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Yearly Archives: 2019
Sierra Israel-Schned, Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, and Ani Dingamtar. December 2019
What is compassion fatigue?
Compassion is a “feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by suffering or misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the pain or remove its cause” (webster’s, 1989, p. 229). Although professional boundaries should always be acknowledged and followed, the therapeutic alliance is built out of the client liking and trusting his or her therapist. Therefore, these feelings are directly related to the expression of empathy and compassion of the practitioner (Figley, 2002). Moreover, because the therapist/patient relationship is based on feelings of empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive regard, the emotional and interpersonal bond is a unique but essential component to a healthy therapeutic alliance (Ardito & Rabellino, 2011). Therefore, it is important for the practitioner in these emotional therapeutic relationships to pay close attention to their own mental and physical health.
What does compassion fatigue mean for social work?
Compassion fatigue is not limited to the social work profession, however as ‘caring professionals’ we work closely with individuals who have experienced trauma. Vicarious trauma often referred to as the “cost of caring” (Figley, 1982) is a phenomenon where counsellors/social workers are exposed to therapeutic dialogue where trauma survivors share their stories. Although this work is meaningful and necessary therapeutic partnerships can lead to emotional exhaustion, this is referred to as compassion fatigue (CF). Therefore, paying close attention to our emotional and physiological health is imperative for providing empathetic and compassionate allyship to those we work alongside.
How you can recognize compassion fatigue (signs and symptoms)?
As mentioned above, It is important to pay close attention to your wellbeing when engaging in therapeutic conversations. The signs and symptoms of CF will vary from individual, however, bellow is a list of some signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Sadness and Grief
- Avoidance or dread of working with some clients
- Reduced ability to feel empathy towards patients or families
- Somatic complaints
- Frequent use of sick days
- changes in beliefs, expectations assumptions
- decreased intimacy
- Racing thoughts
- health concerns
- decreased creativity
- loneliness (transitional support, n.d)
What you can do to stay empowered (practical tips, strategies and tools)
Staying empowered can be difficult, however, you are not alone in your journey. There are ways to balance and even prevent compassion fatigue, which include:
- Living more consciously
- Knowing when to slow down
- Physical activity
- healthy eating habits
It is important to know self and map out formal and informal supports to build resilience. Understanding and recognizing your limits to your work is crucial for knowing when it is time to slow down.
Inspiration Quotes about Compassion Fatigue
“Slowly you may have transformed from a helper to one in need of help. It’s important to talk about this, to identify the wounds you carry.”
― Jenn Bruer, Helping Effortlessly: A Book of Inspiration and Healing
“I discovered that compassion fatigue is a real thing. Emotions, so strong at first, can easily shift into apathy. The subsequent guilt is paralyzing; it can prevent us from ever doing anything and freeze us into inaction. No wonder some people live for themselves, unaware of or unengaged with those who desperately need help. When global problems overwhelm, the human tendency is to do nothing.”
― Chris Marlow, Doing Good Is Simple: Making a Difference Right Where You Are
More quotes on Goodreads
Where you can learn more about compassion fatigue
We are fortunate to live in a time where access to great resources is just a click away. Below are resources that can help guide you on the path of self-care and compassion fatigue prevention.
The Compassion Fatigue Podcast with Jennifer Blough, LPC
The Compassion Fatigue Podcast provides self-care tips, stress management techniques, and support to animal welfare professionals including shelter workers, veterinary staff, rescue workers, animal control officers, humane investigators, animal rights activists, wildlife conservationists, animal attorneys, pet sitters, dog walkers, groomers, volunteers, foster parents, ethical vegetarians and vegans, and all other animal lovers. Professional counsellor Jennifer Blough interviews experts on the best ways to combat compassion fatigue and burnout and cultivate compassion satisfaction
The Figley Institute Website
Figley Institute offers cutting edge training and continuing education programs to those who provide relief to emotionally traumatized individuals, families, businesses, and communities.
