A review of the boarding need of school age severely mentally handicapped children in Hong Kong

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A review of the boarding need of school age severely mentally handicapped children in Hong Kong

 

Author: Li, Kim-chuen
Title: A review of the boarding need of school age severely mentally handicapped children in Hong Kong
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1997
Subject: Children with mental disabilities -- Services for -- China -- Hong Kong
Boarding schools -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Pages: vii, 171 leaves ; 31 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1403372
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1928
Abstract: In Hong Kong, there is a long history of the development of residential services for the disabled. The two white papers on rehabilitation services published in 1977 and 1995 have stated clearly the reasons for offering out-of-home placements for the disabled : such an action is not because of the disability but because of an inadequacy of caring by their own means or by their family members. However, in reality, we find that there are still many severely mentally retarded children residing in boarding schools although the Government has been developing some sorts of community services to assist the disabled to integrate with the mainstream society and to lead their lives as normal as possible. The aim of the study is to identify the reasons for the families of severely mentally retarded children not being able to obtain supports from society and to review the boarding needs of the severely mentally retarded children. The qualitative research method and in-depth interview for data collection were used in the study. Six mothers and a father of severely mentally retarded children were invited to participate and to discuss their own experiences in seeking help as well as in day-to-day caring of their retarded children. The study revealed the participants had been suffering from great pressure in taking care of their retarded children. They could hardly get adequate formal and informal supports in the community owing to their ignorance of related services as well as the people's prejudice of the mentally retarded. Through personal experiences of the participants, many valuable suggestions to improve the existing community services were given. From the perspective of the service consumers, their opinions were useful and full of insights. In the study, some participants disclosed that they were not willing to institutionalize their retarded children if our society could provide adequate supports for them to keep their children at home. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher extracted some implications on utilization of services, social service planning and social work practice for improving the existing community services for the severely mentally retarded children and their families. Finally, the researcher still queries the Government about the demand of boarding placements being based on 50% of severely mentally retarded children requiring special school places. On what grounds is that figure based? Are families given adequate support to look after their children at home? Are children sent to boarding schools by their parents because of inappropriate or inadequate supports for them to be taken care at home?

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