The year 2020 was full of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to rage and severely affected Hong Kong’s economy and livelihood, causing changes in life styles. “Work from home” and “study from home” have become the “new normal”. Amidst changes and instability, the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (HKFWS) continues to uphold our “family-centric” perspective to actualise our mission to promote family wellbeing. Ongoing services are available and new initiatives have been introduced to support those in need to cope with challenges. This year, we have completed the research study and released the first Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index (HKFWI) to draw public attention to family wellbeing. We also actively implemented the “HKFWS Envisioning 2024” to realise our vision, and have started the “Project Trans-form” to review our leadership structure and strategies on nurturing leaders for the sustainable development of the Society.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Society has received support and donations from our partners for providing service users with daily necessities and anti-epidemic materials. Our staff have been dedicated to maintain regular services for our service users and at the same time providing various kinds of programmes to connect with the general public through online platforms. In collaboration with the business sector and other NGOs, we introduced the "Hang Seng Academic Assistance Programme" to serve underprivileged students facing difficulties with remote learning due to technology disparities. Our Parent-child Connect Specialised Co-parenting Support Centre arranged free online speech therapy for children with special needs. We used multi-media in our integrated services for young people and to facilitate their life goal planning. We also enabled parents to familiarise with the cyber world. Our occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists kept conducting online tele-training for the frail elders and their carers so that the elders could have regular exercise during the pandemic. All these services have received positive feedback. In addition, the Society continued to expand our services. We set up a Family Constructive Dispute Resolution Centre, the first of its kind mediation education and service centre in Hong Kong, in fostering harmonious family and interpersonal relationships. We collaborated with other NGOs and co-organised the Jockey Club “Promoting Family Resilience” Project. We have also successfully joined the “Pilot Scheme on Social Work Service for Pre-primary institutions (Phase 3)”. In our Elderly Service, there was an upsurge of service quota allocated by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) for our Integrated Home Care Service (Frail Case), catering for the increasing demands in the community. We have also taken part in the “Jockey Club Home Safety and Living Improvement Project” to improve the living environment of elders. Through the “Family-based Dementia Assessment and Support Project”, we have trained up volunteers to do fast screening and home- based cognitive training for the elders.
In the past two years, HKFWS has been committed to conducting a research study for establishing a credible HKFWI in Hong Kong. We have completed the study and announced this first HKFWI on 15th May, 2020, the International Day of Families. The findings provided important reference for Hong Kong families, the Government and different stakeholders to enhance family wellbeing. Meanwhile, we also released the HKFWI online questionnaire, a tool for measuring family wellbeing and facilitating the public to understand their family wellbeing. We have engaged with corporations to encourage their employees and clients to utilise this self-administered tool to assess their family wellbeing and the feedback is positive. We also launched a campaign for families to share their stories with the general public to promote the importance of family wellbeing. The Society plans to conduct the territory-wide HKFWI survey every two years to keep track of the development and to promote care for the family.
The Society has commenced the execution plan of the “HKFWS Envisioning 2024” this year. With dedicated efforts of the strategic teams and support from colleagues and stakeholders, we have collected data to formulate the “HKFWS Formula”, set up Facebook Workplace to strengthen connection among colleagues, established district meeting platforms and formulated “Family First” as the core message and framework in promoting family wellbeing, laying the foundation for the ongoing development of our work to achieve our strategic goals. We are delighted to see the active participation by colleagues from different services, putting joint efforts to actualise our vision. To align with the development of “HKFWS Envisioning 2024”, we have invited a consultancy team to conduct a “Project Trans-form” to review and explore ways to improve our leadership structure and nurture leadership talents for the Society’s sustainable development.
Facing rapid social changes in recent years, families have been bombarded with challenges which required adjustment and adaptation. Despite that, HKFWS believes in family and its irreplaceable position in facilitating the development of individuals and our community. As an organisation that emphasises on the importance of families, we will continue to guard on our existing family values and promote family wellbeing, help families unleash their strength and cope with the everchanging demands. By incorporating the niches of stakeholder in the community we will spare no effort to build a caring society with family wellbeing as the core.
Ms. Amarantha Yip
Hong Kong Family Welfare Society