Social Welfare
Major Achievements
Social Welfare Programmes
Clinical Psychological Services
Subventions and Service Monitoring
Information Technology
Community Building and Promoting Mutual Care
Enhancing Social Capital: Community Investment and Inclusion Fund
Women's Commission
Home Pages
Major Achievements

Strengthening Support for Families in Need

An evaluation of the 15 pilot Integrated Family Service Centre (IFSC) projects carried out from April 2002 to March 2004 found that the new mode of service delivery was effective in terms of service accessibility, ability to reach out to at-risk families, partnership with community organisations and agencies, and users' participation and satisfaction. With these positive findings and the support of the welfare sector, the SWD has transformed all existing family services centres/counselling units into 61 IFSCs to better meet the changing needs of the community. Some 40 of these are operated by the department with the rest being run by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). There are also two integrated services centres operated by two NGOs in Tung Chung.

Measures to enhance the provision of timely services for individuals or families in crisis situations are also put in place. These measures include the setting up of a Suicide Crisis Intervention Centre under a three-year pilot project to provide round-the-clock outreach services and intervention for those in crisis or at high to moderate suicidal risk. In addition, a quick link is provided between the Departmental Hotline Service Unit (DHSU) and the 24-hour Family Crisis Support Centre after the operating hours of DHSU. The department holds continuous publicity and public education programmes under the central theme of Strengthening Families and Combating Violence.

Intensified Support for Self-reliance Measures

To help able-bodied unemployed Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients and other socially disadvantaged groups overcome barriers to work and become self-reliant, the department continued to implement a comprehensive package of employment-related services and intensified measures under the Support for Self-reliance Scheme. In October, the department commissioned more NGOs to implement a second batch of 30 Intensive Employment Assistance Projects to provide targeted employment assistance to at least 7 000 employable CSSA recipients and near-CSSA recipients to help them move towards self-reliance.

Establishment of the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged

The Government earmarked in the 2004-05 Budget $200 million on a one-off basis for promoting the development of a tripartite social partnership comprising the Government, the business community and the welfare sector to help the disadvantaged. The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the sum for establishment of the Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged in December. The Fund aims to provide incentives to the welfare sector to expand its network in seeking and securing corporate participation, and to encourage the business sector to take up more social responsibility in helping to create a cohesive, harmonious and caring society. Grants will be allocated to non-governmental welfare organisations on a dollar-to-dollar matching basis when contributions from the business sector are secured for welfare initiatives. Applications will be invited in the first quarter of 2005.