SLW visits Parents/Relatives Resource Centre (with photos)
The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, visited the Sandy Bay Parents Resource Centre of Heep Hong Society in Pok Fu Lam this afternoon (September 24) to learn more about the community support services for parents and relatives/carers of persons with disabilities.
Accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Heep Hong Society, Ms Rachel Leung, and District Social Welfare Officer (Central Western/Southern/Islands) Ms Jenny Yan, Dr Law first toured the centre’s facilities, including an indoor playroom specially designed for training children’s physical strength and body co-ordination skills. He was briefed on how the centre supports relatives to take care of their family members with disabilities or difficulties in upbringing. The centre now provides services to more than 300 families. Dr Law and the other officers also visited other social adaptation facilities catering for children with special needs in the Heep Hong Society Integrated Service Complex.
The Government has increased the number of Parents/Relatives Resource Centres from six in 2018-19 to the present 19, i.e. one in each of the 18 districts in Hong Kong, with another one for persons in recovery. In view of the double challenges due to language barriers and cultural differences encountered by ethnic minority (EM) children with special needs, specialised EM units have been set up in five Parents/Relatives Resource Centres to provide tailored services to them. The Government has also enhanced rehabilitation training service in District Support Centres for Persons with Disabilities (DSC) and the number of DSCs will be increased progressively from this financial year from the present 16 to 21. The number of Support Centres for Persons with Autism has also been increased from three to five with strengthened manpower support. In addition, the Government has allocated more resources for strengthening the community support function (particularly carer support) of the 17 Social and Recreational Centres for the Disabled.
Dr Law said, “The current-term Government has implemented a host of measures to strengthen support for carers of persons with disabilities. They included increasing day, residential, home care and respite service places as well as strengthening manpower of various centre-based and home-based services. The Government will continue to increase service places through development projects, purchase of premises and the Bought Place Scheme for Private Residential Care Homes for Persons with Disabilities. Social welfare organisations are also encouraged to make better use of their land through in-situ expansion or redevelopment to provide more rehabilitation facilities under the Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses. The Government will also incorporate the planning ratios of the rehabilitation services concerned into the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines in this financial year to ensure the sustainable development of the services.”