Upholding mission and adopting new approach to meet ever changing needs
The 70th anniversary of the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (the Society) is a timely occasion to review the social impact we have made, to reaffirm our vision in the context of the present and the future, to refresh our focus and programmes in anticipation of evolving needs, and to rejuvenate our brand to bring vigour to the Society.
Pioneering new family services
Since our establishment in 1949, we have continually evolved our services to address the impacts of societal changes on families. Initially, our focus was on providing basic resources support to families without means. Over the years, we have built on our “family perspective”, with the introduction of youth and elderly services to assist families in providing vital, nurturing functions and attending to the often special needs of these members of their unit. In 1988, we opened the “Family Resource Centre” at Butterfly Estate, Tuen Mun, the first service centre of its kind in Hong Kong, providing support to single-parent families, followed by the “Family Mediation Service for Divorced Families” in 1997. Most recently, in 2016, we launched a pilot programme to provide parent-child contact services to support separated couples and high conflict families. These initiatives each play an important role in our ability to provide holistic support to families, and we are happy to report that they are consistently making a positive difference since their introduction.
Expanding our team and accessibility
We started in 1949 with just seven staff members, and now we have a team of almost 1,000 staff – a significant expansion not only of manpower, but also of brainpower, passion and commitment. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all our staff for their contributions to the Society’s development and provision of services over the decades.
In celebration for the Society’s 70th Anniversary, we have refreshed our website to increase awareness of, and accessibility to the diverse range of assistance we can provide. We have also expanded our website to provide more resources to help families adopt proactive, preventive approaches to problems.
Preparing for the future
In 2019, we have initiated “HKFWS Envisioning 2024” to define the Society’s priorities for the next five years. Underpinning these will be our continuing commitment to sustaining a strong family-centered culture among the Hong Kong community; and education and encouragement to people to help them flourish in their different family member roles. In addition, the Society has commissioned the Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct a survey towards the establishment of the “Family Wellbeing Index in Hong Kong”, which we envision as an ongoing resource of statistics and evidence, to inform the Society’s future policy development, to be of most value to the Hong Kong community.
Amarantha Yip (Ms.)
The Hong Kong Family Welfare Society was known originally as the Social Service Centre of the Churches, established in 1938. The Society became an independent non-governmental organisation on 1st January 1949 with the initiation of the Rt. Rev. R. O. Hall and the expert assistance of Miss Katherine Scott-Moncrieff, a well-known social worker from the United Kingdom. Backed by the interest and concerns of a group of people from different Christian denominations, the Society was founded with the basic aim of helping families in distress through casework. In the early days, just after World War II, the Society helped with relief work for all people in need, including those who had been released from concentration camps set up during the occupation.
The Hong Kong Family Welfare Society was formally established as an independent charitable agency. It provided direct assistance to families in difficulty, such as the provision of financial loans and sponsorships, distribution of food and clothing, assistance for employment and the operation of a free school
Launched the “School Social Work Service”
Piloted the “Home Help Service”
Pioneered the “Family Life Education” pilot scheme
Launched the Mental Health Group service, which was funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club
With the sponsorship of The Community Chest, the Society set up the "Family Resource Centre". This is its first centre to apply the concept of a locally based drop-in centre supporting families in Tuen Mun and provide territory-wide services to support single-parent families.
Introduced the "Emergency Foster Care Service”
Set up “Divorced Mediation Service”
Established “Zonta White House” – Family Retreat Centre
Established the first “Mediation Centre” among NGO welfare agencies in Hong Kong to provide family mediation and community mediation services. Sponsored by The Hongkong Bank Foundation, the Society also launched the Peer Mediation Project in 2001.
- The Society’s first "Integrated Family Service Centre” was formally opened
- The Society established 5 Integrated Family Service Centres to provide one-stop integrated family services to families in the community
- Implemented the "Family Volunteering Movement”
- Set up "Carers Support Stations”
Funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club to launch the “Bridge to Competence Project”
Awarded “2010 Asian Award for Advancing Family Well-being Gold Award” by Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asia Region (CIFA)
- Loving Bridge Project to enhance multicultural diversity was awarded 2011 Best Practice Awards in Social Welfare Scheme organised by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service
- The Society’s professional supervision and training work in the Mainland was awarded the Certificate of Honor by the Shenzhen Social Workers Association to recognise its Shenzhen and Hong Kong social work collaboration
- The “Healthy Divorced Men Project” under the “He-Men, Hear Men” Project received the Wofoo Asian Award for Advancing Family Well-being 2014 - Bronze Award
- Our Language Programme for Ethnic Minorities – Chinese Class was awarded HKICT Awards 2014: Best Digital Inclusion (Service) Bronze Award
The Society was commissioned by Social Welfare Department to launch the Pilot Project on Children Contact Service and established Parent-child Contact Centre
Established Financial Education Centre
- Financial Education Centre received the “Corporate Financial Education Leadership – Gold Award” in the Financial Education Leadership Awards 2018 organised by the Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK)
- Awarded “The Community Chest Award for Outstanding Service” by The Community Chest
- Financial Education Centre received the 2019 Financial Education Champion Award from the Investor and Financial Education Council and the "Corporate Financial Education Leadership - Gold Award" in the IFPHK Financial Education Leadership Awards 2018 and 2019.
- Parent-child Contact Centre has been incorporated into the Government’s regular assistance programmes in 2019, now the Parent-child Connect Specialised Co-parenting Support Centre.
- The Society was commissioned by the Social Welfare Department to launch the“Pilot Scheme on Social Work Service for Pre-Primary Institutions”
- Financial Education Centre (FEC) was honoured with the Financial Education Champion Award 2020 in the presentation ceremony held by the Investor and Financial Education Council (IFEC) on 20th November 2019. FEC was also awarded with the Quality Award.
Financial Education Centre received the “Corporate Financial Education Leadership – Gold Award” in the Financial Education Leadership Awards 2020 organised by the Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK)
Awarded the honour of Manpower Developer (2016-2020) organised by Manpower Developer Award Scheme
"Bronze Award” and “Outstanding Award” of Corporate and Employee Contribution Programme 2019/20 by the Community Chest