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Officer-in-charge

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Officer-in-charge

    Notes of the Fifth Meeting of the

    Task Group on Implementation of Integrated Family Service Centres

    Date: 20 October 2004 (Wednesday) Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. Venue: Conference Room 1, SWD Headquarters, 9/F., Wu Chung House,

    213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Present :

    Social Welfare Department (SWD) Miss Cecilla LI Chief Social Work Officer (Family and Child Welfare)1

    (Convenor)

    Mrs LEE CHUNG Assistant District Social Welfare Officer Tim-ying, Betty (Eastern / Wan Chai)1

    Ms LAM May-ling, Ivy Assistant District Social Welfare Officer

    (Kwun Tong)3

    Miss CHAN Wai-ching, Assistant District Social Welfare Officer Brenda (Wong Tai Sin / Sai Kung)1

    Mrs Emily LEUNG Assistant District Social Welfare Officer

    (Yau Tsim Mong)1

    Ms LUI Siu-ying, Micy Assistant District Social Welfare Officer (Shatin)1 Miss LI Chor-man Assistant District Social Welfare Officer

    (Tai Po / North)2

    Ms PANG Kit-ling Assistant District Social Welfare Officer (Yuen Long) Mrs WONG HO Fung-see Assistant District Social Welfare Officer (Tuen Mun)2 Miss WAN Yee-nui Acting Assistant District Social Welfare Officer

    (Tsuen Wan / Kwai Tsing)1

    Miss KOO Kwok-lai, Officer-in-charge

    Rebecca Nam Cheong Family Services Centre Miss LEE Yuen-mei, Mavis Officer-in-charge

    Aberdeen Integrated Family Service Centre Miss KAN Shuk-ying Unit Coordinator

    High Street Integrated Family Service Centre Miss CHEUNG Chau-ping Officer-in-charge

    Yau Ma Tei Integrated Family Service Centre Miss Sandra LIM Officer-in-charge

    Wong Tai Sin Family Services Centre

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    Ms WONG Yin-yee Senior Social Work Officer (Family)2 Miss SUNG Wai-kuen Social Work Officer (Family)3

    Ms LEE Chi-kiu Social Work Officer (Family)1

    Mrs WOO LEE Kam-ling Assistant Social Work Officer (Family)2 (Recorder)

    Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) Ms Sira NG Social Work Supervisor

    Caritas Hong Kong

    Ms Alice WONG Social Work Supervisor

    Caritas Hong Kong

    Mr Otto LAU Regional Manager (Kowloon Region)

    Hong Kong Family Welfare Society Mrs CHENG Pun Kwai-lin Principal Social Worker

    Hong Kong Family Welfare Society Ms Iris LIU Director of Programme

    International Social Service Hong Kong Branch Mr Jacob CHAN Director

    Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service Mr Peter HO Executive Director

    Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council Ms Crystal CHENG District Director

    Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Mr KWOK Wai-keung General Manager (Family and Community Core Business)

    Hong Kong Christian Service

    Ms Esther CHYU Social Work Supervisor

    Hong Kong Children and Youth Services Ms NG Kwok-tung, Agnes Senior Programme Director (Family and Community)

    Christian Family Service Centre

    Ms Wendy WONG Senior Manager

    St. James’ Settlement

    Ms Sonia PANG Service Supervisor

    The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council Mr Jackey LO Chief Officer

    Service Development (Family and Community)

    Hong Kong Council of Social Service

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In Attendance

    Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming Senior Social Work Officer (Family)1

Mrs KWOK LI Mung-yee, Senior Social Work Officer (Elderly)3 For Agenda Item

    Helen 6 only

Confirmation of Notes of the Last Meeting

     The notes of the third meeting were confirmed with the amendment as set out in the Post-meeting notes under paragraph 2 of the notes of the last

    meeting.

