Since the implementation of the Extended Community Support Service Scheme (CSSS) on April 1, 2019, around 750 arrested youths aged under 18 have been referred to five non-governmental organisations funded by the Social Welfare Department to receive support services. What services have these youths received? What changes have they experienced? The Family Conflict and Sexual Violence Policy Unit is collecting life stories of these youths for sharing on OffBeat.
Getting into trouble
In January 2020, 14-year-old secondary school student Ah Wah was arrested for stealing clothes from a boutique. The investigation officer, Detective Police Constable Ah King of Wong Tai Sin District Investigation Team 6 soon discovered that Ah Wah had committed the crime out of impulse and had an estranged relationship with his parents. Ah King thus took the opportunity to introduce the support service to Ah Wah and his parents and obtained their consent for the referral.
Saying “NO” to bad peers and reconnecting with family
After counselling, the social worker learnt that Ah Wah’s rebellion was partly due to the strict parenting. He was badly influenced by his peers who were habitual theft offenders and he started to neglect his studies. The social worker therefore arranged Ah Wah and his parents for a frank communication which gave them a chance to open up towards each other and resolve their misunderstandings. The social worker also assisted Ah Wah to differentiate between good and bad peers.
Rectifying mistakes and getting back on the right track
Ah Wah’s case was eventually dealt with under the Police Superintendent’s Discretion Scheme and this “lesson” became a turning point in his life. He cherished this second chance given to him and had cut off his ties with the undesirable peers. Ah Wah now studies hard and has his life back on track.