The Figley Institute: Basics of Compassion Fatigue Work Book Click here
To provide each participant with the knowledge and skills necessary to reduce the secondary impact of working with traumatized populations.’
Compassion Fatigue among Healthcare, Emergency and Community Service Workers: A Systematic Review click here
Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project (CFAP) website
CFAP Founder Patricia Smith recently gave a presentation at the TEDx SanJuanIsland event. Check it out Here !
If you find any additional resources please share them in the comments.
Keep learning and sharing your knowledge.
Sierra, Sasha and Ani.
Adams, R. E., Boscarino, J. A., & Figley, C. R. (2006). Compassion fatigue and psychological distress among social workers: A validation study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(1), 103-108. doi:10.1037/0002-9422.214.171.124
Ardito, R.B, Rabellino D. (2011) Therapeutic alliance and outcome of psychotherapy: historical excursus, measurements, and prospects for research. Front Psychol. 2011;2:270.:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00270
Blough, J. (n.d.) The compassion fatigue podcast. Retrieved from https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-compassion-fatigue-podcast
Cocker, F., & Joss, N. (2016). Compassion fatigue among healthcare, emergency and community service workers: A systematic review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(6), 618. doi:10.3390/ijerph13060618
Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.compassionfatigue.org/index.html
Figley Institute (2012). Workbook. Retrieved from http://www.figleyinstitute.com/documents/Workbook_AMEDD_SanAntonio_2012July20_RevAugust2013.pdf
Figley, C. R. (Ed.). (2002). Treating compassion fatigue. Routledge.
Good therapy (n.d.). Compassion fatigue. Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/compassion-fatigue
Smith, P. (2017). How to manage compassion fatigue in caregiving | Patricia Smith | TEDxSanJuanIsland. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7keppA8XRas
Transitional Support (n.d). Burnout vs. compassion fatigue. Retrieved from: http://transitionalsupport.com.au/transitional-phase/compassion-fatigue-trauma/
Boyle, D. A. (2015). Compassion fatigue: The cost of caring. Nursing2019, 45(7), 48-51. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/nursing/Fulltext/2015/07000/Compassion_fatigue__The_cost_of_caring.15.aspx
Coetzee, S. K., & Laschinger, H. K. (2018). Toward a comprehensive, theoretical model of compassion fatigue: A n integrative literature review. Nursing & health sciences, 20(1), 4-15.
Diaconescu, M. (2015). Burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue in social work. Revista de Asistenţă Socială, (3), 57-63. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/03b1/b5fc11bb545a9e61f0baf2cb5420df9daf52.pdf
Hamilton, S., Tran, V., & Jamieson, J. (2016). Compassion fatigue in emergency medicine: the cost of caring. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 28(1), 100-103. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jennifer_Jamieson2/publication/290963237_Compassion_fatigue_in_emergency_medicine_The_cost_of_caring/links/5a711231aca272e425ed3b0a/Compassion-fatigue-in-emergency-medicine-The-cost-of-caring.pdf
Kapoulitsas, M., & Corcoran, T. (2015). Compassion fatigue and resilience: A qualitative analysis of social work practice. Qualitative Social Work, 14(1), 86-101. Retrieved from http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24738/1/QSW%20final.pdf
Lynch, S. H. (2018). Looking at compassion fatigue differently: Application to family caregivers. American Journal of Health Education, 49(1), 9-11.
Pehlivan, T., & Güner, P. (2018). Compassion fatigue: The known and unknown. Journal of Psychiatric Nursing/Psikiyatri Hemsireleri Dernegi, 9(2). Retrieved from https://www.journalagent.com/phd/pdfs/PHD-25582-REVIEW-PEHLIVAN%5BA%5D.pdf
Pelon, S. B. (2017). Compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction in hospice social work. Journal of social work in end-of-life & palliative care, 13(2-3), 134-150.
