Integrated Children and Children Social Services
The development of designed services in Hong Kong aspires to lessen the fragmentation and duplication of services, fill up service spaces, make manpower deployment and resources allocation become more flexible, and matter community needs (Angie; Hong Kong Authorities, 1991).
According to Social Welfare Department, included children and youngsters service centre (ICYSC) combines children and young ones centre-based team, college cultural work team and outreach team to raised serve the multiple needs of children and junior aged from 6 to 24 using the "total person methodology". There are four main goals as shown below:
- Facilitating the non-public development of children and young ones to develop their life skills, potential and problem-solving ability.
- Enhancing the communal development of children and youth in building up positive social principles and attitudes, enhancing interpersonal and family interactions as well as adding to the wellbeing of the city.
- Adopting a community-based planning technique to dwelling address to local children needs also to arouse the community's concerns on junior issues so that teenagers could increase up in a more concerned and supportive environment.
- Providing advice and support to children and junior in disadvantaged circumstances such as disadvantaged family environment, deprived living environment and unfavourable sociable environment etc. also to steer them to more positive lifestyle.
ICYSC mainly provides four kinds of key programs, including interpersonal responsibility and competence advancement programs, supportive services, socialization programmes, and instruction and counseling services. Sociable responsibility and competence enhancement programmes can enhance civic mindfulness and involvement of children and youngsters in community issues. Supportive services for disadvantaged children and junior target at facilitating shared support and enhancing their personal as well as communal functioning. Socialization programs aim at assisting children and youth enhance the interpersonal and family associations and development of life skills. Direction and counselling services purpose at providing opportunities for children and youngsters to cope with their issues and stress.
Apart from the key programmes, ICYSC also focused on how can the centre attract more children and children, how to enable them to utilize their free time constructively, developing rapport with participants and their families, and developing up community links. Among the task of ICYSC, community needs should be given the highest concern and the centre should collaborate with other significant persons or systems which influence the welfare of the kids and youth.
There is not any regulation or guidelines about what included model should be adopted by ICYSC. The built-in model really depends on the company and the city served so that clients and residents are best benefited.
Strengths and Limitations of ICYSC
The areas of talents and weaknesses of ICYSC can be interpreted in various sorts of integration as different businesses may apply different integration models or concepts.
- Service Integration
For service users, service integration allows earlier treatment, the service space is narrowed and the stigmatization of clients are lessened. However, this may weaken services for groupings with special needs, such as marginal young ones. For individuals, higher degree of coordination can be developed with insights from co-workers but it takes much time to converse and both workload and pressure are increased. For company, there can be higher flexibility in deploying manpower and resources, protecting against the overlapping of services. Nevertheless, it increases enough time needed and the issue in general management and coordination. The grade of guidance may be reduced. There may also be insufficient space in top periods, including after college time and weekends. These may impact the grade of service to children and young ones.
- Profession-oriented Integration
Different professionals gather and interact. For example, policemen work with social employees in Authorities Superintendent Discretion Structure. Professors cooperate with cultural workers to hold school occasions for students. With different professional skills and knowledge, the grade of service can be increased. Multi-level and multi-disciplinary interventions are also available. However, as every job may have its own values and preferences, it requires much time for discussion, collaboration and implementation of services. In case there is conflicts among specialists, conflict-resolution is necessary. In this manner, the quantity of time providing direct services to children and junior could become limited.
- Method-oriented Integration
Different treatment methods like casework, group work, community work, asset-based community development model can be merged collectively to create a multi-level treatment. This makes it more flexible to fulfill clients with different needs. This sort of integration trains employees' skills and build up their knowledge so the services provide to children and junior can getting together with the changing societal needs. Since workers have to step into and consider many involvement methods collectively, the workload and pressure of personnel are highly increased. If they're burnt out, the attempts paid in working will be lowered.
