Social workers expect funds for welfare services to be re-allocated rather than increased in the Budget. Family case and school social workers will continue to feel hardest hit as the bulk of the allocations for social welfare will be spent on elderly services and the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) scheme. Despite a recent review of the CSSA scheme, handouts are likely to rise as the bleak state of the labour market continues. To improve the standard of private elderly homes, the Social Welfare Department will fight for more resources for the Bought Place Scheme, which offers home operators about $8,000 a month for each place. But family and youth services, which have seen no expansion over the past five years, are likely to remain at the same level for years to come. And next Wednesday's Budget is unlikely to address the the need for increased welfare for new migrants. 'I think the increase of overall allocation will be less than five per cent,' said Cheung Kwok-che, president of the Hong Kong Social Workers' General Union. 'Child and youth services have always been neglected; there has been zero growth in the areas. 'Youth problems would worsen without adequate resources and the situation will be complicated with the inflow of mainlanders who are mostly from the grassroots class,' he said. Dr Philemon Choi Yuen-wan, general secretary of leading youth group Breakthrough, agreed. 'Social workers at local child and youth centres have been asked to go into schools to run programmes for students to compensate for a lack of school social workers. 'The Government has been silent about reallocation of resources but it is heading in this direction.' The Government has long promised to deploy at least one social worker at every secondary school although only the low-academic achievement schools, less than 20 per cent of more than 400 secondary schools, enjoy the privilege now. Others have had one social worker moving between two schools. On average, a family case worker has to deal with more than 75 cases, compared to the planned 60. Last year, a large portion of more than $26 billion earmarked for social welfare was injected into elderly services.