Chief Executive (CE) Donald Tsang visited two families in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong Thursday, and heard about the hardships they faced.
The SAR government will offer assistance to people in need, including single-parent families and new arrivals, Tsang said during the visit. He also called on those who are emotionally disturbed by family problems to seek help early.
Tsang first visited a six-member family which consists of a couple, their two young children, and the husband's mother and younger sister. The family lived on social security until 2005 when the wife, who had come to Hong Kong four years ago, found a job. She then quit the social security net with her husband and children.
She told Tsang that when she first arrived, she faced a lot of pressure including adjustment and financial problems, and the burden of caring for her mother-in-law, husband and children. However, she said the counseling and support services social workers provided had helped her move ahead during those difficult times.
She will continue lead a proactive life, she told the Chief Executive.
"I really appreciate her positive attitude to strive for self-reliance despite the family and livelihood problems, and that she chose to work rather than continue to rely on social security. She is indeed an exemplary mother," Tsang said.
Then Tsang visited a single mother and her young daughter. Faced with financial difficulties, the mother has to care for her daughter who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Apart from their emotional support, social workers have catered to the family's financial, child-care and housing needs.
The mother is grateful to social workers for helping her know how to better deal with children with behavioral problems and in improving her living.
Tsang said he understood the pressure on a single mother having to look after a child in need of special care, and encouraged her to adopt a positive attitude in facing the problem.
"The SAR government will continue to provide resources and services to look after the developmental needs of children requiring special care," he added.
Tsang commended the self-reliance and perseverance the two families demonstrated, adding they are not alone in facing problems.
(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2006)