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Briefing Session on Major Amendments to the Procedural Guide for Handling Child Abuse Cases (Revised 2007) Ms PANG Kit-ling Chief Social Work Officer (Domestic Violence) Social Welfare Department 30-31 January 2008. Background. To tie in with new service developments:

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Briefing Session on Major Amendmentsto the Procedural Guide for Handling Child Abuse Cases (Revised 2007)Ms PANG Kit-lingChief Social Work Officer(Domestic Violence)Social Welfare Department30-31 January 2008


Background
Background

  • To tie in with new service developments:

    • Restructuring of the former Child Protective Service Units

    • Re-engineering of family services

    • Formation of Integrated Children and Youth Services Centres

    • The provision of Student Guidance Service in primary schools

  • To review the ‘Guide to Participants of the Multi-disciplinary Case Conference on Child Abuse


Background cont d
Background (Cont’d)

  • Endorsed by Committee on Child Abuse (CCA) in 2004 to review the Procedures.

  • A Task Group was formed with representatives from :

    - Government : LWB, EDB, HA, DH, Police, SWD

    - HKCSS

    - NGO : HKFWS, ACA


AIM

  • To provide guidance to government departments, NGOs and other concerned sectors :

    • TO SERVE THE BEST INTEREST OF CHILDREN AND PROTECT THEM FROM ABUSE

  • Key to effective action is built on

    MULTI-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH OF:

    • WORKING TOGETHER

    • TRUSTING EACH OTHER

    • FOR THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN


Outline
Outline

Section I – Introduction

Section II – Basic Knowledge

Section III – Multi-disciplinary Collaboration

Section IV – Handling of Referrals / Enquiry / Investigation

Section V – Roles of Relevant Departments / Organisations

Section VI – Handling of Allegations against Staff

Appendices


Format
Format

  • Paragraphing : To add a ‘pre-fix’ indicating the respective chapter in front of the paragraph number (e.g. 5.8 represent para. 8 of Chapter 5)

  • Annex : specific reference to the chapter (e.g. Annex I to Chapter 11)

  • Appendix : a ‘Common Reference’ for readers


Presentation format
Presentation Format

  • Adopt a standard statement to direct readers to make reference to respective chapters (e.g. handling of reports / referral procedures in Chapter 6 & 7) commonly shared by different disciplines

  • Use of Frequently Asked Questions

    (as Annex attached to Chapter 3, 4, 11)

  • Section V: Categorizing / Grouping by service nature instead of by agency / unit


Section i introduction chapter 1
Section I – Introduction (Chapter 1)

  • Emphasize Philosophy and Governing Principles basing on United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) “聯合國兒童權利公約”

  • Views of the parents / guardians should be sought and considered in formulation of welfare plan


Section ii basic knowledge chapter 2 4
Section II – Basic Knowledge (Chapter 2 - 4)

Strengthening areas in :

  • Definitions of child abuse and Guide to Identification of child abuse in Chapter 2

    • Definitions of child abuse :

      “is defined as any act of commission or omission that endangers or impairs the physical / psychological health and development of an individual under the age of 18. “

    • Physical Abuse : no change

    • Sexual Abuse : no change


Section ii basic knowledge cont d
Section II – Basic Knowledge (Cont’d)

Strengthening areas in :

  • Definitions of child abuse and Guide to Identification of child abuse in Chapter 2

    • Psychological Abuse:

      “is the repeatedpattern of behaviour and attitudes towards a child or extreme incident that endangers or impairs the child’s emotional or intellectual development. “


Section ii basic knowledge cont d1
Section II – Basic Knowledge (Cont’d)

Strengthening areas in :

  • Neglect : is severe or a repeated pattern of lacking of attention to a child’s basic needs that endangers or impairs the child’s health or development. Neglect may be :

  • Physical (e.g. failure to provide necessary food, clothing or shelter, failure to prevent physical injury or suffering, lack of appropriate supervision or left unattended)

  • Medical (e.g. failure to provide necessary medical or mental health treatment)

  • Educational (e.g. failure to provide education or ignoring educational needs arising from a child's disability)

