An alert on social issues from international newspapers & journals
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30 Sep - 5 Oct 2016
Reported child abuse cases soar 50 percent
The Korea Herald. 30 Sep 2016.
[ [South Korea] The number of child abuse cases soared by more than 50% in the first half of this year from the same period a year earlier on the back of increased reports, the government said. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said at the relevant ministerial meeting that the number of reports of child abuses cases was 12,666, up 53.4% from the previous year. The government released a set of plans to prevent child abuse cases in March, which includes enhanced protection of those who report suspected child abuses to the police and inspection into long-term absentees from schools.
The government further mapped out its plan to make it mandatory for all preschools to be assessed and authorized to curb child abuses cases. When abuses occur in preschools, the grade of the schools will be lowered. It will also run a big data system called “e-child happiness support system” to predict families where children are at higher risks of being abused and keep track of children’s attendance records at schools and parents’ finance and medical records.
Three pilot schemes aim to help disabled
Samuel Lai. The Standard. 3 Oct 2016.
[H.K.] The Community Care Fund rolled out 3 pilot schemes that could benefit 3,100 disabled people and 2,000 carers. The pilot scheme on raising the maximum level of disregarded earnings for recipients with disabilities under Comprehensive Social Security Assistance will raise the earnings level by 60% to HK$4,000 a month. The Social Welfare Department will assess eligible recipients based on their employment income records.
The second pilot scheme will provide a HK$5,000 monthly subsidy for Higher Disability Allowance recipients in paid employment to hire carers to assist them in traveling and/or their activities in the workplace so they can work continuously. The third scheme on living allowance for low-income carers of those with disabilities provides carers from low-income families with a living allowance of HK$2,000 a month to help supplement their living expenses. It is hoped that disabled people in need of long-term care may receive proper care and remain living in the community.
FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS
Burden of ‘double care’ of young and old growing, survey shows
The Japan Times. 4 Oct 2016.
[Japan] The burden of raising children and caring for sick or elderly family members at the same time, known as “double care,” is a matter of concern to a large portion of the population, according to a national survey. The 2016 white paper from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which contains the survey results, points out that comprehensive support is necessary for such households. According to the survey, conducted on 3,000 men and women in their 40s and older, 45.4% said the burden of simultaneously caring for children and other family members is a familiar problem. Regarding a question in which respondents could name multiple support services they need, a “public service window where citizens can ask for advice on child-rearing and nursing care” was the top answer at 43.3%, followed by a “place where citizens can receive a comprehensive support service on child-rearing and nursing care,” at 33.6%.
Most working parents 'unhappy with work-life balance'
BBC News. 3 Oct 2016.
[U.K.] Most working parents in Scotland are unhappy with the balance between their home and work life, according to a poll by a group of voluntary organisations. The poll was carried out by Family Friendly Working Scotland group, which works with the Scottish government. The organisation said inflexible work arrangements were often to blame, with many parents saying they missed out on special family moments. Family Friendly Working Scotland said its findings showed 27% of working parents in Scotland worked more than two extra unpaid hours each week - the equivalent of an extra 2.5 weeks a year. Of those, 15% worked more than four extra unpaid hours a week, equating to 25 extra days a year.
Services team up to combat gambling addiction
The Times Leader. 2 Oct 2016.
[U.S.A.] As Ohio moves forward with recreational gambling in various formats, including four new casinos and additional racinos that combine horse racing with video lottery terminals, the state and local communities have developed plans to prevent and treat problem gambling and gambling addiction.
In Belmont County, the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Belmont, Monroe and Harrison counties has joined with Crossroads Counseling Services and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to ensure that community members understand what responsible gambling looks like and what to watch for when gambling stops being fun and starts to become a problem. A number of resources are now available for people faced with problem gambling behavior in themselves or a family member. The Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966 can offer referrals for gambling treatment in a specific part of the state, as well as help with other concerns that can be impacted by gambling: housing, food, employment, financial counseling, etc.
Alberta's minimum wage now highest among provinces
Erin Collins. CBC News. 1 Oct 2016.
[Canada] Alberta's minimum wage rose to $12.20 an hour, the highest rate among the provinces on October 1st. Across Canada, only the Northwest Territories at $12.50 and Nunavut at $13 have higher minimum wages. This year's pay bump is just a first step on the way to meeting the provincial NDP's commitment to implement a minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2018. But some warn that those gains for Alberta's low income workers comes at a steep price. The Canadian Federation of Independent businesses says that one in four of its members will be forced to cut jobs following the wage hike. The executive director of the poverty reduction group Vibrant Communities Calgary, Franco Savoia, argues that communities across Canada should be moving away from the notion of a minimum wage and begin focussing on paying a living wage.
Young people know where to buy drugs: foundation survey
Lee I-chia. Taipei Times. 4 Oct 2016.
[Taiwan] A Child Welfare League Foundation survey showed that 23% of children and adolescents have considered taking illicit drugs, while 16% said that they know where to buy them. The survey was conducted between May 23 and June 30 among 3,050 elementary-school, junior and senior-high school students about their awareness about and exposure to third and fourth-grade controlled drugs. The survey showed that 23.4% of respondents had thought about trying illicit drugs and that their main motives were frustration (55.7%), lack of affection from family (50.3%), stress relief (34.7%) and curiosity (29.9%). Foundation executive secretary Huang Yun-Hsuan said children and adolescents face all sorts of stresses and feel frustrated, and a lack of affection and support from their family members and society’s temptations can lead them to want to take drugs.
All Rights Reserved: “The Korea Herald , The Standard, The Japan Times, BBC News, The Times Leader, CBC News and Taipei Times, ” where applicable.