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Issue 37 (4/2016)

Table of Contents

Members of the 7th term of Social Workers Registration Board (the Board)

Work Report

News Update

Revisiting Social Work: Macro vs Micro

Abstracts of Speeches Given at the Meeting with Registered Social Workers


Invitation for Contribution of Articles

Members of the 7th term of Social Workers Registration Board (the Board)

Election Overview

Board members for the new term were elected on 12 December 2015. A total of 23 registered social workers (RSWs) ran for the election. Among 20,000 eligible RSW voters, a record high of 5,711 ballots was received. The vote counting exercise was overseen by three observers who were members of the Disciplinary Committee Panel (from the category of non-RSWs). The three observers were Mr. LAU Chi-yin, Thomas, Mrs. LI MAK Lai-ying, Teresa and Mr. MA Siu-leung M.H.. The eight candidates receiving the highest number of votes were elected as Board members for the new term. The Board expressed sincere thanks to the three observers for their precious time, so that the election was held in a fair, just and open manner.

The Board consists of 15 members, of whom, eight are elected from among RSWs, six are appointed by the Chief Executive who are coming from social welfare sector, legal sector and accounting sector, and the one left is the Director of Social Welfare or his/her representative. The list of Board members with tenure of office from 16 January 2016 to 15 January 2019 was gazetted in early January 2016.


Board members of the new term and List of Committees

Chairperson, deputy chairperson, honorary treasurer, honorary secretary and convenors of various committees were elected at the meeting held on 26 January 2016. Details are set out below:

Board Members

Mr. LUN Chi-wai (Elected Member), Chairperson
Dr. LEUNG Chuen-suen  (Elected Member), Deputy Chairperson
Mr. LO Wa-kei, Roy (Appointed Member), Honorary Treasurer
Mr. Wong Ka-ming (Elected Member), Honorary Secretary
Ms. CHU Wai-sum, Betty (Appointed Member)
Mr. CHUNG Wai-lung, Rivalino (Elected Member)
Mr. HUI Chung-shing, Herman, S.B.S., B.B.S., M.H., J.P. (Appointed Member)
Mr. KWAN Wing-shing, Vincent (Elected Member)
Mr. LAM Ka-tai, J.P. (Representative of DSW)
Ms. LUK Ka-mei (Elected Member)
Mr. MA Kam-wah, Timothy, J.P. (Appointed Member)
Mr. SHIU Ka-chun (Elected Member)
Mr. TAN Tick-yee (Appointed Member)
Mr. TSANG Kin-chiu (Elected Member)
Ms. WU Lai-ling (Appointed Member)

Committee on Administration


The Committee on Administration is responsible for staffing, financial, administrative policies and promotion for enhancing the awareness of the general public, RSWs and welfare agencies to the work of the Board. 

Members include:

Dr. LEUNG Chuen-suen (Convenor)
Mr. CHUNG Wai-lung, Rivalino
Mr. HUI Chung-shing, Herman, S.B.S., B.B.S., M.H., J.P.
Mr. KWAN Wing-shing, Vincent
Mr. LO Wa-kei, Roy
Mr. SHIU Ka-chun
Mr. TAN Tick-yee 
Mr. Wong Ka-ming

Committee on Professional Conduct


The Committee on Profession Conduct is responsible for dealing with professional conduct related matters of RSWs. 

Members include:
Mr. TSANG Kin-chiu (Convenor)
Mr. HUI Chung-shing, Herman, S.B.S., B.B.S., M.H., J.P.
Dr. LEUNG Chuen-suen
Ms. LUK Ka-mei
Mr. LUN Chi-wai
Mr. MA Kam-wah, Timothy, J.P.
Mr. SHIU Ka-chun
Mr. WONG Ka-ming


Committee on Qualification Assessment and Registration


The Committee on Qualification Assessment and Registration is responsible for drafting, formulating and reviewing the principles and criteria for recognizing social work qualifications, and assessing social work qualifications (degree or diploma in social work). 

Members include:
Mr. SHIU Ka-chun (Convenor)
Mr. KWAN Wing-shing, Vincent
Dr. LEUNG Chuen-suen
Ms. LUK Ka-mei
Mr. LUN Chi-wai


Words from the Chairperson

Hello everyone! Unlike previous elections, the election of Social Workers Registration Board of this term drew more attention from colleagues. The overall voter turnout rate also reached a record high. Normally, after a hotly-contested election or a change of Board members upon completion of a term of office, it will take some time for the new Board members to adjust themselves to the organization. Anyway, we are glad to announce a new change right now. Starting from this term, the agendas and minutes (except personal data) of all meetings will be disclosed to the public to enhance transparency of the Board. I hereby take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the Board members of the last term for their efforts. I hope that with the full cooperation of all 15 Board Members, the Board would operate in a more smooth manner.