  • Emotional (e.g. ignoring a child’s emotional needs, failure to provide psychological care, or permitting a child to use alcohol or other drugs)


Section ii basic knowledge cont d2
Section II – Basic Knowledge (Cont’d)

Strengthening areas in :

  • Legal Aspects : Relevant Ordinances related to child protection and abuse are listed out in Chapter 3:

    (a) Protection of Children and Juveniles Ordinance, Cap 213

    (b) Evidence Ordinance, Cap 8

    (c) Employment Ordinance, Cap 57

    (d) Criminal Procedure Ordinance, Cap 221

    (e) Live Television Link and Video Recorded Evidence, Cap 221J

    (f) Education Ordinance, Cap 279

    (g) Adoption Ordinance, Cap 290

    (h) Child Abduction and Custody Ordinance, Cap 512

    (i) Crimes Ordinance, Cap 200

    • Offences Against the Person Ordinance, Cap 212

    • Prevention of Child Pornography Ordinance, Cap 579


Offences against the person ordinance cap 212
Offences against the Person Ordinance, Cap 212

Section 27 Ill-treatment or neglect by those in charge of child or young person

  • If any person over the age of 16 years who has the custody, charge or care of any child or young person under that age wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons or exposes such child or young person or causes or procures such child or young person to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed in a manner likely to cause such child or young person unnecessary suffering or injury to his health (including injury to or loss of sight,or hearing, or limb, or organ of the body, or any mental derangement) such person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable –

    (a) on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for 10 years; or

    (b) on summary conviction to imprisonment for 3 years, …………..


Section ii basic knowledge cont d3
Section II – Basic Knowledge (Cont’d)

Strengthening areas in :

  • Add FAQs (Annex I to Chapter 3) to illustrate application of the Ordinances to child protection work

  • Information sharing and Confidentiality in Chapter 4

    • Elaborate PD(P)O and its exemption (Annex IV to Chapter 4)

    • Confidentiality Issues of Medical Practitioners (MP), Clinical Psychologists (CP) and Social Workers (SW) included

    • Let other professionals know about the principles which MP / CP / SW are required to observe


Section iii multi disciplinary collaboration chapter 5 7
Section III – Multi-disciplinary Collaboration(Chapter 5 – 7)

  • Chapter 5 : to adopt case manager approach to facilitate coordination of services among different disciplines

  • Chapter 6 : Highlight Welfare Units responsible for Investigation and cases falling under CAIU Charter

  • Chapter 7 : provide a general and generic chapter on handling procedures commonly shared by different disciplines


Chapter 6 initial handling of reports referrals
Chapter 6 : Initial Handling of Reports / Referrals

  • Highlight Welfare Units responsible for Investigation

    • Family and Child Protective Services Units (FCPSUs)

    • Integrated Family Service Centres (IFSCs)

    • Integrated Services Centres (ISCs)

    • Medical Social Services Units (MSSUs)

    • Probation Offices (POs)

    • Adoption Unit (AU)

    • Integrated Children and Youth Services Centres (ICYSCs)

    • School Social Work Units (SSWUs) serving in secondary schools

    • Student Guidance Personnel (SGP) serving in primary schools

    • District Youth Outreaching Social Work Teams (YOTs)

    • Overnight Outreaching Service for Young Night Drifters (YND)

    • Community Support Service Scheme (CSSS)

    • Other casework units


Chapter 6 initial handling of reports referrals cont d
Chapter 6 : Initial Handling of Reports / Referrals (Cont’d)

  • Highlight cases under CAIU Charter

    • intra-familial sexual abuse

    • sexual abuse where the perpetrator is known to the child or is entrusted with the care of the victim

    • serious physical abuse case at the discretion of the respective Senior Superintendent of Crime Region; and

      (d) organised child abuse


Chapter 6 initial handling of reports referrals1
Chapter 6 : Initial Handling of Reports / Referrals (Cont’d)

Amendment on Appendix I re: Definition of Known Cases for Welfare Organisations

  • IFSCs / ISCs / FCPSUs

    • ‘Freeze period’ for Closed cases of IFSCs / ISCs / FCPSUs changed from 6 months to 3 months

