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Issue 46 (11/2020)

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  • Public consultation on proposed amendment of Code of Practice for Registered Social Worker
  • Main Focus
  • Work Report
  • CPD courses and activities for RSWs

    Public consultation on proposed amendment of Code of Practice for Registered Social Worker



    After major revision in 2010, the Code of Practice and Guidelines on Code of Practice have been in use till now. In order to accommodate the changes in the social work field, social environment, and the expectations towards social workers, the Board has implemented the revision exercise in 2017 and set up the “Taskforce on Review of COP” under the “Committee on Professional Conduct” to conduct a detailed review in this matter. The Taskforce then drafted the proposed amendments in 2019 with the COP and the Guidelines on COP combined as one document. Having considered and edited by the Committee and submitted to its meeting for deliberation, the Board endorsed the proposed amendments for public consultation in May 2020.

    Major Revision

    Combining the two documents into one not only makes it easier to read, but also elevates the Guidelines from a reference to a document that is gazetted.

    Adding three new sections in the structure:

    Section 2: Purposes, Content, Functions and Usage

    Section 4: Ethical Practice and Decision Making

    Section 6: Glossary

    Under section 5 of Principles and Practice, the order of some principles, standards and rules are rearranged and some by their gravity are explained, updated or deleted.


    The consultation for the revision of the Code of Practice started from 1 July this year, running for a period of six months. Owing to the pandemic, the originally planned five physical consultation sessions were conducted via online platform in September and October.

    The consultation period will end on 31 December. Stakeholders are welcome to express their opinions through an online form (

    consultation session consultation session

    Main Focus

    1. waiver of renewal fee for 2021

    In response to the adverse economic impact of the pandemic, the Board decided to waive the renewal fee for 2021. RSWs whose registration expires from 31 January to 31 December are not required to pay fees when applying for renewal during that year, but they must still submit the renewal form on time.

    2. Cessation of the $20 refund scheme at the end of 2020 

    The Board has launched a refund scheme since January 2018. All RSWs who successfully submit the renewal application within the "Renewal Window" will be refunded HK$20 by cheque when the Board office issues the new registration card. The above scheme aimed at encouraging RSWs to apply for renewal as early as possible, so as to reduce the postage and related administrative expenses for the Board to issue the "Notice of Intention to Remove the Name from the Register" by registered mail.

    The scheme has been implemented for more than 2 years, but compared to that prior to the launch of the scheme, there is no improvement in the ratio of whom the Board is to send the Notices by registered mail; meanwhile, the additional administrative work and expenses for the scheme implementation are escalating. In view of this and having consulted the Labour and Welfare Bureau, the Board will terminate the refund scheme after its full three-year implementation, and the last batch of RSWs eligible for refund will be those with registration due to expire on 31 December of this year.

    3. Using PO box as registered address 

    As our legal adviser shared in the article "Statutory Interpretation—regarding the collection of addresses of RSWs" in the previous issue, it is not in good order for RSWs to use a PO box as their registered address. Therefore, under normal circumstances, the Board will not accept a PO box as registered address. However, it is understood that some RSWs may encounter difficulties in providing physical address. For such cases, they can apply for using PO box as registered address with adequate reasons for consideration by the Board on case-by-case basis.

    4. “Ordinarily resident in Hong Kong” as a qualification for Registration 

    Section 17 of the Social Workers Registration Ordinance stipulates that the applicant must be a person who is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong; and Section 22 stated that the Registrar has the authority to remove a person from the register who no longer ordinarily resides in Hong Kong. For this reason, if any applicant for registration or RSW cannot satisfy the Board that he/she is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong, the Board shall not register such person as RSW or remove their name from the register.

    5. Update the Policy and Complaint or Opinion Form 

    In order to improve the Board's policies and the operation of its offices, the Board has recently updated the related Policy and Procedures for Handling Complaints or Opinions and the complaint form. You may download the details at ( and

    Work Report
    1. Consultation on Proposed Amendments of Principles and Criteria and Standards for Recognizing Social Work Qualifications for Registered Social Workers (PCS) (Second Round)

    After careful consideration of the opinions collected during the first round consultation period last year, the Board has launched the 3-month second round consultation (closed on 31 August) with a draft revised version at the end of May. The Board will announce the finalized version and its effective date after reviewing the comments collected.

