A 35-year-old mother was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of child abuse after she sent her five-year-old son to look for his 10-year-old brother who has gone missing, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday.
The mother, surnamed Wong, did not call the police after her eldest son went missing on Sunday. Instead she sent her five-year-old son to look for him on Monday night.
Passers-by saw the five-year-old wandering outside a convenience store and called the police.
Wong was released on bail, while the five-year-old was taken to a hospital for inspection.
Police later found Wong’s 10-year-old son at the Kwong Fai Circuit in Kwai Chung. He was also taken to a hospital for a check-up.
The mother is said to have a criminal record of drug possession. Police also found splashes of red paint on her door, a sign that she owes money to some people.
Wong is unmarried and living with three sons, aged three, five and 10, in a flat at Chun Kwai House in Kwai Chung Estate and is receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.
Her eldest son was born with her former boyfriend, and the two younger sons were with her current boyfriend.
The Social Welfare Department said it had arranged child care service for Wong’s sons previously.
It contacted Wong again on Tuesday to see if she needs long-term child care services.
Wong Yun-tat, a member of the Kwai Tsing District Council and a registered social worker, said there are many single-parent families in the district, but community services currently available are inadequate to cope with the demand.
He suggested that parents call the police immediately in case their children are missing.
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