    • Define as known case if intake / outreaching with recommendation not yet endorsed after one month

  • MSSUs

    • To include ‘suspected abuser’, ‘abused child’s family members living in same household’ as known case if he/she is medically intensive cases of MSS


Chapter 6 initial handling of reports referrals cont d1
Chapter 6 : Initial Handling of Reports / Referrals (Cont’d)

  • Amendment on Appendix I re: Definition of Known Cases for Welfare Organisations

    • NGO Units other than IFSCs / ISCs are defined (e.g. ICYSC, SSWU, SGP in primary schools, YOT)

    • Rule for handling cases known to more than ONE service unit

      • SE to be conducted by FIRST known unit


Chapter 7 initial assessment and referral procedures
Chapter 7 : Initial Assessment and (Cont’d)Referral Procedures

  • Cover the general procedures for handling cases where CPSIT is formed and cases where CPSIT is not formed


Section iv handling of referrals enquiry investigation chapter 8 to 13
Section IV – Handling of Referrals / Enquiry / Investigation(Chapter 8 to 13)

Social Enquiry / Investigation

Medical Examination

Joint Investigation

Multi-Disciplinary Case Conference

Follow-up Service


Chapter 8 social enquiry investigation
Chapter 8 : Social Enquiry / Investigation Investigation

  • Highlight ‘Risk Assessment’ is a process throughout the enquiry / investigation

  • Special attention on ‘Immediate Child Protection Plan’


Chapter 10 joint investigation
Chapter 10 : Joint Investigation Investigation

  • Provide guidance on the process of joint investigation among FCPSU / CAIU / CP for handling allegation or suspicion of child abuse cases

  • Roles of FCPSU worker & Police when CPSIT is formed

  • Arrangement of video-recorded interview


Chapter 11 multi disciplinary case conference mdcc
Chapter 11 : Multi-disciplinary Case Conference (MDCC) Investigation

  • Timing for MDCC: within 10 working days and indicate the date and event from which this is to be counted (para. 16 of Annex II to Chapter 11)

  • Membership : delete ‘full member’ / ‘member in attendance’

  • Arrangement for Family and Child Participation in MDCC (to inform them that they can give views in writing if unable to attend the MDCC)


Chapter 11 multi disciplinary case conference cont d
Chapter 11 : Multi-disciplinary Case Conference (Cont’d) Investigation

  • To add para. 56 of Annex II to Chapter 11 (following the views of majority and record divergent views) for chairperson’s reference if no consensus reached in MDCC

  • To add para. 61 to facilitate collaboration among units during case transfer :

    “The investigating social worker should complete immediate welfare services as agreed in MDCC…, prepare relevant documents…. and inform the child and his/her family before transferring the case to the follow-up unit. The incoming social worker should also take active steps to facilitate the case transfer.”


Chapter 11 multi disciplinary case conference cont d1
Chapter 11 : Multi-disciplinary Case Conference (Cont’d) Investigation

  • Time frame for confirmation of minutes is suggested.

    “….draft minutes sent to members for confirmation preferably within two weeks after the MDCC; the Chairman should issue the confirmed minutes to all members…. no later than one month after the MDCC.” (para. P (3) to (5)of Annex I to Chapter 11)


Chapter 11 multi disciplinary case conference cont d2
Chapter 11 : Multi-disciplinary Case Conference (Cont’d) Investigation

  • Sample format of Minutes of MDCC is revised (Annex IIC to Chapter 11) to highlight the roles of family members upon discussion in MDCC

  • FAQs (Annex III to Chapter 11) to illustrate some specific situations in MDCC for reference


Chapter 12 follow up service
Chapter 12 : Follow-up Service Investigation

  • Highlight handling of Care Proceedings

  • To add ‘Legal Representation Scheme for Children and Juveniles involved in Care or Protection Proceedings’ :

    “….the Duty Lawyer Service has been commissioned to run the Legal Representation Scheme which will provide legal assistance to any child or juvenile in need of care or protection….”(para. 12.4)


Chapter 12 follow up services cont d
Chapter 12 : Follow-up Services (Cont’d) Investigation