Introduction of Members of the 7th term of the Board

Ms. CHU Wai-sum, Betty

I, CHU Wai-sum, Betty, graduated from New Asia College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1978 with major in Marketing. After graduation, I worked in the advertising and retail industry which had no connection with social work. However, my son was assessed as autistic and moderately mentally handicapped when he was three years old. I had then developed a strong bonding with social work and social workers became our companions! I had deeper feelings about social workers along with an increasing number of connections with them. I feel grateful to social workers, but I also have expectations on them.
As an appointed Board member, I believe our ultimate goal is to protect the best interest of the public instead of the welfare of social workers.
The experience as a Board member in the past three years led me to realize that the “halo” on the head of social workers would not be crowned by default. To make the “halo” be crowned dazzlingly, colleagues have to make efforts. More importantly, Board members should perform our duties with impartial and fair attitudes. I would like to share the above with all social workers and Board members. 

Mr. CHUNG Wai-lung, Rivalino

I am CHUNG Wai-lung, Rivalino (Riva). I had served as a school assistant, a student
guidiance personnel in primary school and a social worker of an integrated family service centre in the past. Currently, I am a school social worker of a secondary school. I had experienced the “post-snapshot” era and SARS. At that time, I was burn out and thought about changing my career. Due to my strong commitment in social work, I decided to remain in the social work sector. 
In different work settings, I understood how social problems such as education, housing and economic issues affected individual emotions and family relationship . Frontline social workers would have hard feelings in the conflicts between justice and role of gatekeeper. 
When I worked in the integrated family service centre, I also participated in the Concern Group on Integrated Family Services of the Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union (HKSWGU) which mainly focused on how the Housing Department improved cooperation with integrated family service centres. I learned that even facing the rigid bureaucratic system, colleagues could make changes if we worked in joint effort, voiced our opinions and put them in action. 
In 2014, I resolutely joined the Reclaiming Social Work Movement where I met a lot of colleagues and participated in different discussions on social welfare issues. During the Umbrella Movement, I visited different occupied areas and contemplated on how social workers strived for social justice in their roles. 
With the support from colleagues, I was elected as a Board member on 12 December 2015. I am ready to step into the system, to fight against any suppression and to reclaim social work values.

Mr. HUI Chung-shing, Herman, S.B.S., B.B.S., M.H., J.P.
Mr. HUI Chung-shing graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong and has practiced as a solicitor in Hong Kong since 1976. From 1980s onwards, Mr. HUI participated in different community services, including Social Welfare Advisory Committee, Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, Guardianship Board, Committee on Community Support for Rehabilitated Offenders, Commission on Poverty, Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service, Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education, Lump Sum Grant Independent Complaints Handling Committee of Social Welfare Department, Public Complaints Committee of the Hospital Authority and Independent Police Complaints Council. Mr. HUI was also a Disciplinary Committee Panel member of the Board from 1998 to January 2016. 

Mr. KWAN Wing-shing, Vincent
Hello everyone! I am KWAN Wing-shing, Vincent. I have been committed to community work for the grassroots for nearly four years. In the past, like other colleagues, I knew little about the Board. My impression about the Board was only confined to the collection of registration renewal fee every year. The Board’s proposal to increase the renewal fee in 2013 triggered me and other colleagues to concern about the work of the Board. I appreciated the former Board members for their reminder. I started to think about the work of the Board and the relationship between the Board and colleagues. I also believed that the Board should form close tie with colleagues.
In 2015, I joined the team of Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union to run for seats in the Board and the team obtained six out of the eight elected seats. I hereby take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to every colleague who voted for us. Your support conveyed your expectation for a change and it was a strong motivation for our work in the Board. In the coming three years, we will make efforts to enhance communication between the Board and colleagues. I am looking forward to more interactions with everyone in future. Thank You. 

Mr. LAM Ka-tai, J.P.
I joined the Social Welfare Department in 1987 and worked in different units (including Medical Social Services, Family Service, Service Branches, Subventions Branch, etc.). I am currently serving as Deputy Director of Social Welfare (Services) and I attend the Board meetings on behalf of the Director of Social Welfare.

