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24-hour Crisis Hotline Set Up in HK
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Hong Kong Social Welfare Department set up a 24-hour crisis hotline on Monday to improve coordination among government departments and professionals.

The new service model, which comes into operation Monday, includes a crisis intervention and support center to be set up in 2008.

The Lotteries Fund has allocated 20 million Hong Kong dollars (US$2.56 million) to support the project. It will run on a pilot basis for three years.

Operating round-the-clock throughout the year, the center provides immediate intervention and support services for victims of sexual violence.

To help victims seek immediate help, the center operates a 24-hour crisis hotline which is manned by registered social workers. It also has a 24-hour designated referral telephone line to help professionals such as police and medical officers and social workers to make timely referrals for follow-up.

An important feature of the new service model is the designation of the same social worker as case manager to render assistance. The new model also features improved co-ordination of services among different departments and units to provide victims with a one-stop service.

To implement the new model, the department collaborated with related social service units, the Hospital Authority, the Hong Kong Police Force and the Department of Health's Forensic Pathology Service, which has stipulated an effective workflow and revised the procedural guidelines for handling adult sexual violence cases.

(Xinhua News Agency March 27, 2007)

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