The incidence of domestic violence involving children has raised concerns about the provision of adequate support for at-risk families.
In October 1998, a mother threw her two sons to their deaths from a 14th-floor flat in Sheung Shui before she jumped to her death. Neighbours said they believed marital problems were behind the tragedy, in which Chan Lam Man-fong, 41, Chan Ho-yin, 10, and Chan Ho-wai, six, died.
Husband Chan Kin-hong later hit the headlines when some media reported that he went on a womanising trip to mainland nightclubs shortly after the tragedy. But he said later he had been set up.
In April last year, a woman and her two daughters were found chopped to death. The bodies of Kim Shuk-ying and daughters Li Yin-li, six, and Li Tsz-wan, five, were found in their public housing flat in Tin Heng Estate, Tin Shui Wai, just hours after she had left a government-run shelter and sought help from police. They were believed to have been murdered by Kim's jobless husband, Li Pak-sum, 44, who died of stab wounds a few days later.
The government commissioned a review of the Social Welfare Department's handling of the case, which made 25 recommendations, including closer co-ordination between government bureaus, the welfare department and social services groups; more power for district social welfare officers to mobilise resources of non-government organisations; and better training for social workers.
The group said it was 'greatly disappointed' with the poor town planning in Tin Shui Wai and found it 'totally unacceptable' that the district got its first integrated family service centre only in 2002, two years after its population reached 200,000.