CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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More services needed for families of remarried couples

HONG KONG (SE): The Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council urged people to strengthen support for families of divorced and remarried couples so that the children can be better cared for, during a seminar on March 15.
Held at the Duke of Windsor Social Services Building, Wan Chai, the session was part of a parenting education pilot scheme for divorced and remarried parents run by the council over the past 18 months. 
The scheme, sponsored by the Home Affairs Bureau and the Family Council, includes public education, parenting workshops, family gatherings, researches and sharing sessions.
Angela Chiu Chui Yuen-fun, the council’s executive director, said that with more and more divorced and remarried parents in Hong Kong, the needs of children in their families, who need to grow up with a sense of security and stability, have to be addressed.
Patricia Chu Yeung Pak-yu, convenor of a sub-committee on Family Support under the Family Council, expressed hopes that the pilot scheme will continue because of the lack of related support services in the face of the rising number of remarried couples. 
She quoted government figures, which say that 35 out of 100 newly-registered marriages are remarried couples. She hopes the scheme will drum up more concern on parenting in this aspect.
Simon Chan Tak-mau, associate professor and director of Centre for Youth Research and Practice at the Hong Kong Baptist University, shared the results of research conducted since March last year on the situations of families of divorced and remarried couples. 
The results show that there are some elements which become obstacles to remarried couples building up their families, including pressure from grandparents, negative labels from others, teachers’ and social workers’ lack of knowledge on remarried families and old traditions.
Chan urged the government to address the needs of the families of divorced and remarried couples and improve support services. The training of teachers, social workers and parents in such families should also be strengthened.

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