  • ‘Domestic Violence Injunction Order under Domestic Violence Ordinance (DVO), Cap 189’ is included:

    “Under the DVO Cap 189, where a party to a marriage make an application to the District Court or the Court of First Instance, the Court may grant an injunction which either :

    (a) restrains the other party to a marriage from using violence against the applicant or a child living with the applicant; or

    (b) excludes the other party from the matrimonial home or from a specified part of the matrimonial home or from a specified area. “ (para. 12.7)


Section v roles of relevant departments organisations chapter 14 26
Section V - Roles of Relevant Departments / Organisations Investigation(Chapter 14 – 26)

  • Categorizing / Grouping by service nature :

    • Social Service Units

      • FCPSU / IFSC / ISC / MSSU / C&Y / CP

    • Medical and Health Service

      • Clinics / Hospitals / Child Psychiatry Service

    • Other Departments / Organisations

      • Residential & Special Child Care Service / Educational Services / Police / Housing Dept. / Individual Practitioner


Section v roles of relevant departments organisations cont d
Section V - Roles of Relevant Departments / Organisations (Cont’d)

  • Individual profession / discipline should refer to respective chapter for specific procedures and roles to be taken in case handling

  • DeleteChapter on Private Medical Practitioner but newlyaddedChapter 25 (Housing Department) and Chapter 26 (other Departments / Organisations / Service Units) to capture / cover all departments / service units / individual practitioners that have contacts with children; to encourage them to report / make referral to FCPSU / responsible units


Chapter 14 fcpsus swd
Chapter 14 : FCPSUs / SWD (Cont’d)

  • Elaborate division of work among FCPSUs and other units such as IFSCs / ISCs in handling reported / referral case

  • Highlight handling of referrals received by SWD outreaching team after office hours :

    “….the SWD outreaching team (after office hours), comprising a SWO/FCPSU or Oi/c IFSC or SWO/IFSC and a caseworker of FCPSU or IFSC, should respond to the report and reach out to investigate the case if necessary.”(para. 14.9)


Chapter 15 integrated family service centres integrated services centres
Chapter 15 : Integrated Family Service Centres / Integrated Services Centres

  • Handling of newly reported / referrals of suspected cases:

    “For children being left unattended at home or abandoned, IFSC / ISC should perform the outreaching duties for initial assessment unless there are further indicators or evidence of child abuse.”(para. 15.4)


Chapter 15 integrated family service centres integrated services centres1
Chapter 15 : Integrated Family Service Centres / Integrated Services Centres

  • To add the back-up mechanism to non-SWD units if urgent statutory care proceedings is required :

    “ If urgent statutory care proceedings on the child / children are required other than known case of SWD Units during the course of enquiry, application should be either made by respective IFSC of SWD according to the latest residential address of the child’s parent / guardian or by the Police.”(para. 15.7)


Chapter 16 medical social services units swd ha
Chapter 16 : Medical Social Services Units (SWD / HA) Services Centres

  • Highlight the roles of Medical Social Worker (MSW) in handling reported case

    “ Whether or not the child is to be warded in hospital, the MSW should make sure that the suspected child abuse case is brought to the attention of the appropriate FCPSU.”

    (para. 16.6)


Chapter 16 medical social services units swd ha cont d
Chapter 16 : Medical Social Services Units (SWD / HA) (Cont’d)

  • To add the back-up mechanism to non-SWD units if urgent statutory care proceedings is required :

    “If urgent statutory care proceedings on the child / children are required for the case other than known case of SWD Units during the course of enquiry, application should be either made by respective IFSC of SWD according to the latest residential address of the child’s parent / guardian or by the Police. “ (para. 16.9)


Chapter 17 children and youth services
Chapter 17 : Children and Youth Services (Cont’d)

  • Integrate gist of Chapters 6,7,8 & 9 of old version (Revised 1998) and draw reference to ‘Guide to Multi-disciplinary Collaboration on School Social Work Service’

  • Service coverage:

    • Integrated Children and Youth Services Centre (ICYSC)

    • School Social Work Units (SSWUs) serving students in secondary schools;

    • District Youth Outreaching Social Work Teams (YOTs)

    • Overnight Outreaching Service for Young Night Drifters (YND); and

    • Community Support Service Scheme (CSSS)


Chapter 18 clinical psychology service
Chapter 18 : Clinical Psychology Service (Cont’d)

  • CP’s involvement in investigation process

    “A completed psychological assessment is not a prerequisite for establishing psychological abuse.”