Sheppard, K. (2016). Compassion fatigue: Are you at risk. American Nurse Today, 11(1), 53-55. Retrieved from https://www.americannursetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ant1-Compassion-Fatigue-1222.pdf
Wagaman, M. A., Geiger, J. M., Shockley, C., & Segal, E. A. (2015). The role of empathy in burnout, compassion satisfaction, and secondary traumatic stress among social workers. Social work, 60(3), 201-209.
Yi, J., Kim, J., Akter, J., Molloy, J. K., Ah Kim, M., & Frazier, K. (2018). Pediatric oncology social workers’ experience of compassion fatigue. Journal of psychosocial oncology, 36(6), 667-680. Yi, J., Kim, M. A., Choi, K., Kim, S., & O’Connor, A. (2018). When does compassion fatigue hit social workers? Caring for oncology patients in Korea. Qualitative Social Work, 17(3), 337-354.
Last week Nicole Peters started a petition on change.org to discuss the appropriateness of paying for parking at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) for Secwempec students.
The fourth-year TRU social work student was inspired by the October 2019 announcement of the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to grant free tuition to local Indigenous students and decided to choose a social action research route for the final social policy assignment. At UNBC members of the Lheidli T’enneh Nation can now earn an undergraduate degree at no cost. It’s a common misconception that all Indigenous students in Canada get free tuition (CBC, 2019). The Northern Promise Partnership was described as “a meaningful response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to make education more accessible for Indigenous people” (Nielsen, 2019, para 2). UNBC’s Prince George campus is Lheidli T’enneh territory.
Instead of focusing on the free tuition, Peters in the petition asked TRU to stop charging Secwepemc students parking fees. The campuses of Thompson Rivers University are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwepemc Nation within Secwepemcul’ecw. By eliminating parking fees for Indigenous students, TRU can strengthen its efforts to indigenize its campuses and promote reconciliation.
The petition in one week received more than 400 signatures and gathered media attention that resulted in both Kamloops Matters and Kamloops BC Now writing articles about the petition. Unfortunately, the media coverage also resulted in many inappropriate comments that the online community expressed towards the petition. Nicole shared with Doug Herbert from CBC Daybreak Kamloops: “[People are] posting comments that are just blatantly racist. Some of the things that are being said [are] awful. Christopher Foulds wrote an op-ed in Kamloops This Week and wondered why “people who would otherwise not even think of uttering such offensive garbage face to face find the courage behind the social media screen to vomit forth the most vile filth imaginable”?(Foulds, 2019)
It is incredibly disappointing to read comments that show disrespect, lack of awareness, and inability to engage in meaningful conversation. It is critically important that those who post online will not hide against their screens and use inappropriate language to allow meaningful dialogue to occur. Online commentators should engage in open dialogue, ask questions, stay curious and learn about challenges that Indigenous People face in Canada instead of posting hurtful comments. When I connected with Nicole we discussed some ways to move forward, and we need your help:
- Please share/sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/thompson-rivers-university-stop-charging-secwepemc-students-parking-at-thompson-rivers-university-80b6116b-7ec6-47c9-923f-1e0968cb5788
- Please help Nicole to find an organization (e.g.TRUSU Equity Committee) that can take this petition to the next level. It is incredibly overwhelming and discouraging when voicing concerns to receive disrespectful responses.
Please feel free to add other ways to promote respectful dialogue that values diverse opinions and allow the exchange of ideas using social action writing tools (petitions, op-eds, letters to the editors). Students should feel safe to express their views in public and not being silenced when they raise points that they are passionate about researching. Having diverse voices helps to create adequate, accessible, affordable, acceptable social policy in Canada for groups who historically have been excluded from the decision-making process.
Sasha Kondrashov and Ani Dingamtar
What is “empowerment”?
