also collaborate with various sectors to step up stakeholders and public engagement activities.

Ends/Thursday, March 16, 2023
Issued at HKT 19:50

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