Dr. LEUNG Chuen-suen

When I decided to run for the election, a senior in the field reminded me, “The registration system is not a membership system and the Board is neither a trade union nor a professional association. If you were elected, you should perform your duties in accordance with the registration ordinance. You should also be aware that not all appeals of colleagues could be resolved by the Board.” I respect this senior very much. His words were justified and I would always bear in mind.
However, as elected members, we should know that our power is granted by both the Social Workers Registration Ordinance (Cap. 505) and the voters. Therefore, we should face up to colleagues’ reasonable expectations towards the Board and also the Board members. We should do what we can do and explain on what we cannot do. We should not neglect their voices like what the Board had done in the past.
Since the launch of the Lump Sum Grant, it has caused a lot of damages to the welfare sector. Social workers lost their trust to various authorities including the Board. Though we still cannot overthrow the system and rebuild a healthy social welfare environment today, I devote myself in making contributions to gradually rebuild the trust among different parties within the sector. 
This is the vision of my contribution to the Board in the coming three years.

Mr. LO Wa-kei, Roy

I am the Managing Partner of Shinewing (HK) CPA Limited and the Director of Shinewing International. I obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hong Kong and a Master of Accounting from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I am now a certified accountant in Hong Kong, a fellow member of both the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants and CPA Australia and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in both England and Wales. After obtaining years of experience in community services, I am now serving as a member of Financial Reporting Review Panel of Financial Reporting Council, a member of Accountancy Training Board of the Vocational Training Council, Vice President of the Association of Hong Kong Accountants, founding Executive Vice President of the Hong Kong Independent Non-Executive Director Association, and Accounting President and Convenor of Young Professionals Alliance. This is the first time I am appointed as Board member this year. I will adhere to the tenet of the Board and devote myself to enhance the quality and status of social workers, hence promoting progress in the social work profession. 

Ms. LUK Ka-mei
At the time of my graduation, I had little knowledge on the Board. I began to understand and master the functions and operations of the Board gradually. Now, I formally participate in discussion and making decision in the Board. Every step is a lesson and a trial under the existing limitations. 
As an elected member, apart from performing our duties, we also hope to look for changes in the existing establishment. I still remember that at the time of my graduation, my schoolmates rushed to pay for the registration fee. However, we did not know how the registration fee was spent and whether the fee was used for its intended purposes. In fact, some colleagues found that the registration fee could be reduced after simply analysing the Board’s financial conditions. Some colleagues might have the opinion that it is trival to strive for reduction of registration fee in a small amount. However, if the registration fee could be managed and allocated in an open and transparent manner, social workers could also supervise the Board instead of unilateral being supervised.
During my tenure of service, I will try my best to express the opinions of the young social workers in the Board and to strive for democracy internally. In response to the abuse of power by the authorities and the strive for social justice, our elected members will jointly take actions in our own names to protect the social work professionalism and the dignity of social workers. 

Mr. LUN Chi-wai
My name is LUN Chi-wai, Lun Sir. I hold a small number of public offices and academic qualifications, but I do not list them out here. The most important is that I am a frontline social worker taking up the post as Chairperson of the Board. I will view the work of the Board from the angle of a frontline worker.
The Board comprises with eight elected members and seven appointed members. If I were the Government, I would feel regret to have such a high percentage of elected members. I think we should make full use of the eight elected seats to try our best to perform our duties under the mandate conferred to us by the voters. 
During an occasion, I had said that the Social Workers Registration Board is a place to defend but not to attack. What should we defend? I will not repeat here. With the cooperation between Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union and Reclaiming Social Work Movement, I expect we can defend those need to be defended and we may even take a step forward. 
Please continue to note how we make a difference from the previous terms of members.

Mr. MA Kam-wah, Timothy, J.P.

Mr. MA Kam-wah, Timothy has engaged in the social worker sector for over 40 years from youth service to elderly service. Once by chance, he took part in the international social service and took charge of the
fund raising and promotion of the World Vision Hong Kong. He had diversified experience and often had the opportunities to cooperate with the business sector. With these experiences, he knew how to seek cross-sector cooperation and promote social needs and changes. Later in 1996, Mr. Ma joined the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association, a newly established social enterprise. He served as the Founding Executive Director for 16 years. The Association provided “Call and Care Service” to those who are in need of urgent support and care.. It operated 24 hours and rendered comprehensive and caring service for more than 200,000 elderly (accumulated) in Hong Kong. Since he resigned from the position in 2012, he has been serving as a member of the Service Development Sub-Committee and a member of Executive Committee (Director), from 2015 of the Association. At present, he is a member of the Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee of Social Welfare Department, co-opted member of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund under Commission on Poverty, non-executive director of Urban Renewal Authority and appointed member of the Board. 

