Hong Kong child abuse cases highlight need for more resources in schools than one social worker
I wish to offer my perspective as a local schoolteacher with regard to recent reports about suspected child abuse in Hong Kong.
We know that every child deserves to be nurtured in a safe, healthy and positive environment. It is essential to think about how the government and schools can help tackle the alarming social problem of child abuse and prevent more children from being hurt.
The Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) has suggested that the government’s attempt to enhance student guidance services in primary schools is still far from sufficient amid the soaring demand.
To promote the sustainability of primary school counselling services, the HKPTU has proposed that the government enhance the school counselling system, by allocating the needed resources effectively while maintaining the existing services and allowance – so that current manpower is not affected.
Being a local schoolteacher, I believe that frontline teachers and school social workers play an important role in the prevention of – and intervention in – child abuse cases.
Since children spend long hours at school, educators can often reliably identify the signs of physical or emotional abuse in a child. It is the government’s job to provide schools with sufficient resources, so that more teachers can receive professional training on identifying, and intervening in, child abuse cases, and also that school social work services can be strengthened to enable early and effective intervention.
Laverne Cheung, Hung Hom