Station Sergeant Ah Chi joined the Force in 1998 and is now stationed in the Emergency Unit of New Territories North. In 2018, he got married with his girlfriend Isabel, a makeup artist. Giving no birth has been their consensus of life. Their world of two, however, saw an enormous change in early 2021 when Isabel made a special proposal to Ah Chi.
“Affected by the epidemic, my wife’s business such as doing makeup for public shows and wedding banquets was substantially reduced, and therefore she spent more time at home. She remembered reading a news report some years ago, which mentioned that a family in Hong Kong could apply to offer foster care by providing immediate and short-term home stay services for children who lacked parental care because of sudden or emergency incidents. Considering the availability of her time and our conditions to offer help, Isabel thought that we might as well make an application to lend a helping hand to those unfortunate children.”
Ah Chi gave full support to Isabel’s suggestion because of his own experience in performing duties. “I have handled many Request for Police Assistance cases involving troubled families. I often feel distressed for those unfortunate children. Their everyday life at their places is just beyond imagination indeed. It will be very meaningful if we can provide a place of comfort for these children to feel warm at the most helpless moment.”
Their application started in January 2021. After passing the review and training, they became a family of foster care in December 2021. Last year, Ah Chi and Isabel took care of seven children whose age ranged between one and eight. Most of them were placed in short-term foster care due to abuse or neglect.
“Like ordinary parents, we have to get up in the middle of the night to feed the babies. When providing foster care to children of school age, we need to bring them to school and take them back after school. As I work on shift, sometimes it is already midnight when I get off work. I can only have a four-hour nap before sending the child to school in the morning. We need to travel a long way from Tsuen Wan to the school in Tseung Kwan O,” Ah Chi continued.
Isabel indicates that the guidelines merely require families of foster care to follow up on the children’s learning needs. However, she and Ah Chi are willing to do more to help the children improve their academic performance. During the holidays, the couple will take the children under their foster care out to play, hoping that the kids will have more experience of life.
As a member of the Force, Ah Chi is grateful that he can keep contributing to society after getting off work. He points out that short-term foster care service is very flexible. Participants can choose to suspend or resume accepting cases according to their own time. Their private plans, such as travel and further education, will not be affected. He encourages families with suitable conditions and ability to provide foster care service to participate enthusiastically in these meaningful social services to support children in need.
Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:
|Ms Karen Tsang||CSP PR (Chairperson)|
|Mr Leung Chung-man||SSP MLS PR|
|Ms Christine Choi||PIO PP PR|
|Mr Bert Lo||CIP MR PR|
|Ms Cherry Wong||SIP MR PR|
|Ms Jessica Chan||TSRO HKI|
|Ms Rachel Lau||TSRO KW|
|Ms Grace Mak||TSRO NTS|
|Ms Ivy Cheng||ATSRO NTN|
|Ms Jennifer Lee||TSRO MAR|
|Ms Florence Kung||SIP SR|
|Mr Clement Chan||CIP A&S HKPC|
|Ms Suzanne Lo||SIP HQ (2) CRM|
|Ms Joan Li||JPOA REP|
|Ms Amy Yu||EO G&D （Ag.）|
|Editor:||Ms Elvin Wong: 2860-6171|
|Reporters:||Ms Nicole Yim: 2860-6172
Dr Peter Chung: 2860-6131
|Photographers:||Mr Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Mr Rex Ip: 2860-6175
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|Submission for Issue 1224 was due on December 16, 2022.|
|Deadline for Issue 1225:||December 29, 2022 (before 6pm)
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Published by Public Relations Wing, Hong Kong Police Force