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VII. Foster Care

Foster care is very different from adoption.

Foster parents are not guardians of their foster children, nor do they have the rights and obligations of adopted parents.

They have no standing to apply to the court for custody of the children unless the Director of the Social Welfare Department (DSW) applies on their behalf. Only the parents of the children and the DSW can apply for custody under section 10 of the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance , Cap. 13 , Laws of Hong Kong.

Foster Care Service is provided by the Social Welfare Department.

Foster Care provides residential family care to children under 18 years of age whose parents cannot adequately take care of them for various reasons, so that they can continue to enjoy family life until they can be re-united with their families, join an adoptive family or live independently.

Foster Care (Emergency) provides immediate, short-term residential family care to children under 18 years of age whose parents cannot care for them because of an emergency or crisis situation, so that they can continue to enjoy family life until they can be reunited with their families or secure a long-term placement. The duration of care should not exceed six weeks.

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