    2. Online Briefing Session for Disciplinary Committee Panel

    The new term of the Disciplinary Committee Panel began on 16 January 2020 for a period of three years. Owing to the pandemic, the briefing session was postponed to June 23 and was held online. Our legal advisers explained the disciplinary procedures to about 50 panel members participated that night.
    briefing session

    3. Operations under the pandemic

    Given that summer is the peak period for applying registration and renewal, the Board office maintained the normal office hours even under the impacts of the pandemic. In order to strengthen the maintenance of public health and social distancing, the following measures have been taken:
    (1) Flexible working hours;
    (2) Online option for members to attend meetings;
    (3) Encouraging RSWs to submit applications online;
    (4) Strengthening counter-pandemic measures of the Board office, including installing partitions and automatic handrub machines in the reception area, and spraying anti-virus coatings, etc.

    4. Promotion Work

    During the period from March 2020 to August 2020, the Board has attended to the following institutions to introduce the duties of the Board to social work students
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University(Year 1/Final Year):60
    • Hong Kong Baptist University(Year 1/Final Year):110
    • Community College of City University(Final Year):100
    • The University of Hong Kong(Final Year):12人
    • Gratia Christian College(Year 1):15
    • Hong Kong Shue Yan University(Final Year):50
    • Caritas Institute of Higher Education(Final Year):140
    • City University of Hong Kong(Final Year):75
    • Hong Kong College of Technology(Final Year):40
    • Hong Kong Community College of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University(Final Year):50
    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong:80(Final Year)
    5. Exchange Activity

    The Board was invited by the Association of Social Workers of Macau for sharing the mechanism of handling disciplinary offences of RSWs and related matters via online meeting on 26 August 2020.

    6. Social Work Day

    Owing to the pandemic, all physical activities of Social Work Day this year, such as the running competition and seminars were cancelled. The “Social Worker’s Story" event was held online, aimed at allowing social workers to share their feelings on work with the public in writing. For details, please visit

    CPD courses and activities for RSWs
    Statistics (Including Registration and Complaint)

    (as at 24/11/2020)

    Gender distribution

    Male:7,909 (30.85%)
    Female:17,722 (69.14%)

    Qualification for Registration
    Recognized Degree:17,111 (66.75%)
    Recognized Diploma:8,431 (32.89%)
    Others:89 (0.33%)

    Statistics on Complaint Cases since establishment
    Total Complaint Cases received:662
    Total Cases for Disciplinary Inquiry:118 
    Total Established Cases:34

    Note:As some cases are still in the preliminary stage or disciplinary proceedings, the above figures are not expressed in proportion.

    Articles contributed by RSWs
    (We have received 4 articles from registered social workers. The content of the following articles is solely the author's personal opinion and does not represent any position of the Board.)
    (Articles were written in Chinese only)









    "Absent But Implicit"的概念,即是入去來訪者的世界找價值、希望、信念和目的以尋入口(entry points)並發展preferred stories新故事,就是轉化為意向性心理認知(自己的主體性personal agency,她為自己發聲)真令我喜出望外。知道她是用一個另類看法看問題,我是利用好奇心去發掘,問意義。當我這樣問她時,她覺得我好奇怪,因為我平時並不是用這個方式問問題,所以她便知道我是用她的遭遇來做我的功課。雖然是這樣,透過好奇心及利用'Absent But Implicit'的概念,真的可以幫她找出新故事。使她知道免費不等於理所當然的不被重視,好像主流社會的人所認為,她願意為自己發聲。認為催促侍應是合理和恰當。

    我覺得這樣命名可以將不開心外化。我太太將不開心形容為 「被雷劈中」,可見這是對她的感覺是重大、具有深的影響。但是這問題並不是由於她所造成,而是要將人和問題分開。她是被不開心影響得她很深。這樣她就不需要自責或感到內疚,這件事並不是人的問題,而是問題本身,問題才是問題。