Mr. SHIU Ka-chun
I, SHIU Ka-chun, Ah Chun, Gemini, with characteristics of cat behaviour, had served as a frontline social worker for 13 years. I am now a frontline teacher in the Department of Social Work of the Hong Kong Baptist University and Associate Director of the Centre for Youth Research and Practice. 
In the early 1990s when I was still a university student, I took to the street to participate in social movements. I had served as a council member of “Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union” and an executive committee member of “Hong Kong Policy Viewers” for 10 years. In the 2012 Chief Executive Election, I represented the “Progressive Social Worker” and was successfully elected as a member of the Election Committee of the Social Welfare Subsector. I helped to promote the entry of the pro-democratic camp to the Election Committee of the Social Welfare Subsector. To express my opposition to the “small-circle election”, I “tore the ballot” at the last moment. In March 2013, I formed the “Reclaiming Social Work Movement”, a social movement organization, and participated in social service affairs, such as opposing community-based drug testing scheme, opposing elderly care service voucher scheme, striving for universal retirement protection and preventing social services industry from being smeared in red. We hope that colleagues would not forget their original mission of serving the public. In April 2013, I devoted myself to the movement of “Occupy Central with Love and Peace”. In September 2014, I was the host of the Admiralty main stage in the Umbrella Movement and fought together with the Hong Kong people. In January 2015, three co-founders of the Occupy Central Movement, the Scholarism, the Hong Kong Federation of Students, His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, S.D.B. and I were arrested by the police by appointment. 
Advancement precedes stagnation. In January 2016, I became an elected member of the Board. Apart from joining as members of three committees, I am also elected as the convenor of the Committee on Qualification Assessment and Registration. There are a lot of work which I should deal with due care. I would participate in the work of the Board proactively and facilitate the Board to make achievements even under a difficult environment. 

Mr. TAN Tick-yee
I graduated from the University of Hong Kong with major in Social Work. I have joined the Social Welfare Department since 1987. I have worked in different service sectors, including probation service, youth service, family and child protective service, elderly service and grade management. Currently, I serve as District Social Welfare Officer in Tuen Mun. 

Mr. TSANG Kin-chiu
Hello, my name is TSANG Kin-chiu, Ken. I have engaged in youth outreaching service for a decade. In the last election of Board members, I ran for the seats with my friends from Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union and Reclaiming Social Work Movement. With supports from colleagues, we successfully got the eight elected seats and prevented the Board being smeared in red. 
We had hot debate at the first Board meeting of this term. There were keen competitions between appointed and elected members for the posts of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and convenors of the Committees. After a round of contention, I was so lucky to be the convenor of the Committee on Professional Conduct. By striving for the posts to be taken up by elected members, we would like to deliver a clear message that no social worker would be de-registered due to their participation in social movement or political oppression. 
Amid turbulent times and social unrest, Hong Kong is inundated with contradiction, incredibility and injustice. Social workers have absolute responsibilities to strive for social justice which cannot be defied or even trampled by undemocratic regime. 
Thank you for your trust to our eight elected members. We will try our best to adhere to the core values of social work in this turbulent era. 

Mr. WONG Ka-ming

I am WONG Ka-ming, Ka-ming. I was the former internal secretary of the Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union (HKSWGU). I ran for the election of the Board in the capacity of HKSWGU. I have devoted myself to the youth service for 14 years. I believe social work is a profession affecting
life of others. 
I understand that colleagues have expectations on Board members. In the future, I will work in joint effort with other Board members to protect the rights of colleagues and uphold social work profession. We have many things to learn. With your support, we believe our work would be well performed. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to every colleague who has supported us. 

Ms. WU Lai-ling
I joined the Social Welfare Department in 1990 and have worked in different service settings, including youth centre, family service centre/integrated family service centre and children and youth residential home. At present, I work in the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly. After years of involvement in the field of social work, I realize that apart from improving the qualities and policies of social services, adhering to the values of social work is important in demonstration of the spirit of helping people in self-help. Enhancing the professional knowledge and skills and improving the registration and monitoring system are definitely helpful in upholding the values of social work. It is my honour to have this opportunity to participate in the work and affairs of the Board. I hope I can make effort in promoting the social work profession and protecting the rights of service users through the participation of the work of the Board.