    [Post-meeting notes: The confirmed notes of meeting were uploaded to the SWD Homepage on 21 October 2004]

    2. Miss Cecilla LI invited members to give comments, if any, on the draft notes of the last meeting before 25 October 2004. Otherwise, the notes of meeting would be confirmed.

    [Post-meeting notes: There was no proposed amendment and the confirmed notes of meeting were uploaded to the SWD Homepage on 4 November 2004]

Matters Arising

Paragraph 5

3. Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming informed that discussion with the Housing

    Department (HD) on the revised Chapter V of the “Guidelines and Procedures

    for Processing Applications for Compassionate Rehousing and Other Alternative Housing Assistance” was underway. Meanwhile, HD had been provided with a

    list of IFSCs with the individual housing estates being specified according to the agreed service boundaries of IFSCs so as to facilitate them to make appropriate case referrals. To facilitate members to liaise with staff of HD, particularly in handling referrals involving various forms of housing assistance, Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming agreed to compile a list of contact points of HD (e.g. District Tenancy Management Offices, Application Section, etc) for members reference.

    Besides, he would follow up with HD on the issue of screening those General

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    Waiting List applicants who had rejected housing offer thrice or indicated location preference before making referrals to IFSCs.

Paragraph 15

    4. Ms WONG Yin-yee reported that against a total of 110 training places, about 60 staff had been nominated for the “Training for Social Work Staff of

    Family Services Centres (FSCs) / IFSCs of SWD and NGOs on the Provision of Guardianship under Part IVB of Mental Health Ordinance” scheduled for 27 October 2004. She encouraged members to identify suitable staff to attend the training session. All nominations would be automatically accepted.

    [Post-meeting notes: A total of 56 FSC / IFSC staff had attended the training on 27 October 2004]

Paragraph 17

5. Ms WONG Yin-yee reported the progress of Funding and Service

    Agreement (FSA) for IFSC as follows:

    (i) the proposed “two-way” conversion, i.e. upward adjustment in

    the agreed levels for Output Standards 3, 5 and 7 by 20% if the

    actual output of Output Standard 1 only reached 90% of the

    agreed level was considered acceptable on condition that no case

    in need of IFSC counselling / casework service would be turned

    away;

    (ii) the agreed levels for all output standards were subject to the

    number of Registered Social Workers (RSW) of each IFSC, and

    they would be calculated on a pro-rata basis. Besides, to ensure

    that the district needs were being met, the agreed levels would be

    set on centre basis. Individual NGOs would be invited to

    confirm the number of RSWs of each IFSC separately.

    6. Miss Cecilla LI informed that at the request of the Hong Kong Social Workers General Union (HKSWGU), a meeting was arranged on 16 October 2004 in which the Assistant Director (Family and Child Welfare) met a group of

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    frontline IFSC staff to share views on the FSA and operational issues arising from the formation of IFSCs. The position paper 綜合家庭服務中心發展意

    見書” (Appendix I) submitted by HKSWGU was tabled for members’

    information. Ms WONG Yin-yee briefed members the gist of discussion on

    several issues including the approach in working out the agreed levels for output standards of FSA, the availability of centre premises for operating IFSCs, the number of operating sessions, etc. It was also stressed that the number of operating sessions would be reviewed before end of March 2005. The brief notes of meeting would be shared with members when available.

7. Miss Cecilla LI supplemented that HKSWGU had requested SWD to

    set up a steering committee with frontline social workers as members such that their views / concerns over the implementation of IFSCs could be better addressed. Instead of forming another steering committee, Miss Cecilla LI

    encouraged members to invite frontline staff to sit in the subsequent meetings of this task group, share notes of meetings with them and keep them informed of the progress of work.

Paragraphs 22 to 24

8. Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming reported that the Guidelines on Division of

    Work between Integrated Services Teams (IST) for Street Sleepers and Family Services Centres / Integrated Family Service Centres” was revised (i.e.

