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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
I had visited Greece in May 2019. It was a brief visit to Athens and Crete but helped me to map three Schools of Social Work:
GRE The Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Athens Department of Social Work http://www.teiath.gr/seyp/socialwork/index.php?lang=en
GRE Democritus University of Thrace Department of Social Administration and Political Science https://socadm.duth.gr/en/the-department/welcome/
GRE The Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete Department of Social Work https://teicrete.gr/en/tke/10822
It was difficult to identify Schools for a number of reasons. I do not speak Greek and when I visited The Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Athens Department of Social Work, the building was closed, and I was unable to find any person in the area who was able to locate the department. I was more fortunate in Heraklion, Crete and connected with Gloria from the International Relations Office at The Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete. Gloria is a social worker and shared with me about new developments in social work education in Greece. The TEI in Crete was just abolished (May 2019) but a new university was founded in Heraklion: Hellenic Mediterranean University. I will keep building connections and learning more about social work in Greece anf hope more partnership opportunities will be created between Canada and Greece Schools of Social Work.
Literature review helped me to learn more about social work education in Greece during the current crises of the welfare state. Social work is a relatively new profession in Greece. The first school for the training of social workers in Greece commenced operation in 1937. However, it was not until 1959 that legislation was passed concerning the legal definition of social work. (Dedoussi, Gregory, Georgoussi, & Kyriopoulos, 2004). Karagkounis (2017, 2019) from Democritus University of Thrace Department of Social Administration and Political Science provides a detailed overview of current challenges for social work education in Greece in the time of austerity. There are multiple articles of current concerns in social work education written by Papadaki from The TEI in Crete. The full list of reviewed literature can be found below.
Dedotsi, S., Young, A., & Broadhurst, K. (2016). Social work education in a time of national crisis in Greece: Educating the workforce to combat inequalities. European Journal of Social Work, 19(3-4), 368-384.
Dedoussi, A. A., Gregory, S., Georgoussi, E., & Kyriopoulos, J. (2004). Social workers in Greece: Who they are and where they work. International Social Work, 47(2), 259-274.
Georgoussi, E. (2003). Research note social workers in Greece: How they spend their working hours. European Journal of Social Work, 6(1), 65-71.
Ioakimidis, V., Santos, C. C., & Herrero, I. M. (2014). Reconceptualizing social work in times of crisis: An examination of the cases of Greece, Spain and Portugal. International Social Work, 57(4), 285-300.
Kandylaki, A. (2005). Social work practice in multicultural settings: A pilot study in Thrace, Greece: ‘Research Directions’ is an occasional series presenting initial findings from research in progress. For previous articles in the series, see SESP, vol. 5, nos 1 and 3. South European Society and Politics, 10(3), 433-451.
Karagkounis, V. (2017). Social work in Greece in the time of austerity: Challenges and prospects. European Journal of Social Work, 20(5), 651-665.
Karagkounis, V. (2019). Implications and challenges for social work education in Greece in the time of austerity. Social Work Education, 38(3), 330-346.
Koukouli, S., Papadaki, E., & Philalithis, A. (2008). Factors affecting the development of social work and its professionalisation process: the case of Greece. International journal of social welfare, 17(3), 216-224.
Papadaki, E., & Papadaki, V. (2008). Ethically difficult situations related to organizational conditions: Social workers’ experiences in Crete, Greece. Journal of Social Work, 8(2), 163-180.
Papadaki, E., Plotnikof, K., & Papadaki, V. (2012). Self-reported ageism in students and academic staff—the case of the Social Work Department in Crete, Greece. European Journal of Social Work, 15(5), 696-711.
Papadaki, V. (2001). Studying social work: choice or compromise? Students’ views in a social work school in Greece. Social Work Education, 20(1), 137-147.
Papadaki, V., & Nygren, L. (2006). ‘I’ll carry this experience with me throughout my studies and future career’: Practice tutorials and students’ views on social work in Iraklio, Greece. Social Work Education, 25(7), 710-722.
Papadaki, V., & Papadaki, E. (2006). Job satisfaction in social services in Crete, Greece: Social workers’ views. European Journal of Social Work, 9(4), 479-495.
Papadaki, V., Plotnikof, K., & Papadaki, E. (2013). Social work students’ attitudes towards lesbians and gay men: The case of the Social Work Department in Crete, Greece. Social Work Education, 32(4), 453-467.
Pentaraki, M. (2019). Practising social work in a context of austerity: Experiences of public sector social workers in Greece. European Journal of Social Work, 22(3), 376-387.
Symeonidou, H. (1996). Social protection in contemporary Greece. South European Society and Politics, 1(3), 67-86.