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Work Report

Brief financial audited accounts (1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015)

Operating revenue   registration and re-registration fees  7,753,367
   Other revenues    223,592   
 Operating expense    Staff cost  (4,171,235)
   Depreciation of property and equipment  (1,250,977)
   Other operating expenses  (2,052,086)
   Operating surplus  502,661
   Financial cost   (19,245)  
 Surplus of the year  


Voluntary Enrolment Scheme for Specialisation in Social Work for Registered Social Workers

The Working Group on Professional Development under the Board had proposed to implement a “Voluntary Enrolment Scheme for Specialisation in Social Work for Registered Social Workers” (“Voluntary Specialisation Scheme”) in 2015. An extensive consultation on the initial proposal was conducted in the social work sector. 

During the consultation, the Board received about 140 written opinions, of which over 70% objected to the proposal. After that, the Board also sought legal advice for the implementation of the Voluntary Specialization Scheme. After detailed consideration of the opinions of the sector and the legal advice, the Board decided to lay aside the Voluntary Specialisation Scheme.

Meeting with Registered Social Workers

The Annual Meeting with Registered Social Workers was held at the Board Office on 27 November 2015 (Friday). The Board members presented the work report of the past year to the attending colleagues. At the same occasion, the Board was honoured to have Dr. CHU Chi Keung, Dr. KAM Ping Kwong, Professor LUM Yat Sang and Professor WONG Hung to share their insights on the theme “Revisiting Social Work: Macro vs Micro”. The abstracts of speeches are included in the designated section of this newsletter.


Report on promotional work

In the first semester of each academic year i.e. from September to the end of year, the Board would arrange talks for the new social work students. The talks covered basic concepts of social work registration system and functions of the Board. In the second semester, the Board would start to deliver talks to social work final year students. Apart from the above content, the Board would also explain the registration procedures and introduce the Voluntary Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Registered Social Workers and the Guidelines for Social Work Supervision. From October 2015 to the press time, the Board conducted 16 talks for about 800 students. Tertiary institutions are welcome to contact the Board Office for organizing the above talks.

Receiving guests

From October 2015 to the press time, the Board received the following visitors:

  • ShenZhen RiYue Social Work Service
  • Department of Social Work, Zhongshan Polytechnic
  • Students of中山市社會治理創新菁英成長計劃

Qualification Assessment of Social Work Qualifications

From October 2015 to the press time, the Board completed the following qualification assessment and qualification review exercises:
Gratia Christian College Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) Full-time Qualification recognition assessment
City University of Hong Kong Associate of Social Science in Social Work   

Full-time &Part-time   

Qualification recognition review
City University of Hong Kong Bachelor of Social Sciences in Social Work Full-time Qualification recognition review
City University of Hong Kong Bachelor of Arts in Social Work Part-time Qualification recognition review
Hong Kong Baptist University Master of Social Sciences in Social Work Part-time Qualification recognition review
Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Sha Tin)    Higher Diploma in Social Work Full-time Qualification recognition review
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Social Work Full-time & Part-time Qualification recognition review

Social Work Day

The Social Work Day is jointly organized by social work organizations and tertiary institutes. The Board all along supported the Social Work Day and has been one of the members of the Organizing Committee for many years. The theme this year is “點燃社工情 攜手創新天” and a series of activities were held, including long-distance race and greeting card for social workers. An insight union on "Towards a Humane City: Voices of Citizens" (接觸、聆聽、對話-人性化的城市發展) was held on the Social Work Day on 15 March 2016. The Social W ork Day this year has come to a happy end. We hope more RSWs would support the activities of Social Work Day in the future so as to let more people recognize the profession of social work.


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News Update

Enhancing transparency of meetings

To enable RSWs to know more about the operation of the Board, the Board has decided to release the agenda and minutes of meetings (except personal data and sensitive information) in the Board's website from this term of the Board, i.e. 16 January 2016. For details, please visit this page.

Legislative Council Election – register as voters of social welfare functional constituency

The Legislative Council Election will be held in September this year. All RSWs are eligible for registration as voters of social welfare functional constituency. To be included in the register of voters of functional constituency, it is a pre-requisite for RSWs to first register as voter of geographical constituency. Apart from this, RSWs are also required to register as voters of social welfare functional constituency separately. Although the Board has sent the list of RSWs to the Registration and Electoral Office upon their request, the Registration and Electoral Office will not include the name of RSWs to the register of social welfare functional constituency automatically. According to the information of the Registration and Electoral Office, the list of RSWs provided by the Board was only used for verification purpose. Therefore, if any RSWs wish to cast a vote in the coming election but you are neither registered as voters of geographical constituency nor social welfare functional constituency, you are advised to collect the registration forms from the Registration and Electoral Office or Home Affair Office and to handle the registration procedures before the deadline of registration.


