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- Family and Child Welfare


FAQ

Family and Child Welfare Services
  1. How could the Social Welfare Department and Non-governmental Organization assist the street sleepers? Where can I refer to if I come across street sleepers who require assistance?
     

  2. What can I do if I suspect that a child has been abused?
     

  3. What will happen after I report a suspected child abuse case?
     

  4. I have difficulty in taking care of my child. What kinds of residential child care services are available and how can I apply for them?
     

  5. My family does not have any problem but we want to enrich our family life. What services are available ?
     

  6. I am very desperate as I am unemployed and my wife and children want to leave me. What shall I do?
     

  7. What kind of services is provided by Family and Child Protective Services Units to victims of spouse / cohabitant battering and their families ?
     

  8. What will caseworkers of Family and Child Protective Services Units do to assist victims of spouse / cohabitant battering in critical situation ?
     

  9. My domestic helper who used to take care of my young child will be on leave for 2 weeks What kind of services can help me to take care of my child in the daytime when my domestic helper is away?
     

  10. I am undergoing divorce. I feel extremely frustrated as my husband inclines to claim the custody of my son. I also worry about heading the family single-handedly. Are there any services to help me?

  11. My friend is a victim of sexual violence, are there any services to help her/him ?

  12. How can I access to information on support services for victims of child abuse, spouse / cohabitant battering and sexual violence?

  13. What can I do if I suspect that an elder has been abused ?

  14. From where can I seek help if I am emotionally distressed and with suicidal thought?

 

 



Family and Child Welfare Services

Q1: How could the Social Welfare Department and Non-governmental Organization assist the street sleepers? Where can I refer to if I come across street sleepers who require assistance?
A1:

Three Integrated Services Team for Street Sleepers, operated by non-governmental organizations, provide a package of integrated services including outreaching visit (including midnight outreaching), counselling and group activities, personal care such as bathing, hair-cutting, employment guidance, escorting, emergency fund, immediate shelter/hostel placement, as well as the service referrals. Besides, the integrated family service centres/ integrated services centre of Social Welfare Department and non- governmental organizations also provide a wide range of welfare services, which include counselling, accommodation assistance, referrals for financial and other welfare assistance. On the other hand, before the coming of cold spells, District Social Welfare Offices will mobilize non-governmental organizations in their respective district, to assess the needs of the street sleepers and assist them in taking necessary precautionary measures for the coming cold spells. The most direct means to refer the street sleepers cases is to either approach the Integrated Services Team for Street Sleepers and the nearby integrated family service centre/ integrated services centre or to phone the Departmental Hotline at 2343 2255. Below is the list of Integrated Services Teams for Street Sleepers:

St. James' Settlement
(Serving the Hong Kong and Island District)
Shop 1-3, G/F, Fortune Court, 10 Sai On Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
Tel. No.: 2975 8777
Office Hours:  Mon - Fri  (9 am - 5 pm)
               

Salvation Army
(Serving the Yau Tsim Mong District)
2/F, 345A Shanghai Street, Yaumatei, Kowloon
Tel. No.: 2710 8911
Office Hours:  Mon - Fri  (10 am - 6 pm)
                          Sat           (10 am - 5 pm)

Christian Concern for the Homeless Association
(Serving Kowloon (except Yau Tsim Mong) and the New Territories)
2/F, Cheong Wah Building, 203-211 Nam Cheong Street, Shamshuipo, Kowloon.
Tel. No.: 2788 0670
Office Hours:  Mon - Fri  (10 am - 6 pm)
                          Sat           (10 am - 1 pm)

List of integrated family service centres/ integrated services centre can be downloaded here.
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Q2: What can I do if I suspect that a child has been abused?
A2:

If you suspect that a child has been abused, you can call the following units for assistance:

  • The telephone number and address of Family and Child Protective Services Units of Social Welfare Department can be downloaded here.
  • Hotline of Social Welfare Department at 2343 2255. 
    You can also approach professionals you are familiar with, such as teachers, child care workers, student guidance teachers, social workers, doctors, etc. or call the police for assistance.

