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The welfare consultation hotline 1957 of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) integrates various services and resources from public and private institutions

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2013-10-25
  • Last Updated:2017-02-03

In order to assist families or individuals who encounter difficulties in life, the welfare consultation hotline 1957 of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) integrates various services and resources from public and private institutions, and offers a simple access to social welfare consultation, reporting and referral services. The public can simply dial the toll-free number 1957 from either their cell phone or landline to obtain a diversity of social welfare consultation, reporting and referral services. The welfare consultation hotline 1957 was originally designated to implement the “Big Warmth” plan to help the underprivileged families to overcome their difficulties, to offer basic consultation to the public and to refer the assistance required to respective local governments for further case visit and care, thus assisting the economically underprivileged families to gradually outgrow their difficult situations and become independent. 

The MOHW proclaims that, in order to strengthen the efficiency of the hotline 1957 and the functions of the social security net, the hotline not only commissions the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families to employ professional social workers to answer phone calls, and to offer the public social welfare consultation, reporting and referral services based on the welfare needs assessed by professional social workers, but also vertically integrates the government reporting windows of all the municipalities, cities and counties nationwide. Once a case requiring referral is discovered, the bureau or department of social affairs of the local municipality, city or county can take the case immediately and dispatch social workers for case visit and handling. In this manner, a complete social security net can be established among the central and local governments, providing a full protection mechanism. This welfare consultation hotline also integrates resources such as the employment security net, suicide prevention net, school safety net and public security maintenance net of all the government departments 
In the face of rapid changes in society and economy both locally and internationally, the economic pressure on the underprivileged becomes heavier than ever. The MOHW proclaims that, although swarmed by incoming calls, the hotline operators maintain a good attitude and quality in their service, patiently answering questions brought forth by the public, and in addition to empathy, they actively provide the proper social resources to solve people’s difficulties. Meanwhile, the hotline relies on the high sensitivity of professional social workers to accurately judge and discover latent crises in high-risk families and to prevent tragedies from happening, thus allowing the underprivileged families to feel warm and have hope. 

An unemployed middle-aged man called the 1957 hotline social workers for help, “I only have 800 NTD left, and I have owed rent to the landlord for half a year. For the past year, my two kids rely only on the barely enough meager wages of my ex-wife. When school semester started, my ex-wife could not afford their tuition and asked me for money. I have no money, and I just want to die.” The hotline social worker not only immediately responded with empathy and emotional support, but also informed the bureau of social affairs of the local government. The government immediately dispatched a social worker for case visit. Three days later, the father called again thankfully, “Because the hotline operator listened and reported to the government, the social worker from the bureau of social affairs got in touch with me quickly and offered me information on how to apply for social welfare. Now I have a few job opportunities. Thank you so much.” After receiving the welfare information service provided by the hotline 1957, an unemployed middle-aged man who saw no hope and thought life was not worth living obtained genuine care and assistance from a single phone call, which enabled him to gain courage and start over. 

According to the analysis of hotline 1957, from year 2010 to 2013, the total serviced phone calls amounted to 202,795, which can be categorized as follows: in top place were 62,023 cases of social assistance, accounting for 30.55% of all calls; and in second place were 32,429 cases of welfare for the physically and mentally handicapped, accounting for 15.9% of the total. The reported cases amounted to 2,049, of which 56.66% or 1,161 cases were male, and 43.34% or 888 cases were female. Regarding the amount of phone calls on an hourly basis, the majority of calls came in during 10-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. 
The welfare consultation hotline 1957 operates from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and provides services such as various social welfare consultation, reporting and referral services on the following: emergency rescue, social assistance, elderly welfare, welfare for the physically and mentally handicapped, welfare for children and youth, families with special conditions, and national pension insurance. The MOHW appeals to the public who discovers that a relative or friend encounters difficulties and requires the above-mentioned welfare services to call the toll-free number 1957 from either cell phone or landline, or directly log on to http://1957.mohw.gov.tw/ to receive comprehensive service. In this manner, the concept of “no off hours for caring of the underprivileged” can be passed onto everyone who needs help.