The Social Welfare Department's Tuen Mun Children and Juveniles Home will mark a milestone in residential training services provided by the department for children and juveniles.
The Director of Social Welfare, Mr Paul Tang Kwok-wai, made the remarks today (July 23) while officiating at the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony for the home, which is expected to be completed later next year.
"Residential services for children and juveniles in Hong Kong started in the 1950s. The new complex will be located at the site of the Social Welfare Department's former Castle Peak Boys’ Home. The boys' home opened in 1958 and ceased operation in 1998 as a result of a reorganisation of services," Mr Tang said.
"At present we have six correctional and residential homes scattered in different districts. The physical environment of the homes varies considerably with some in old premises posing great constraints on the operation of the services to meet changing needs. Therefore, there is a need to construct a modernized, integrated complex and the old Castle Peak Boys’ Home is a suitable site for the new complex," Mr Tang said.
By pooling resources, the project aims to improve service quality and provide a more cost-effective and integrated rehabilitative training service for the maladjusted children/juveniles and young offenders in temporary care/custody and residential training.
Mr Tang said the new complex would adopt an environmentally friendly design through low-rise construction that would match the quiet and green surroundings. The design has taken into account the adequate provision of segregated facilities and programmes for residents of both sexes, backed up by specially-built and advanced common support facilities. Residents will be offered suitable educational and vocational facilities in the complex.
With a construction floor area of about 17,000 square metres, the new home will have sufficient outdoor recreation facilities including ball courts, a jogging track and a rock-climbing wall to enhance the residents’ confidence and abilities through training.
On behalf of the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Dr York Chow, the acting Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Ms Linda Lai, commended the design of the integrated complex. She said it allowed flexibility in manpower deployment and would enhance the quality of service. With the benefit of upgraded facilities and through the integration of services, the complex can provide suitable services to nurture the well-being of the residents.
"The acceptance of the community and general public is essential in helping the maladjusted children/juveniles and young offenders get back on the right track and to face the difficulties and challenges ahead. I expect that the all-round services provided can assist them to build up a positive outlook on life and to become law-abiding citizens," Ms Lai said.
In July, 2003, the Legislative Council approved funding of $329.7 million for the Social Welfare Department to construct a purpose-built residential training complex for 388 children and juveniles in Tuen Mun and to relocate the department’ s existing six correctional and residential homes. The new complex is situated at 17 Yeung Tsing Road, Tuen Mun. The design and construction work started in March, 2004. Construction is expected to complete in the end of 2006.
The existing six correctional and residential homes are Fanling Girls' Home, Ma Tau Wai Girls' Home, Begonia Road Juvenile Home, O Pui Shan Boys’ Home, Pui Chi Boys' Home and Sha Tin Boys' Home.
Saturday, July 23, 2005