     我是透過行動景觀問一連串故事情節和例外情境,探索事件、次序、時間和主題 形成新故事。結果我了解我太太面對問題的詳情、時間和事件的來龍去脈,了解她應對的方法和她的社交和關係的歷史。 我也利用身份結論(抽象概念)來了解她選擇餐館「餐廳A」的背後的原因。我覺得這概念幫助了解她這樣做重要性,並反映她重視甚麼價值,怎樣做並可達成甚麼夢想/盼望。


    「雞排蛋包飯遲遲不送來」怎樣影響你? 這個問題是運用好奇心利用'Leading from behind'(從後引導)的例子來追問問題。我覺得這樣的提問有助了解當事人背後故事、情節。是厚描的手法。這也是外化的地圖第二項所表示問題對個人生活不同範疇的影響。敘事指出其實問題帶來的影響有正面和負面兩面,我太太認為這問題對於她是有負面影響,我太太表示雞排蛋包飯遲遲未送到,結果她食完回公司上班遲了三分鐘。因為遲到,所以給同事的感覺不是很好。而正面的影響則是免費享有午餐。



    在傾談的經過,找當事人的偏好。我問她的意向性,用厚描幫她找偏好,例如她在上班附近有很多餐廳供她選擇,不只是「餐廳A」一間(例外故事)。她就談到蓄積分問題及她喜愛吃「餐廳A」的葱油豬排飯。這兩點是她揀選 「餐廳A」偏好的原因。結果由已知道和熟悉的:她昨天「不開心」的經歷到不熟悉和可知的:她「開心」吃到用積分換到免費的雞排蛋包飯。她的技能和知識是她打算會隔耐少少大約1-2個月去一次「餐廳A」。如果遲遲未送叫到的飯,她會每隔5-10分鐘催侍應一次,不是等15分鐘才催侍應一次因為她會繼續蓄積分換「餐廳A」的珍珠奶茶,她覺得「餐廳A」的葱油豬排飯好吃。這是她的偏好。

    如果不採用敘事方式,可能只停留在我太太不開心的心情,或者給人的感覺是她再也不會去那間餐館用膳,因為她討厭侍應的服務態度,她對那間餐館的評價頗負面,更形容 「餐廳A」為 「黑店」。所以我覺得敘事治療的概念和手法是很有效,可以從問題充斥的故事中探索新故事,藉著個人的技能、能力和知識去找到自己的希望和夢想,使自己活得更精彩。























    社工劉家棟於去年 7 27 日元朗遊行中,手持社工證在警方與示威者之間調停,呼籲警方讓人群慢慢散去,最終因阻差辦公罪名被重判即時監禁一年,不准保釋,引起社會嘩然。負責判案的法官蘇文隆早前曾經撤銷「元朗 7.21 事件」四名白衣人宵禁令和減少報到次數,又輕判藏毒休班警罰款 5,000 元和接受 18 個月感化令,今次社工在前線調停,就被判監一年,究竟是否合情理?





    疫情下的 辣. 酸. 苦. 甜







    「我們單位有9 位同事住慈雲山確診大廈,明天只有2位照顧員上班!」

















    「辦法總比困難多! 人手不足,主管、社工、文員一起送飯吧!同事﹕「得! 沒有問題!」


    「保護衣不足夠使用! 各團隊仗義支援借出共數百件….」





    施婆婆﹕「林姑娘,你上次話送完飯,好唔舒服,而現在如何? 有頭暈嗎? 好擔心你們!」

    吳姑娘﹕「有善長贊助左健康飲料同水果給我們,為我們加油打氣,大家要注意水份補充! 」







    身兼團隊主管及社工的角色,在此時此刻,令我反思社會工作的價值觀。在疫情重災區工作,遇到了不少挑戰及難題,在帶領團隊的過程中,嘗試以Strength base perspective跨過每項困難。我們的前線照顧員大部份均居住於慈雲山,為安全起見,居於確診大廈的同事需要接受深喉唾液測試,結果呈陰性後才上班,期間人手緊拙,除了其他團隊的支援外,在家中等候測試結果的同事心繫單位運作情況,待收到消息時馬上復工,體驗到團隊上下一心的精神,透過疫情,更體現到團隊的優勢。




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