Empowerment originated from the Latin verb for power, potere, which means, ‘to be able’ and is also linked to the word ‘potent’ meaning powerful, cogent, persuasive and having or exercising a great influence (Rodwell, 1996). Its prefix ‘em’ means ‘cause to be or provide with’ (cited in Abdoli et.al, 2011). The suffix ‘ment’ is defined as a result, act or process and thus by adding the suffix ‘ment’ to the verb ’empower’, empowerment becomes a noun defined as the process or result of empowering (Rodwell, 1996). Empowerment is individually determined (McIntosh, 2016), and can be seen as a helping process, a partnership valuing self and others, mutual decision making, and freedom to make choices and accept responsibility (Rodwell, 1996).
How can social workers empower themselves?
Empowerment is a process. When one understands how the process works, they can empower themselves daily (Salzman, 1994). Social workers can empower themselves individually and collectively through the use of support groups, caucuses of professional organizations, social media and other forms of groups to process their experiences, build coalitions with each other, strategize for the next steps, and/or to take actions to fight against oppression and discrimination (Sakamoto, 2005).
What is the Empower Social Worker Campaign? #EMPRsocialwork
Similar to the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation ‘‘to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally’’ (Botella et.al, 2012) Empower Social Worker campaign’s mission is to engage social workers and allies around the world to collectively create a list of individual empowerment tools through the use of images and story-telling and to disseminate them effectively among social work communities of practice.
We plan to achieve our mission by running the social media campaign to introduce some very successful empowerment tools that social workers and allies use around the world to empower themselves. Those tools can assist current social work students and future social workers to practice social work and stay empowered. Empowerment tools are personal growth activities that are used over time to create a sense of self-worth, personal and professional accountability, and generate power within an individual.
Why Empower Social Worker (ESW)?
Empowerment on an individual level should be considered an important step to strengthening social work practices, connecting with communities, reducing the sense of powerlessness, which, in turn, would help social workers and allies to link their critical consciousness and self-actualization to work toward social justice (Sakamoto, 2005).
We argue that #EMPRsocialwork campaign is crucial because it helps social workers and allies to maintain personal and professional power to effectively perform their multiple roles in different practice contexts. Empowered social workers are more effective in challenging oppression and privilege and affecting positive changes at different levels (Sakamoto, 2005).
How to join the campaign and share what empowerment means to you as a professional social worker?
#EMPRsocialwork is a space to encourage social workers and allies to share their stories and tools that empower them in their fields of practice.
Join the campaign in 4 steps:
- Find and Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Think about the tool that empowers you to practice social work
- Share an image and provide the brief story of that tool on social media using #EMPRsocialwork
- Invite your social work friends and allies to follow the campaign and challenge them to share their empowerment tools
Abdoli, S., Ashktorab, T., Ahmadi, F., Parvizy, S., & Dunning, T. (2011). Religion, faith and the empowerment process: Stories of Iranian people with diabetes. International journal of nursing practice, 17(3), 289-298.
McIntosh, D. (2016). Empowering clients means empowering ourselves first. Retrieved from http://www.socialworker.com/extras/social-work-month-project-2016/empowering-clients-means-empowering-ourselves-first/
Botella, C., Riva, G., Gaggioli, A., Wiederhold, B. K., Alcaniz, M., & Baños, R. M. (2012). The present and future of positive technologies. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(2), 78–84.
Rodwell, C. M. (1996). An analysis of the concept of empowerment. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 23(2), 305–313.
Sakamoto, I. (2005). Use of critical consciousness in anti-oppressive social work practice: Disentangling power dynamics at personal and structural levels. British Journal of Social Work, 35(4), 435–452.
Salzman, J. (1994). Self-empowerment: Achieving your potential through self-awareness. Women in Business, 46(3), 24-27.
