A foster care agency apologized to the public on Wednesday after the staff in one of its children’s homes allowed the police to take topless photos of a mentally handicapped girl under their care.
The Christian Family Service Centre said it was deeply sorry that its staff agreed to a police request to take pictures of the 13-year-old girl, who was said to have been abandoned by her mother in a restaurant, Ming Pao Daily reported on Thursday.
It said it will strenghten staff training and review its guidelines to ensure that the privacy of its residents are protected and to prevent the incident from happening again.
The agency, established in 1954, provides material and financial assistance to needy families and runs foster care services for the disabled and the elderly.
A group espousing the rights of disabled people said the girl’s privacy was seriously invaded and urged the agency and the police to reveal details of the incident to the public.
The police insisted the photos were taken with the consent of the girl and staff from the children’s home.
They said the pictures were to be used only in the investigation of the case and would be deleted after the judicial process was completed.
However, the girl was not reported to have sustained any injuries, prompting observers to question why the police had to take pictures of the girl with her breasts exposed.
The girl’s case surfaced after her single mother was charged of abandoning her in a restaurant.
The magistrate asked the police to delete the girl’s photo files in their computers.
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