 

Q3: What will happen after I report a suspected child abuse case?
A3: Upon receipt of the report, social workers of the Family and Child Protective Services Units of the Social Welfare Department would contact the child and family to investigate. The social worker would assess the child's condition, risk level and, if deemed necessary for the protection of the child, send the child to hospital or other suitable places for medical examination and treatment, or arrange temporary out-of-home care for the child. Police may be involved if circumstances suggest that criminal offence may have been committed. A multi-disciplinary case conference will be held among doctors, social workers, teachers, police, clinical psychologist, etc. who know the family to consider factors, like severity of injuries and psychological harm to the child, for formulating a welfare plan for the child. The conference will also consider appropriate services to help the family.

 

Q4: I have difficulty in taking care of my child. What kinds of residential child care services are available and how can I apply for them?
A4: Residential child care services provide care and supervision for children and young persons under the age of 21 who cannot be adequately cared for by their families because of various reasons such as behavioural, emotional or relationship problem, or family crisis arising from illness, death and desertion. If residential child care service is considered necessary, parents or guardians may approach welfare service units in the community, such as integrated family service centres, medical social service unit or school social work unit, for assistance. Social worker will assess the need for placement and where applicable, refer the child to respective central referral systems for matching of suitable placement, or to service unit providing emergency placement as an interim arrangement.

 

Q5: My family does not have any problem but we want to enrich our family life. What services are available ?
A5: If you want to improve the quality of your family life, you may join the preventive and supportive programmes organized by the nearby Integrated Family Service Centres which include family life education, parent-child activities, enquiry service, volunteer training and group activities, etc. You may also join the programmes organized by Family Life Education Units, which include group activities, training courses, talks, seminars, family camps, exhibition, media educational programme, etc. If you want to have more information on the Family Life Education service, please visit the service's website: www.family-land.org or approach any Integrated Family Service Centres or Family Life Education Units. (You can download their addresses and telephone numbers here).
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Q6: I am very desperate as I am unemployed and my wife and children want to leave me. What shall I do?
A6: You may consider to approach the nearby integrated family service centre/ integrated services centre for assistance. The social worker there is ready to share your burden and give you advice on your family problem. A wide range of services such as financial assistance, marital counselling, psychological service, etc. may be arranged according to your needs. Besides, with your consent, you can be referred to join the 'District-based Network Employment Support Programmes' to assist you to return to the work-force. Apart from job referral and placement service, counselling service and job training will also be provided under this programme. For further enquiries, please contact the nearby integrated family service centre/ integrated services centre direct. List of integrated family service centres/ integrated services centre can be downloaded here.
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Q7: What kind of services is provided by Family and Child Protective Services Units to victims of spouse / cohabitant battering and their families ?
A7: Social workers of Family and Child Protective Services Units (FCPSUs) deliver a package of coordinated services to victims and batterers of spouse / cohabitant battering and their families. Services provided include casework and supportive group work service, counselling for batterers and referral for clinical psychological service, temporary accommodation, financial assistance, compassionate rehousing, legal service, schooling arrangement and job placement. Social workers of FCPSUs also launch public education programme to enhance public awareness on the prevention of domestic violence.

 

Q8: What will caseworkers of Family and Child Protective Services Units do to assist victims of spouse / cohabitant battering in critical situation ?
A8: Social workers of Family and Child Protective Services Units will, upon assessment of the situation, outreach promptly to the domestic violence cases in critical situation and provide immediate counselling as appropriate. When the safety of the victims and dependent child(ren) is at risk, police's assistance will be enlisted. Arrangement will be made for medical examination at A&E Department and admission into refuge centre for women if required.

 

Q9: My domestic helper who used to take care of my young daughter will be on leave for 2 weeks. What kind of services can help me to take care of my daughter in the daytime when my domestic helper is away?
A9:

To assist parents who cannot provide adequate care for their young children due to employment or other social reasons such as chronic illness, caring of elderly at home, etc., the Government has provided different flexible forms of child care services through the Non-Governmental Organisations to meet the different working hours and needs of parents. Please click here for detailed information of day child care service. 

 

Q10: I am undergoing divorce. I feel extremely frustrated as my husband inclines to claim the custody of my son. I also worry about heading the family single-handedly. Are there any services to help me?
A10: Divorce brings immense psychological and social impact on the couple and the child. Social workers of integrated family service centres/ integrated services centre are ready to share your burden and render you support in coping with the drastic change in many aspects of daily living and stress associated with divorce. Besides, social workers of the Family and Child Protective Services Unit of Social Welfare Department, through court referrals, will provide social enquiry reports to the court and make recommendations to assist the Judge to decide on the custody and access arrangement of the children. Statutory supervision to protect the best interests of the child will also be provided as directed by the court.