Last academic year I had an honour to work with Rayell Sellars-Sarnowski on SOCW 4900 Directed Studies Course: Developing Professional Self-Identity in Social Work. TRU School of Social Work and Human Service provides a unique opportunity to students to select a topic and design the course that can strengthen their research and expand their knowledge (the course should cover topics that require in-depth exploration of the issue outside of regular courses). We work with Rayell on creating course learning objectives and selecting readings that can enhance the development of professional self-identity. Rayell participated in all aspects of course design and contributed many ideas that I incorporated in the final version of the course outline.
The course critically examined the role and the contributing elements of professional social work identity development process. The course aligned with the core learning objective for social work students to develop professional identities as practitioners as outlined by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education: Standards for Accreditation. This objective also involves social work students developing the ability for self-reflection to develop an awareness for safety in practice. Due to the sensitive nature of exploring individual identity, self-care and support systems were established before an in-depth exploration of the following. Foundations such as intersectionality, and pedagogical influence were explored to deconstruct identity. Especially for populations that face discrimination, historical and contemporary, context were applied to conceptualize the influence on identity. By conceptualizing these aspects students had the opportunity to form their own professional identity separate from dominant discourse. Many frameworks that capture various facets of identity were introduced to aid in students establishing identity. This process allowed to deconstruct the pedagogies taught within education institutions and discern how they impact self and beliefs.
Rayell met all the key learning objectives and at the conclusion of the course, were able to:
- Understand professional social work identity components and implications to practice.
- Develop identity and find relevant supports to develop identity.
- Understand how pedagogy and power influences professional identity development processes for social workers.
- Ensure safety in the process of establishing identity.
- Achieve a well-grounded professional self-identity that positively strives to maintain the Canadian Association of Social Work Education: Standards for Accreditation learning objectives.
I have asked Rayell to share the experience of taking the course to encourage other students to take directed studies courses and receive one on one mentoring and preparation to advance their studies and promote social work research. Thank you Rayell for all your work and for being part of this directed studies experience.
Reflection on Directed Study – Developing professional self-identity in social work By Rayell Sellars-Sarnowski
Participating in a directed study gave me the opportunity to develop a framework that would enable me to unearth identity’s role in social work. The basis of the course topic prompted by various antecedents I was experience within the program. These antecedents were related to the intertwining cultural complexities that form my intersectionality. I identify as a Secwepemc-Tsilqhotin woman, who was raised on traditional Secwepemc ne Esk’etemculucw territory.
Being raised on the reserve Esk’et, I was gifted with a very unique perspective of the world. I was blessed to grow up with knowledge of my culture, healing practices, and language. I was custom adopted as a child by my grandmother and provided with a safe, nurturing home. I also have a very large family, and was wrapped by supports and the community. I was provided with a very wide support circle from a young age, and given the tools and caring to strengthen my own resilience. I was very sheltered from the outside world, being surrounded by other Indigenous people until I was 11 years old. When I was 11, I transferred from Sxoxomic school in Esk’et to a catholic private school in Williams lake. Transitioning from a predominantly relevant culture to another was a culture shock, and since then I have been fascinated by the differences in discourse. Later in my teen years, I faced traumas that were detrimental to my holistic wellbeing. I became isolated and turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms. However, despite the hardships my family, community and friends came together to support my holistic wellbeing. Again, strengthening the resilience that I had been fostering since I was a young child.
This journey prompted my interest in the helping profession, as I understand it has with many others. I entered the human services diploma, successfully completing this, then moved on to the bachelor of social work. Within the BSW I noticed that I was questioning my reality, my perspective on life, and generally gaining a new one or trying to. As many of the course work involved questioning dominant discourse, I became more interested in societies perspectives and how they were created. Myself and another student started to focus on how social work discourses impacted our positioning as Indigenous students. Stemming from this, I began to question how is the program supporting students to shape their identity after losing it? It is heavily acknowledged that you will learn “more about yourselves than you want to know,” and that dominant discourse needs to be untangled to understand how it affects our clients. However, I felt that the program lacked supports for students having identity crisis. Especially to support those like myself, with complicated intersectionality’s. Acknowledging my own identity disconnection, and others, I began the process of enrolling in a directed study.
