Following the four District Family Welfare Service Centers each set up in Dongshih, Beitun, Dajia and Dali, the Social Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government opened the fifth Family Welfare Service Center in Shalu District today (September 17), which is the 2nd social service center in the coastal-line region. Wang Xiu-Yuan (王秀燕), Director-general of Social Affairs Bureau, said “Shalu District Family Welfare Service Center is located on the 4th floor of Children's Welfare Service Center. We have stationed six social workers there to provide social welfare advice to local people. It shall benefit 160,000 people living in the 107 neighborhoods in the 5 Districts, namely Shalu District, Wuqi District, Wurih District, Dadu District and Longjing District.”
Established in 1995, the Shalu Children's Welfare Service Center has since offered welfare programs to children and youths there. With its long history, local residents have been accustomed to the welfare resources there. The function of Family Welfare Service Center is to link and distribute the resources with professional social work manpower and knowledge. It is expected that welfare resources can be spread out from Shalu District to the other four districts.
Director-general Wang said, “After the county/city merger, Greater Taichung has a vast territory. Thus, we at the Social Affairs Bureau decided to localize our welfare services so as to provide more accessible services to our citizens. We have been setting up Family Welfare Service Center one by one since 2012 and social workers are stationed there to serve economically disadvantaged people. When choosing a location for a service center, we always take into account the convenience of people seeking help. Thus, those venues that have been equipped with facilities set up by the Social Affairs Bureau are our top priority.”
Social Affairs Bureau also pointed out that according to statistics, the 5 districts in the coastal-line regions have a population only one-tenth of the entire population of Taichung City, but their child and juvenile population (0 — 14 years old) is quite high in proportion. Especially, the child and juvenile population in Shalu District ranks 3rd in all the 29 administrative districts in Taichung City. Taking this demographic characteristic into consideration, the Family Welfare Service Center will be expanded into the children and adolescents community care support systems by combining the Children's Welfare Service Center, childcare centers, foreign spouse service centers, and single parent service centers.
Social Affairs Bureau pointed out that the smooth establishment of those centers owes a lot of thanks to the city government and the central government, which have supported the increase in social work manpower. Every social worker needs to serve 55,000 people now in 2013, a great reduction from a ratio of 70,000 citizens to one social worker in previous years. Now, five Family Welfare Service Centers have been set up, each in Dongshih District, Beitun District, Dajia District, Dali District, and Shalu District and North District and Fengyuan District will have their own Family Welfare Service Centers soon. Then, the service will cover all the 29 administrative districts in Taichung City. It is hoped that local resources can be integrated to help the vulnerable, so that people will feel happy and the welfare system can move forward.