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Social Work Education in Hong Kong

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.

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

Blended Learning Workshop Participants in 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.

References

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.


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