Chief Executive's report 2019-2020

The Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (HKFWS) celebrated its 70th Anniversary in 2019. We launched a revitalised brand image, including a new logo and website, to promote the essence of “Family Matters” in all our services which has a double meaning: much as we believe that family is very important to everyone, we attend to all family matters as well. During this 70th Anniversary year, we have held a series of programmes and activities to showcase the contributions of the Society to the families and the community we served throughout the past seven decades. The many happy and unforgettable moments of these activities are published on page 12-17.

The HKFWS is committed to supporting and strengthening family wellbeing. As one of the key projects of the 70th Anniversary Celebration, we launched a research study to develop the Hong Kong Family Wellbeing Index (HKFWI) to understand the level of wellbeing of Hong Kong families to shed light on the design of our social service programmes and relevant policy formulation. In May, our “Family Month”, we conducted a Symposium on “Family Wellbeing in a Changing Society” inviting renowned local and overseas scholars, family work practitioners, policy makers and relevant stakeholders to share and exchange ideas on this important issue. Their experience and wisdom have become invaluable reference for formulating the HKFWI which will be announced in May, 2020.

Building on the foundation of our 70 years of service in Hong Kong, the Society has launched the project “Envisioning 2024” and formulated the strategic goals and execution plan for the coming five years. Our dedicated staff members have set up an Executive Task Force and four working teams to implement four key strategies including: (1) Formulating the “HKFWS Formula”; (2) Building employee capabilities; (3) Aligning district efforts / cross-sector collaboration; and (4) Advocating central initiative work / campaign drives to promote public discourse on family and family values. We hope we could ride on this important project to further implement our mission of safeguarding family wellbeing and developing a family-friendly environment in this rapidly changing society. More detailed information on “Envisioning 2024” is on page 20-21.

The HKFWS continued to expand our services in the past year. The kindergarten social work service developed since 2011 was well recognised. The Social Welfare Department launched a "Pilot Scheme on Social Work Service for Pre-primary Institutions" (Phase 1 and Phase 2) last year. Our Society has successfully joined this Scheme to provide stationing social work service in 24 kindergartens. The School Social Work Service we provided in 40 secondary schools had also received additional resources from the Government to increase the manpower ratio. Two social workers served one secondary school to address the increasingly complex needs of young people and families. In terms of services for the elderly, there was a significant increase in the service capacity and caseload of the “Enhanced Home and Community Care Service” and the “Pilot Scheme on Home Care and Support for Elderly Persons with Mild Impairment” to serve the needs of the elderly with varying levels of impairment. On the other hand, we have successfully completed the “Pilot Project on Children Contact Service” and received regular funding support to run the “Parent-child Connect Specialised Co-parenting Support Centre” to provide one-stop co-parenting and parent-child contact services. We are also delighted to see colleagues continue to carry out the mission of the Society and devise innovative service plans, large or small, to fill the service gaps. These service plans are listed in each service report.

Since mid-2019, Hong Kong has been gravely affected by the social issue and the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic with families and individuals under huge pressure and stressful challenges. In addition to our regular services to help families deal with problems in life and family issues, the Society also provided tailor-made initiatives to address the mental health issues and tensions in family relationship. We also made good use of information technologies to connect and provide services to families and individuals. We are indebted to many organisations and individuals for their donation and support, sending love and care to the needy families.

The HKFWS has grown with Hong Kong and witnessed the many changes and adversities it has endured throughout the past 70 years. Despite the hardship we are facing at present, we believe in the power of family and its capacity for continuous development. We will uphold our “family-centric” perspective and serve families with conviction, passion and professionalism. We are dedicated to promoting family solidarity and strengthening family functioning amidst adversities. We look forward to collaborating with organisations and members of the public that cherish family values to ignite the spirit of caring for families and fostering family wellbeing.

Ms. Amarantha Yip
Chief Executive
Hong Kong Family Welfare Society