The process itself of entering into a directed study was not as daunting as it may appear. I hope that in the future there is more information on directed studies, I just heard about it from another student doing it and decided to try to supplement those identity development needs. If I hadn’t put myself out there by participating in extracurricular BSW club events, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity. Upon discovering this, I was instantly intrigued and decided I was going to do it. Research and confronting gaps within structures is where I thrive. The directed study was an opportunity to utilize and grow those skills. I was pushed to do in-depth research at the library and start discussions with other students and faculty. The process allowed me to approach the topic of identity development utilizing a flexible approach. I wasn’t only able to take the appropriate amount of time to analyze my identities, I was also able to apply appropriate lenses to my work.
I was constantly applying Indigenous approaches in my other class papers, but in smaller scales. In this course I was able to view the entire picture of my Indigenous identity and the various ways it would impact my wellness. Not only was I able to more thoroughly utilize and Indigenous approach, but I was able to apply theories and concepts I truly associated with, such as strengths perspective, a structural approach, trauma-informed practice, decolonizing theory, and systems theory. I was able to weave these together, among many other concepts, to fully understand my approach to social work. By creating my own course outline, I was able to choose what mattered to me as a unique individual to be included in the content. Not only was this project about simply identifying how to manage identity development, it grounded my own knowledge and unique perspective of the world, to allow for my practice to become even more effective.
This was truly an opportunity not only for professional identity growth, but for personal identity growth as well. I believe truly digging into our unique world perspectives is a benefit to our practice as social workers who continue to have the need to understand the complexities of the unique individuals we serve every day. Not only do we have the duty to our clients, we have it to ourselves to truly grant ourselves with holistic wellbeing. It is a beautiful moment when you begin to understand your identity. I think in social work we become obsessed with the idea of controlling who we are as professionals, we lose touch with our true self, who has such a love for being in the helping profession. When we lose touch with our individuality we succumb to robotic helping, and lose meaningful connection to those we serve. These are the types of realizations and connection to practice that can be created in a directed study. How passionately I feel about a connection to identity, is only an example of what type of work can be done in this opportunity. If this sparks an idea about what you would study, I highly suggest exploring it in this manner.
“As life goes on it becomes tiring to keep up the character you invented for yourself, and so you relapse into individuality and become more like yourself everyday.” ― Agatha Christie
The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship is a competitive initiative for international undergraduates from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Mexico, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and Ukraine. From May to October of each year, top-ranked applicants participate in a 12-week research internship under the supervision of Canadian university faculty members in a variety of academic disciplines. More information about Mitca Globalink Research Internship can be found here: https://www.mitacs.ca/en/programs/globalink/globalink-research-internship
Recently I got very exciting news, that all 11 projects I have submitted for funding has been supported by Mitacs Canada so I can train 11 students, 1 from each of the participating country to help me with my research in summer 2020.
If you know a third year undergraduate social work student from the following countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Mexico, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and Ukraine who will be interested to visit TRU from May-August 2020 for a 12 week all-expense paid internship ask them to apply before September 18th and select one of the projects that I supervise from the list on Mitacs Canada Globallink website. https://globalink.mitacs.ca/#/student/application/projects
Next summer can be busy but it is very exciting as I can get more help to complete some of my research work. Please share this message with your networks and it will be fun to have social work students from around the world to visit Kamloops in May-August 2020 so we can do research together at Thompson Rivers University and strengthen global social work community.
Here is the list of project to apply before September 18th deadline:
The region of Hong Kong has been inhabited since the Old Stone Age and became a part of the Chinese empire from the Qin dynasty (221–206 BC). Hong Kong grow from the farming fishing village to a free port and a major international financial centre. Japan occupied Hong Kong from 1941 to 1945 during the Second World War. By the end of the war in 1945, Hong Kong had been liberated by joint British and Chinese troops, and returned to British rule. The Handover of Hong Kong took place on July 1, 1997, returning Hong Kong to Chinese rule, with Hong Kong adopting the Hong Kong Basic Law.