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Revisiting Social Work: Macro vs Micro
Abstracts of Speeches Given at the Meeting with Registered Social Workers

Social work is a profession which helps people in need to be self-help. Social workers serve individuals, families, groups and the whole society. Social workers always concern on the holistic needs of people from all walks of life. To achieve the vision, both micro and macro intervention practices are indispensable. In current social work environment, however, social workers put more emphasis on micro intervention practice but ignore macro intervention practice. On 27 November 2016, a Meeting with RSWs was organized and the Board was honoured to have three local social work academics to share their insights at the occasion. The speakers revisited the meaning of social work, analyzed the phenomenon and discussed how to get out of the dilemma. 

How to turn around the De-socialization of Social Work Education

Dr. CHU Chi Keung, Dean of Academy of Social Sciences, Caritas Institute of Higher Education

Dr. CHU said frankly that nowadays, social workers do not address the needs of service users from a macro perspective. It leads to the phenomenon of marginalizing or fading the “social” in social work practice. Such situation is closely related to social work education. 

The original purpose of social work education is to develop social workers with practice competencies and sense of mission through professional training. They would help the disadvantaged to fight for their rights and interests as well as social justice. Regrettably, social work education has diverged far from its original purpose and the divergences can be generalized from micro and macro perspectives. From
macro perspective, the divergence lies in the development of university education and the development in social welfare. From micro perspective, such divergence lies in social work education itself. 

The current university education emphasizes managerialism and industrialization. Universities have keen competition in the university's ranking and number of research conducted by the universities. The original purpose of social work education is distorted. On the other hand, the management of social service subvention system becomes commercialized. It has changed the relationship between service users and social workers, but also changed the relationship between social work practice and the whole social welfare environment.
From the micro perspective, in recent years, social work education highlights the incorporation of “clinical”, “psychotherapies” and “technical" to social work practices. It deprives social work education of its “social” characteristics. Furthermore, the current trend of social work education emphasizes too much on the professionalism of social work. At the same time, social work knowledge is packaged by science theories excessively. It gradually compresses or marginalizes the values of practical and political dimensions in social work practice.

Against such a background, social work education has gradually been De-emphasied of the “social”. For example, the course curriculum of “self understanding” focuses on personal growth and roles of family, but ignores the role of ideology & constitution of social structures of individuals in society. For intervention skills, social work education stresses on psychological counselling and therapeutic models. As a result, group work and community work become less important and the commitment of social justice is also weakened.
De-emphasizing the “social” in social work education has direct impact on the education & training of social work students. It weakens the students’ compassion for the group of disadvantaged. Even if social work students are able to reflect on the social factors leading to the predicament of the disadvantaged, they are weak in criticizing the social system. With such weak and brittle training in critical thinking, when the students become social workers, they are likely to back down and dare not to strive for social justice for the disadvantaged when they face challenges.
As a senior social work teacher, Dr. CHU admits that it is difficult to change the current situation. In his opinion, though social work teachers cannot change the educational system, they can still make great difference by setting themselves as role models to students. For example, when they teach clinical psychology for families, they can demonstrate how to analyse family problems by social factors, and encourage students to analyze micro family problems from macro perspective. Besides, social work teachers should always upgrade their social work knowledge and understand the current trend of social environment. They should continue to keep connection with the trend. For teaching methods, social work teachers may take reference to the EPS Model originated by Professor Kam Ping Kwong and encourage students to participate in social affairs through Empowerment, Participation and Strength-based practice.


Breaking the Divide and Imbalance: Connecting Micro and Macro Practice in Social Work

Dr. KAM Ping Kwong, Associate Professor of Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong

According to the latest definitions of social work by IFSW and IASSW as well as Articles 1, 4, 49 and 50 of Code of Practice for Registered Social Workers issued by the Social Worker Registration Board in Hong Kong, the term “social work”, in addition to its literal meaning, also has the implications of social connotation and social goal. 