    (para.18.6(b)


Chapter 18 clinical psychology service cont d
Chapter 18 : Clinical Psychology Service (Cont’d)

  • More elaboration on the types of service as provided by CPs :

    (a) Competence Assessment

    This is mainly for assessing a mentally incapacitated person’s abilities that would be required when statement is taken from him/her.


Chapter 18 clinical psychology service cont d1
Chapter 18 : Clinical Psychology Service (Cont’d)

(b) Facilitative Interview

The purpose is to provide an opportunity to the victim of suspected abuse to make a full disclosure through building up a trusting relationship and helping the child to work through any fear or emotional blockage that may be present. The CP will usually review the progress after a few sessions to decide on further action.

(c) Psychological Assessment and Treatment (para. 18.9)


Chapter 23 educational services under education bureau
Chapter 23 : Educational Services under Education Bureau (Cont’d)

  • Integrate the gist of chapters 6,16,17 and 18 of old version (Revised 1998) into one chapter which are applicable to all school personnel in kindergartens, kindergarten-cum-child care centres, primary schools, secondary schools and special schools.


Chapter 23 educational services under education bureau cont d
Chapter 23 : Educational Services under Education Bureau (Cont’d)

  • Highlight the internal report mechanism in handling sexual abuse cases when the suspected abuser is a staff member of school:

    “should inform the School Development Officer of the respective Regional Education Office of EDB of the incident(s); … should inform the Joint Office for Pre-primary Services of EDB (refer to the relevant EDB circular in use for the procedures in handling child sexual abuse cases involving school staff as suspected abusers).”(para. 23.20)


Chapter 23 educational services under education bureau cont d1
Chapter 23 : Educational Services under Education Bureau (Cont’d)

  • Specify the ‘role of SGP’ when handling referrals :

    “If the SGP serving in primary school is a registered social worker and employed by an NGO, he/ she may take up the role of case manager as stipulated at Chapter 6 and 7, subject to mutual agreement of the school, NGO and SWD.”(paragraph 23.22)


Chapter 24 police
Chapter 24 : Police (Cont’d)

  • Paragraphs 24.8 to 24.18 are newly added to elaborate the legal measures and handling procedures specifically set out for child witnesses. The detailed items are as follows:

    • Video Recorded Interviews

    • Forensic Examination for Victims of Child Abuse Cases

    • Identification of Suspects by Child Witnesses

    • Evidence by Live Television Link

    • Witness Support Person


Chapter 24 police cont d
Chapter 24 : Police (Cont’d)(Cont’d)

  • Highlight the reporting mechanism (role of CAIU & other Crime Units) :

    “CAIU of the Region is the Police point of contact …, all child abuse cases including those not falling within the CAIU’s charter can be reported directly to the respective CAIUs during office hours (Report Form at Appendix IX and Written Dated Notes at Appendix X). For outside office hours, cases that fall within the CAIU’s charter can be reported directly to CAIU. For cases that do not fall within the CAIU’s charter, concerned professionals should report directly to the nearest police station ….” (paras. 24.23 to 24.25)


Section vi handling of allegations against staff chapter 27
Section VI - (Cont’d) Handling of Allegations against Staff (Chapter 27)

Scope of concern:

  • Confined to allegation or suspicion arises in connection to the individual’s work

  • Provide general principles for reference


Appendices
Appendices (Cont’d)

Amendment on :

  • Appendix I : Definition of Known Cases of Welfare Organisations

  • Appendix IX : Report Form for reporting suspected child abuse cases

  • MergeAppendix IV (Guide to the Identification of Child Abuse), Appendix V (Guide to Risk Assessment) & Appendix XXIV (List of Offences Related to CA in Hong Kong) of old version to Chapter 2 & 3 in the Procedural Guide (revised 2007)


Thank you

Thank you (Cont’d)


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