Hong Kong Social Workers Association enters its 70th Anniversary in 2019 and co-hosted an international conference with HKU Social Work and Social Administration Department “Change and Innovation for a Better World: the Future of Social Work Profession”. I had an honour to present my research on Mission (IM)Possible 2: One map + 199 connected schools of social work in Latin America. Are we ready for Asia? at the conference and to connect with the President of the HK Social Workers Association Irene Leung and a fourth generation social work educator Nelson Chow who Irene introduced during the conference and who shared the 70 years story of social work education in Hong Kong. The conference was a joined effort by the Social Work Department of 5 local universities, Hong Kong Association of Schools of Social Work and Hong Kong Council of Social Service as partners
The Social Workers Registration Board in Hong Kong has a list of all recognized social work programs for registration of social workers. The list of the recognized qualifications is compiled based on the best information available at the time of compilation. One can access the list from The Social Workers Registration Board website One can obtain social work diploma, BSW, MSW and PhD in social work from the following post-secondary institutions.
- HKG Caritas Institute of Higher Education http://www.cihe.edu.hk/schools-offices/school/school-of-social-sciences/; https://www.researchgate.net/institution/Caritas_Institute_of_Higher_Education/department/Department_of_Social_Work/members
- HKG City University of Hong Kong https://ssweb.cityu.edu.hk/disciplines/social_work/
- HKG Hong Kong Baptist University http://sowk.hkbu.edu.hk/
- HKG Hong Kong College of Technology https://www.hkct.edu.hk/discipline/?lang=en&pid=38&mt=course&tid=4
- HKG Shue Yan University https://sw.hksyu.edu/
- HKG The Chinese University of Hong Kong http://web.swk.cuhk.edu.hk/en-gb/
- HKG The Hong Kong Polytechnic University https://www.polyu.edu.hk/apss/
- HKG The Open University of Hong Kong http://www.socsc.hku.hk/
- HKG The University of Hong Kong https://www.socialwork.hku.hk/
- HKG Gratia Christian College http://www.gcc.edu.hk/socialwork/programme/
- HKG Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education http://www.vtc.edu.hk/admission/en/programme/ce124303-higher-diploma-in-social-work/
- HKD Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher Education http://www.ny.edu.hk/web/eng/program_bsw.html
- HKD Community College of City University of Hong Kong https://fss.cccu.edu.hk/div_dss_08.html
The list of NGO that operate school of social work service is also available online.
School of social work is one of the many fields of practice for social workers in Hong Kong. Ka-chun (2018) states that “back in the early 1970s, social work services in primary and secondary schools were predominantly provided by non-profit organizations such as Caritas–Hong Kong and St. James’ Settlement, with the government only playing a relatively minimal role. Amid mounting calls for bigger government commitment, the Social Welfare Department launched a pilot scheme of providing social workers for local schools in 1974”. Leung (2019) reported that all publicly funded secondary schools in Hong Kong to get two social workers in bid to tackle youth suicides as finance chief Paul Chan earmarks HK$130 million for measure. These measures increase the demand of training for local social workers.
One can learn about recent trends in social work education in Hong Kong by reviewing the interview by Deona Hooper on local social work educator Dr. Terry Leung (Hooper, 2013). Information about social work practice in Hong Kong can be found in The Hong Kong Journal of Social Work Additional articles on developments of social work education and fields of social work practice demonstrate a strong academic interest in development of social work profession in Hong Kong (To, 2007; Chui, n.d.; Arat & Kerelian, 2019; Yuen, & Ho, 2007).