Theoretically, social work is supposed to cover both micro and macro practices taking into consideration of individual needs and striving for social justice. In reality, the latest development of social work has witnessed the following problems: therapeutization of social work, divide between micro and macro practices, and less emphasis of macro intervention and advocacy in social work practice. 
The trend is the result of multiple factors. When delivering services, some social workers confine to apply one and single interventional method in different types of services because of their misunderstandings on macro intervention practice. Meanwhile, the current subvention system and management culture are unfavourable for promoting social advocacy leading to the ignorance of macro practice, social advocacy and promotion of social justice. On the other hand, professionalism of social workers widens the communication gap between social workers and the disadvantaged people. It also hinders the development of macro practice in social work.
When we put too much emphasis on micro practice, ignore macro practice and become indifferent to social justice, we should revisit whether our profession should still be called social work. 
According to Dr. Kam, to resolve the problem of segregation and imbalance of micro and macro practices, social workers should pay attention to the social nature and meaning of social work. Apart from helping individuals in need, social workers should also have the aspiration to change the society and take social advocacy as their own responsibilities. Moreover, social workers should have self-reflection from time to time to identify their roles and position in their profession. They should not blindly follow the mainstream or discussion of other professions on the definition and development of social work.
In practice, social workers may try to combine micro and macro practice by different models, such as “Co-existence Model”, “Referral Model”, “Cooperation Model” and “Integration Model”. For example, when a family case worker notices that there are cases with similar family problems and these family problems share common social factors, he/she may consider to form a concern group which would empower the service users to advocate for social issues. If social workers are in lack of the required knowledge and skills, or if the policies of employing agencies constitute obstacles, they can still promote social work from macro perspective by means of referring the cases or cooperating with other agencies. 
In respect of social work education, tertiary institutions should consider to develop courses for teachers to demonstrate the connection between micro and macro practices, and to encourage students to practise the combined model in their fieldwork placement. Apart from teaching in classes, tertiary institutions may also help students to gain more social experiences, so as to cultivate their social consciousness. 
It is equally important to create appropriate social conditions, including striving for reforming current subvention system and criticizing the trend of managerialism. Besides, when signing the “Funding and Service Agreement” with the government, agencies should also consider to add a clause to ensure that the services are based on the principles of “respecting social workers to perform their social work missions” and “obliging the social work code of practice”. 
Social workers have the responsibilities to explain the nature and the code of practice of social work to the management or directors of their employing agencies in which the posts are usually taken up by non-social workers. When social workers encounter hindrance from their employing agencies when performing macro social work practice, they may bring the matters to the attention of the related professional organizations or trade unions to defend their rights to adopt macro practice and advocate for social justice.


Revisiting social work: Let's forget about the difference between macro and micro practice in social work

Professor LUM Yat Sang, Henry G Leong Professor in Social Work and Social Administration ,
Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of the University of Hong Kong

Professor Lum believes that social workers should forget the boundaries of micro and macro practices and adopt different intervention models during their practice. Such integrated model has been adopted in the United States for more than a hundred years. 

Jane Addams was an American sociologist and social reformer in the late 19th century. She was recognized as the Mother of Social Work of the United States. In 1889, she established the Hull House in Chicago with friends having the same mission and vision, which was the first settlement house in the United States in serving women and children of new immigrants from Europe. Initially, they provided services for individuals and promoted neighbourhood mutual assistance. Later, Addams worked with her service users to strive for social justice related to women’s rights, child labour and labour rights, etc. In 1920, she was the co-founder of American Civil Liberties Union concerning different social issues. In 1931, she was the first American woman to award the Nobel Peace Prize.

From the story of Addams, she did not purposely distinguish micro, macro, or even mezzo practice in social work and her concern was the holistic needs of individuals. She started from taking care of individual needs, family needs and then taking care of the community needs. Finally, she strived for social changes and solved the root causes of individual problems. 

Nowadays, many colleagues begin their social work career in micro case work. After accumulating practicing experience, they may be promoted to unit-in-charge and perform mezzo practice of social work. When they are promoted to the management level, they may participate in formulating policies from macro perspective. At the same time, micro practice experience is indispensable in formulating macro welfare policies. For example, when formulating family policy, if a social worker is in lack of frontline family case work experience, he or she may be challenged to develop in-depth understanding of the relationship between family policy and family well-being. Similarly, in formulating poverty alleviation policy, if a social worker has never experienced the hardship of the grassroots, it will be difficult to formulate effective and appropriate policy.

Since the concern of social workers is the holistic needs of individuals, can we just focus on macro and mezzo social work but ignore micro social work? Conversely, can we just emphasize on micro counseling regardless of macro advocacy work? To conclude, social workers should be back to the basic, break the boundaries between micro,
mezzo and macro social work and take care the needs of service users.