- Agency-oriented Integration
Different agencies can collaborate along and increase their reference pool by sharing. Resources can be manpower, financial support professional service or specific knowledge and skills. An average example would be volunteer group where children and youngsters centre works together with elderly centre or treatment centre. These kinds of co-operation can best utilized resources from and talents of different organizations, avoiding the overlapping of services. As this type of integration requires the cooperation of different agencies and the initiatives to match clients' needs with resources, it is relatively time-consuming.
- Locality-oriented Integration
Similar to agency-oriented integration, locality-oriented integration employs the reference pool but it is specially from community and aims at offering community needs. The sharing of resources strengthens the interflow and referral system with agencies in the same locality, reducing the administration process and boosting the cohesion in the community. Cultural capital built and convenience are beneficial to service users. Again, it may also be time-consuming as consensus and negotiation aren't easy to accomplish.
- Client-oriented Integration
Different services under one roofing can be offered to different clients' profiles or needs. The services are more person-centered so as to promote all natural development of clients, offering multiple and developmental needs throughout their life-spans by single point of entrance. To fully choose this integration, advanced of coordination among clubs as well as circumstance management are crucial. Outreach work has to be carried out to be able to better understand clients' needs. Hence, employees may have higher workload and pressure. There may also be conflicts between different types of clients.
There are also some standard constraints of ICYSC model. Models aren't regularly and comprehensively assessed. The government didn't provide clear operational suggestions to NGO along the way of implementation of integration. Owing to the governmental subvention (i. e. lump amount grant), service providers have to fulfill requirement of money service contract so they concentrate more on quantitative productivity than qualitative end result. With set amount of subvention, businesses compete with the other person to apply for resources and financing. When services are directed by financing, it may not fit the community needs well. The lump sum grant also prevent long-term planning of services and ecological service development as no person can guarantee you will see enough resources for the incidents in the approaching years.
Improvement on Execution of ICYSC
There are some suggestions about how to increase the implementation of ICYSC model. And they are categorized into staff member, agency and insurance plan levels.
1) Staff member Level
The federal may support compulsory training to social staff and other relevant professions to let them excel at and update their knowledge and skills to meet the changing integration environment. Workers may also make use of their leisure time and working hours to better prepared themselves to comply with agency's integration model.
2) Organization Level
The agency can review community needs regularly and frequently. Additionally, it may develop a web-based electronic repository for more effective case-management and talk about among multi-disciplinary groups confidentially to be able to provide more designed and real-time client-based information. The pool of resources should be strengthened by expanding self-sustaining services and minimizing the limitation from government funding.
3) Policy Level
The administration should introduce emergency funding to meet new or unexpected community needs and offer financial security to help long-term planning in NGO. FSA should be examined and restructured based on quality and fulfillment of community needs. ICYSC models should be regularly assessed to see if amendment is necessary with the invitation of recommendations from organizations and citizens. Although different districts may have different needs, there should be some typically common needs for children and youngsters in Hong Kong. It is good to synchronize services for these common needs among companies in Hong Kong. Last but not least, tripartite cooperation among the public, the private sector and the government should be enhanced so source of information pool will be magnified and self-sustainability can be promoted.
It is hoped that by implementing the more appropriate integration model, understanding the advantages and weaknesses of the implemented integrated model with continual analysis and improvement, children and junior can meet their diverse needs in a alternative manner. Children and junior can enjoy one-stop and user-friendly services. Hence, the future era can be nurtured well and contribute to contemporary society when time comes.
Angie, Y. The purpose and future development of cultural services integration.
Hong Kong Administration (1991). White newspaper on communal welfare into the 1990s and
beyond. Retrieved 9 May, 2014, from http://ebook. lib. hku. hk/CADAL/B38633498. pdf
Social Welfare Section. Financing and service arrangement (lump sum offer)
integrated children and children service centres (ICYSC). Retrieved 9 May, 2014, from http://www. swd. gov. hk/doc/fsa_sd/ICYSC. pdf
Social Welfare Office. Integrated children and junior service centres. Retrieved
9 May, 2014, from http://www. swd. gov. hk/en/index/site_pubsvc/page_young/sub_centreserv/ id_integrated4/