I was impressed to learn about the development of social work distance education in Hong Kong and an opportunity to connect with LAM Ching-man, Professor, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong who is the project lead on Blended approach for social work learning: A reflection-based and user-oriented pedagogical model. The project is a joint initiative between The Chinese University of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, The University of Hong Kong
It was an honour to celebrate 70 years birthday of social work profession in Hong Kong and wish all social work educators, practitioners and researchers Mnogaya Lita! Many more years of promoting social work values.
Ka-chun, S. (2018). Why one social worker for every secondary school is not enough. Retrieved from http://www.ejinsight.com/20181011-why-one-social-worker-for-every-secondary-school-is-not-enough/
Leung, R. (2019). All publicly funded secondary schools in Hong Kong to get two social workers in bid to tackle youth suicides as finance chief Paul Chan earmarks HK$130 million for measure. Retrieved from https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2187939/all-publicly-funded-secondary-schools-hong-kong-get-two
Hooper, D. (2013). Social work in Hong Kong: Interview with Dr. Terry Leung. Retreived from https://www.socialworkhelper.com/2013/09/03/social-work-hong-kong-interview-dr-terry-leung/
To, S. M. (2007). Empowering school social work practices for positive youth development: Hong Kong experience. Adolescence, 42(167), 555.
Chui, W.T. (n.d.). Social work in Hong Kong. Retrieved from https://ebrary.net/2147/sociology/social_work_hong_kong
Arat, G., & Kerelian, N. N. (2019). Reshaping the social work education system toward cultural competency: The Hong Kong case. International Social Work, 62(1), 316-329.
Yuen, A. W., & Ho, D. K. (2007). Social work education in Hong Kong at the crossroads: Challenges and opportunities amidst marketization and managerialism. Social work education, 26(6), 546-559.
Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. In 1557 it was leased to Portugal as a trading post. In 1887 the Portuguese finally managed to secure an agreement from China that Macao was Portuguese territory. In 1999 it was handed over to China. Macau was the last extant European territory in continental Asia.
Macao Social Workers Association has limited information on IFSW website
During a short visit to Macau (taking a ferry from Hong Kong and riding a bus on Macau-Hong Kong bridge back in one day) and through the use of Google search engine I was able to find the following four schools of social work in Macau.
- MAC City University of Macau https://www.cityu.edu.mo/ado/en/notice/37
- MAC Macao Polytechnic Institute http://www.ipm.edu.mo/teaching_learning/en/progspec_esap_socialwork.php
- MAC The Institute of Social Work (Caritas Macau) http://www.caritas.org.mo/en/service/education-service/ICM
- MAC University Of Saint Joseph https://www.usj.edu.mo/en/courses/ma-social-work/
All Schools are now included on The Schools of Social Work around the World Asset Map. The literature on the development of social work education in Macau is limited in English. Hui, S.Y. (n.d.) from Social Work Program Macau Polytechnic Institute provides although dated but some information on social work education in Macau before 1990s. More recent youtube TDM Talk Show is available online with Jacky Ho – Social Work Programme Coordinator at the City University of Macau (Ho, 2017). Ho (2017) shares thoughts on current developments in social work education and profession in Macau
Hui, Aspalter, and Lai (2012) developed a paper that examines the Macau welfare model. Macau, a Casino-based economy, has yet to develop an adequate social security system. This paper examines the history, and particularly the recent period since the Handover to Chinese authorities in 1999, of the welfare system in Macau, and compares the current state of the welfare system with that of neighboring countries and territories.
Ho, J. (2017). Jacky Ho – Social Work Programme Coordinator at the City University of Macau. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb94bpWZYNM
Hui, S., Aspalter, C., & Lai, D. (2012). Social Welfare in Macau—Between East and West: A Comparative, Analytical Welfare Regime Perspective. Analytical Welfare Regime Perspective (March 23, 2012). Retrieved from
Hui, S.Y. (n.d.) Social Work Education in the Changing Society of Macau. Retrieved from https://www.macaudata.com/macaubook/book214/html/58701.htm