Inseparable – Response to Micro and Macro Practice of Social Work

Professor WONG Hung, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

As a social work teacher engaging in frontline community service for years, Professor WONG Hung believes that disempowerment of social workers,
agencies and professional development is the main reason leading to macro practice in social work being ignored.

Social work training includes knowledge of case work, group work and community work. From Professor Wong’s observation, he finds that most social workers agree that they have the responsibility to strive for social justice. In reality, however, in tertiary institutions, social work students prefer to choose micro practice subjects instead of macro practice subjects. Social work students would rather choose clinical case work and only a few students would choose community practice. The same happens in the social work sector.
Professor Wong believes that the disempowerment of macro social work practice is the main reason leading to the above phenomenon. When social workers serve in agencies which provide non-mainstream services such as labours rights service for political parties, their works are usually being excluded by those social workers who provide traditional social services. It indirectly suppresses social workers to perform community work in agencies which provide non-mainstream services. Besides, social workers are ambitious for making changes to the society but it is difficult to make it happen overnight. In contrast, it is relatively easy to apply the theory of clinical case and easy to see the achievements. It leads to the disempowerment of macro practice in social work. 
For social service agencies, not every agency develops clinical services. Due to external factors, they are disempowered. When an agency tries to promote some non-mainstream community services, such as community economic projects, it will be criticized by other colleagues as “providing non- mainstream services” and the agency is disempowered in disguise. To the social service agencies, what are “mainstream services”? When the agency is empowered and cannot change the social policies, the agency should provide services and help improve the livelihood of service users. 
There is no “stage theory” in the professional development of social workers. It is not necessary for social workers to start their career from micro practice to macro practice along with their career promotion path. Professor Wong believes that social workers can choose to adopt macro practice only, or both micro and macro practices at the same time. However, when analyzing individual cases, there is no rule on the adoption of micro, mezzo and macro practices. Social workers have to analyze the cases and make the decision themselves. Otherwise, it would be difficult for the new entry social workers to understand the core elements of cases and decide to use which intervention method.
Since social workers generally agree to the need of striving for social justice, they are suggested to integrate both micro and macro practices in their daily work even under a restricted environment. Although social workers are constantly disempowered when performing community work, they would experience from individual cases that the service users demand for social change. Social workers can be empowered again and strive for social justice together with service users.

(The above abstract of speeches do not represent the position of the Board.)

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Statistics (As at 15 April 2016)

(I) RSWs

Gender distribution of RSWs

Male: 6032 (29.73%)
Female: 14256 (70.26%)
Total: 20288

Qualification of RSWs

Recognized degree: 12946 (63.81%)
Recognized diploma / associate degree: 7245 (35.71%)
Others: 97 (0.48%)
Total 20288

Post distribution of RSWs

Holding social work post: 13946 (68.74%)
Holding non-social work post: 6342 (31.26%)
Total: 20288

(II) Complaints

Number of complaints received since the establishment of the Board: 420
Number of disciplinary inquiries conducted since the establishment of the Board: 86

(III) Statistics on usage of Online System for the Voluntary Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Registered Social Workers (VCPD Scheme)

Number of RSWs has activated their user accounts: 1199
Number of RSWs has CPD records in their account*: 3908 

Given that the CPD records can be input by RSWs or CPD organizers, the number of RSWs has CPD records is generally greater than the number of RSWs has activated their user accounts.

Each RSW has been provided login user name and password for login to the online system for the VCPD Scheme, you are welcome to login and update your personal CPD records. For those who have forgotten his/her username and/or password, please contact the Board Office for re-issue by submitting the online form of “Forgot Your Username / Password” on the main page of the online system.


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Invitation for Contribution of Articles

To improve RSWs’ participation in the Newsletter, and to provide opportunity for colleagues to express their views on social work profession, colleagues are welcome to contribute articles. Please note the following rules: 

1. The Board regularly publishes Newsletter in every April and October. Colleagues are welcome to contribute articles to express their opinions. 
2. Articles should be related to the functions of the Board or social work profession, otherwise, the Board has discretion to decide whether to publish them or not. 
3. All articles do not represent the position of the Board and authors should take sole responsibility for their views. 
4. Authors should provide their real name, contact address, email and contact number. Authors may request for not publishing their real name. 
5. Articles could be written in Chinese (within 2,000 words) or in English (within 1,500 words). 
6. The Board has the full discretion in deciding for publishing articles. 
7. The Board has power of editing to the articles. 
8. No any form of remuneration will be provided by the Board.


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