    Appendix II) having regard to members’ views gathered in the last meeting and

    subsequent discussion with the three ISTs. Members indicated agreement to the amendments made to paragraphs 5 and 7 of the said guidelines.

    Measures to Facilitate Effective Interfacing Between IFSCs and Other Family-related Case Referral Sources

9. Mr Jackey LO introduced the Discussion Paper Measures to Facilitate

    Effective Interfacing between IFSCs and Other Family-related Case Referral Sources”, which was sent to members before the meeting. The gist of discussion was summarized as follows:

    (i) NGO members explained that the main purposes of this paper

    were to facilitate effective interfacing with other services in the

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    community, and to ease frontline staff’s anxiety / concerns over the role and expectations of the work of an IFSC, particularly in taking up various types of referrals from government departments and other parties;

    (ii) Miss Cecilla LI and SWD members pointed out that IFSC

    service was not intended to replace other services in the community nor to perform the functions of the Planning and Co-ordinating Teams (PCTs) which mainly focused on district planning and coordination among different services at district level. The work of IFSC should focus on meeting the multifarious needs of individuals and families in the community through a continuum of preventive, supportive and remedial services. Collaboration with other sectors / services in the course of service delivery was required but it was certainly different from the work of PCTs;

    (iii) NGO members raised concerns that a number of case referrals, which required no social work input, were inappropriately made by other government departments (e.g. HD). This created burden to frontline staff as they had to spend time in making clarifications with the “referrers”. SWD members shared their

    actual experience in working with other government departments. In screening all such case referrals, SWD service units found that most of the referrals indeed provided “entry point” for social workers to help individuals / families in crisis. Cases which were found not in need of social work intervention would not be taken up by SWD units. By their experience, the problem of “inappropriate” referrals could be tackled by on-going liaison effort with support from supervisory staff. NGO members were encouraged to make use of the existing mechanism to solicit assistance from the district management should they encounter difficulty in resolving the problem of “inappropriate” or “doubtful”

    referrals;

    (iv) Ms WONG Yin-yee shared the application of the principle of

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    “one family one worker” and the concepts of “shared case” as

    well as “case manager” in FSCs / IFSCs by using a case

    example. As regards the case management meeting as

    proposed in the discussion paper, members agreed that it should

    be held on need basis in order to save staff’s time in arranging

    and attending the meeting;

    (v) On the division of work between IFSCs of SWD and NGOs, it

    was agreed that the list of cases suitably to be handled by SWD

    even in the service boundary of NGO IFSC worked out earlier

    should be followed. Miss Cecilla LI remarked that except for

    cases of statutory nature, staff of SWD and NGOs should play

    the same role as social worker in serving the community. In

    practice, on some occasions when SWD units took the liberty to

    take up cases of sensitive nature or cases attracting public

    attention and requiring immediate / speedy action (e.g. victims

    of Taiwan Traffic Accident), it was more for convenience and

    efficiency rather than any requirement to discharge official

    duties as a government department;

    (vi) SWD members shared the actual experience and illustrated the

    role of social worker in the inter-departmental joint actions by

    using the example of an eviction case. They emphasized that

    social worker needed to attend to the welfare needs of those

    facing crisis, such as eviction. In practice, if the clients’ family

    circumstances had been explored and / or services had been

    rendered before the eviction, social workers were not required

    to “stand-by” on site for each and every case on the day of

    eviction. Again, NGO members were encouraged to make use

    of the existing mechanism to solicit assistance from the district

    management should they have doubts or difficulty in dealing

    with other departments’ request for “stand-by” for cases

    involving eviction.

    10. Members exchanged views on how to take forward the discussion paper,

    noting that one of the main purposes was to ease frontline staff’s anxiety /

    concerns arising from the implementation of IFSCs apart from proposing the

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    effective use of scarce resources. After deliberation, it was agreed that the discussion paper would be substantially modified with the purposes of setting out the principles governing the work of IFSC and briefing frontline staff the progress of work of this task group, particularly on the interfacing issues, and areas to be followed up. The draft paper would be sent to members before the next meeting.

