Improving Carer's Support

According to the Hong Kong Women in Figures 2021, there are 654,300 full-time home-makers in Hong Kong, of which more than 94% are women, plus the number of carers who live with long-term patients, carers who live with people with disabilities and etc. As a rough estimate, it is hundreds of thousands of people. Therefore, we concern about the situation of the carer and the problems it faces.

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carer stat

Hundreds of Thousands of Carers

In the broad sense, carers refer to take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves. However, at present, the government has not done any specific statistics on carers, but scattered data reflects that there are many carers in our society. According to "Special Topics Report No. 63: Persons with Disabilities and Chronic Diseases", there are at least 204,200 carers residing with the disabled, and 248,000 carers residing with patients with chronic diseases. "2016 Population By-census Thematic Report: Older Persons" reflects that there are 916,389 households living with the elderly, of which 219,530 households are elderly care. Referring to the statistics of the Education Bureau, there were 53,256 special education students (including mainstream schools and special schools) in 2017/18. If you add up the amounts of the disabled, patients with chronic diseases and students with special needs, you can imagine that there are hundreds of thousands of carers in our society, which is not included Child Carer.

carer stress

Lack of Carer-oriented Policy to Release Carer's Stress

No one is born to be carer. Carers are facing enormous caring pressure but lack of carer-oriented policies and services for supporting, especially the suspension of care services and social welfare services as well as suspension of school during the pandemic. Carers have to pay more efforts on their family and health needs, which is even more stressful.

 

Faced with an aging population and an increase in the number of young children, the current subsidized home and residential care services for the disabled and the elderly are seriously insufficient, and the impact on grassroots families is particularly severe. According to the Social Welfare Department, the normal waiting time for dormitories for persons with severe physical disabilities in 2019 is longer than 17 years; in 2021, the subsidized community care and home care for the elderly will require a waiting time of 12 months and 26 months respectively. According to the Census and Statistics Department, there will be more than 221,000 children aged 0-4 by the end of 2021, but there are only 908 places in subsidized independent childcare centres, and the occupancy rate is 100%, which shows the shortage of childcare services.

 

Government has allocated 20 billion budgets to purchase welfare premises in recent years, and revised the planning standards of elderly services, rehabilitation services, subsidized childcare services and so on, but there is no timetable for implementation. The carer's situation cannot be improved immediately.

carer award

Recognition and Development of Carers

Hong Kong still does not have carer-specific services and statistics for policy formulation. Thus, carers may not be aware of their own needs and the community takes their responsibilities and skills for granted. Another direct consequence is the lack of certification and insufficient human resources in the caregiving industry. As the main carers, women lack formal vocational training and career planning support, which affects their ability to join the workforce or develop themselves after their caregiving experience.

our advocacy

Our Advocacy

  • Enact a "carer-orientated" welfare policy, set up a database to understand the needs of the carer community, and establish a one-stop service centre or an outreach social work team dedicated to carers to respond to their needs
  • Publicize the "Consultancy study on needs and support required of carers of elderly persons and of persons with disabilities in Hong Kong" and suggest the possible, need-focused Carer-orientated policy and solution
  • Establish a carer allowance for different levels of care and for target groups, to recognize the identity and contribution of the carers and provide financial support
  • Set up Carer Cafe in different locations to offer a respite for carers in the vicinity, and at the same time, serve as an entry point for carers' services and reach out to hidden carers
  • Provide alternative care options for carers, such as childcare, elderly care, and emergency respite services, to reduce caregiving stress
  • Care for the physical and mental health of carers, establish a support network of peers, and increase the social capital of carers
  • Improve the working conditions of the caregiving industry, promote the "formalization of the caregiving profession", provide relevant vocational training, and establish a nanny registeration scheme to enhance service quality and boost the incentives to join the industry
oue actions

Our Actions

  • Collaborate with the Social Welfare Department and local organizations to set up a Carer Cafe to provide a respite space, care information, and peer support for carers in the vicinity
  • Set up a policy concern group to work with carers and women on carer support policies to increase public awareness and create a carer-friendly community
  • Lobby the community, compile policy responses and position papers, including responses to proposed policies, policy research reports, public opinion surveys, CEDAW shadow reports, etc
  • Participate in the "Care for Carers" to monitor and promote the improvement of carer support policies and services with various organizations
  • Organize community events for public education and advocacy, such as Mother's Day activities, International Women's Day activities, and Carer Month, to raise public awareness on carer issues
  • Promote life planning of carer to help them explore their strengths and interests, thereby transformig them into their life goals

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