Being a single parent, you may need support to overcome your emotional and social problems. You are encouraged to join the package of tailored-made activities and services provided by integrated family service centre/ integrated services centre. The services provided therein include supportive counselling on adjustment to single parenthood, information on resources, family life education programmes, supportive/mutual help groups that help you to overcome problems arising from single parenthood and build up a social network of support and mutual help. List of the integrated family service centres/ integrated services centre, Family andChild Protective Services Units as well as single parent centres can be downloaded from the homepage of Family and Child Welfare Services.

 

Q11: My friend is a victim of sexual violence, are there any services to help her/him?
A11: For victims of sexual violence, he / she can call the 24-hour hotline (18281) operated by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals CEASE Crisis Centre for assistance.  The Designated Social Workers of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals CEASE Crisis Centre will provide crisis intervention including immediate outreaching to victims of sexual violence in hospitals, police stations or other places convenient to them.  Depending on the victims’ needs, services to be provided include arranging / accompanying victims to the nearest hospital with Accident and Emergency Department for immediate medical services and designated clinic for medical after-care services, arranging / accompanying victims during statement-taking by the Police and examination by Forensic Pathologist, counselling, referrals for emergency placement and other community support services, and assistance to the victims in facing court proceedings if required. The ultimate goal of services is to assist him / her to overcome the trauma, rebuild his / her self-esteem and self-confidence and resume normal living.

 

Q12: How can I access to information on support services for victims of child abuse, spouse / cohabitant battering and sexual violence?
A12:

Starting from 29 June 2003, the Social Welfare Department has developed a website on support for victims of child abuse, spouse / cohabitant battering and sexual violence in Hong Kong and incorporated into its departmental homepage. It is hoped that this website can help you better understand the services for victims and find the appropriate services and assistance when necessary.
(website:
http://victimsupport.swd.gov.hk).

 

Q13: What can I do if I suspect that an elder has been abused?
A13:

If you suspect that an elder has been abused, you can call the following units for enquiries or assistance:

  • Departmental Hotline of Social Welfare Department at 2343 2255.
  • Hotline of Haven of Hope Christian Service - Elderly Protection Centre at 2915 8888.
  • Hotline of Caritas Hong Kong - Caritas Multi-level Intervention Project Against Elder Abuse at 2708 7776.

You can also contact or approach the District Elderly Community Centres or Integrated family service centres/ integrated services centre of Social Welfare Department or non-governmental organizations for assistance. List of the centres can be downloaded here.

District Elderly Community Centres

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Integrated Family Service Centres/ Integrated Services Centre
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Q14: From where can I seek help if I am emotionally distressed and with suicidal thought?
A14: You may call the following hotlines operated by Social Welfare Department and non-governmental organizations. The hotline staff / volunteers there will listen and support you by providing appropriate referring services if needed.

 

 
Name of Hotline
Operating Hours
Telephone No.
I. All Population
1. Hotline Service of Social Welfare Department 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Monday to Friday), and from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon (Saturdays).
At other hours, callers can press '0' to directly transfer their calls to the Hotline and Outreaching Service Team of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals to seek assistance from the social workers. They may also leave message on the recording machine and the SWD social workers on-duty will call back as soon as possible.
2343 2255
2. Hotline of Family Crisis Support Centre 24-hour 18 288
3. Hotline of The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong 24-hour 2389 2222

4.

Tung Wah Group of Hospitals CEASE Crisis Centre Hotline 24-hour 18281
5. Suicide Prevention Services 24-hour 2382 0000
6. The Samaritans - 24 Hour Multi-Lingual Suicide Prevention Hotline 24-hour 2896 0000
7. The Mutual Aid Helpline 24-hour One-stop Social Services Hotline Diverting System 1878 668
II. Elderly
8. Hotline of Live Life - Joint Project on Prevention of Elderly Suicide 24-hour 2382 0881
III. Youth
9. The Youthline by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Monday to Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. 2777 8899