Support Services for Single Parents

    Referral Procedure for Single-parent Families between IFSCs and Social Security Field Units (SSFUs)

11. Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming briefed members the existing referral

    mechanism between SWD FSCs / IFSCs and SSFUs through which single parent families could be offered assistance in a timely and well-coordinated manner. He proposed and members agreed to extend the referral mechanism to NGO IFSCs. For this, a set of referral forms at Appendix III had been developed for

    use by NGO IFSCs and SSFUs with immediate effect.

Ending Exclusion Project

12. Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming briefed members the background of the Ending

    Exclusion Project (EEP), which had been implemented since March 2002 to encourage and help CSSA single parent recipients to maximize their chances of participating in social and economic activities and reduce the risk of social exclusion. Under the project, those single parents who were not ready for employment would be referred to other service units (e.g. Single Parent Centres (SPCs) previously) with their prior consent for counselling and other supportive services as appropriate. With the termination of SPCs in April 2004 and as an interim arrangement pending the full implementation of IFSCs, a designated SWD unit (i.e. IFSC/FSC/Family Support and Resource Centre) from each of the 13 districts had been identified to take up all cases referred under the EEP. From April 2004 to August 2004, a total of 45 single parent cases under EEP were referred to these designated units.

13. Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming explained the role of the service units in

    handling such single parent cases. Consensus was reached in the meeting that

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    for the six districts having implemented IFSCs, the Employment Assistance (EA) Teams could send suitable referrals to the IFSCs of SWD and NGOs direct, whereas the existing interim arrangement would continue in other districts where IFSCs had not yet been implemented.

14. Members noted that the “receiving” service unit was required to keep

    the EA Team (i.e. referrer) informed of the progress of these cases in either 9 months’ time as from the date of receipt of the referral or at a shorter interval when there were significant changes in case circumstances by way of a standardized report form. Some members suggested EA Teams to issue a reminder to IFSCs for submission of the report form. Mr CHEUNG Tat-ming

    would follow-up with the Social Security Branch on this suggestion together with the revised referral arrangement.

Any Other Business

15. Miss Cecilla LI welcomed Mrs KWOK LI Mung-yee, Helen who was

    invited to brief members the content of Information Brief on Infirmary Units

    (IUs) in Subvented Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (RCHEs) which was

    tabled in the meeting (i.e. Appendix IV). As IFSC social workers might assist

    in referring eligible elders, who were occupying subsidized places in private homes participating in the Enhanced Bought Place Scheme (EBPS), for admission into IUs, members’ attention was drawn to the flow chart illustrating the related referral procedures. Mrs KWOK remarked that some private homes

    under EBPS might apply for Infirmary Care Supplement to provide extra staff input to take care of the residents occupying subsidized places who were assessed by Community Geriatric Assessment Teams of Hospital Authority to be in need of infirmary care.

16. Ms WONG Yin-yee briefly introduced the revised draft of SIS Form,

    which was drawn up basing on the existing statistical forms of FSCs / ex-pilot IFSCs / Family Life Education service and having regard to the revised FSA. It was intended to capture essential statistics for service monitoring as well as service planning. The form was subject to further refinement after seeking comments from the Subventions Section and the Research and Statistics Section. A short briefing would be organized for all officers-in charge / supervisors and clerical staff responsible for compilation of service statistics when the SIS Form

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was finalized.

    [Post-meeting notes: The briefing session was scheduled for 24 November 2004]

    17. Miss Cecilla LI proposed and members agreed to invite colleague from SWD Information and Public Relations Unit to share skills in handling enquiries raised by the media on cases / issues attracting public attention in the next meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

    18. The next meeting was scheduled for 26 November 2004 (Friday) at 9:00 a.m. at Conference Room 1, 9/F., Wu Chung House.

    19. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

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