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Issue 51(4/2023)

Table of Contents
  • Main Focus – - Q&A
  • Work Reports
  • CPD courses and activities for RSWs

    Main Focus – Q&A

    1. I have noticed that the qualification for registration includes "Ordinarily resident in Hong Kong". If I plan to leave Hong Kong for a period of time, will I still satisfy the above qualification for registration?

    According to sections 17(3)(a) and 20(4) of the Social Workers Registration Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), an applicant shall not be registered as a social worker unless he is an ordinarily resident in Hong Kong at the time of application for registration (including renewal of registration). Sections 22(1)(c) and 22(2) of the Ordinance also point out that if any social worker has failed to reside in Hong Kong for a period of 2 years or more, the Board shall not consider him to be ordinarily resident in Hong Kong and the Registrar may remove his name from the register if the Registrar becomes aware of such situation. For the definition of ordinary residence in Hong Kong, you may refer to the website of the Immigration Department of the Hong Kong Government ( ). The factors considered include, but are not limited to: the reason, duration and frequency of any absence from Hong Kong; whether the person has habitual residence in Hong Kong; whether the person is employed by a Hong Kong based company; and the whereabouts of the principal members of the family of the person. Therefore, if the Board Office notices that a social worker has departed from Hong Kong and may not meet the requirement of ordinary residence in Hong Kong, it may request such social worker to submit more information for follow up.

    2. Can I obtain a recognized social work degree qualification recognised by the Board by taking a social work degree conversion programme, considering that I currently hold a higher diploma in social work recognized by the Board?

    According to the Principles, Criteria and Standards for Recognising Qualifications in Social Work (8th Edition) formulated and implemented by the Board, the definition of "conversion programme" is defined as "A bachelor degree programme offered to holders of a recognised qualification led by Diploma Programmes in social work to top up their training and to pursue a recognised bachelor degree in social work; to avoid any doubt, any programme leading to a master degree will not be regarded as a conversion degree programme".

    In other words, if you currently hold a social work diploma recognized by the Board (including diploma, higher diploma and associate degree) and wish to register based on a recognized social work degree, you can do so by taking a social work conversion programme recognized by the Board to obtain a recognized social work degree. However, if you are currently studying for a social work diploma, or are a graduate or undergraduate student in another field, you are not eligible to take a social work conversion programme.

    3. As a social worker holding a social work post, am I responsible for providing my name and registration number if requested by clients?

    According to clause 4 of the Code of Practice for Registered Social Workers ("the Code") implemented by the Board, "Social workers acknowledge a responsibility to inform clients of their rights and help them to obtain appropriate services. Clients should also be informed of, as far as possible, obligations and possible consequences associated with services provided to them." In addition, clause 4.2 of the Guidelines on Code of Practice for Registered Social Workers ("the Guidelines") also states that "Social workers should duly inform clients of workers' names, positions, roles, and the status as registered social workers". As for the definition of clients, according to Note (1) of the Code, "`Clients’ refers to direct service recipients currently receiving individual, group services or programme activities provided by social workers."  

    Therefore, according to the aforementioned provisions of the Code and the Guidelines, in normal circumstances, if a client asks a social worker his/her name, such social worker should provide it truthfully. If a client asks for personal information of the social worker beyond what is listed in clause 4.2 of the Guidelines, or if there are queries regarding the application of the aforementioned provisions of the Code and the Guidelines, the social worker should, in the light of the circumstances, make a professional and responsible judgment after striking a balance between the interests of their clients and the rights of their significant others, including other family members, the agency, the community and the society at large.

    Work Reports

    1. Despatching leaflet of “Q&A on Notification on Charge(s) and Conviction(s) by Registered Social Workers”

    To assist registered social workers in better understanding the scope and procedures for reporting charges and convictions under section 24 of the Ordinance, the Board published a leaflet titled Q&A on Notification on Charge(s) and Conviction(s) by Registered Social Workers at the end of 2022, and distributed it to registered social workers and social welfare agencies through various channels. The leaflet is also available at the Board's website ( ).

    2. Briefing Session for Disciplinary Committee Panel

    According to section 27 of the Ordinance, if the Board decides to conduct a disciplinary inquiry on a complaint case, a Disciplinary Committee shall be formed by appointing five members from the "Disciplinary Committee Panel". The Board appointed a new term of panel members at the end of 2022, and their term will run from 16 January 2023 to 15 January 2026. In order to provide the panel members with a deeper understanding of disciplinary procedures, the Board held a briefing session in the evening of 9 March 2023, where the Board's legal advisor, Ms. Ashley Deng, explained the key points of the disciplinary procedures.


    Editing progress of the second series of Casebook of Disciplinary Inquiries

    After more than two years of hard work, the Editorial Sub-committee for Casebook of Disciplinary Inquiries has reviewed inquiry cases of the past 10 odd years and completed the writing of more than 30 selected cases. Currently, they are conducting the review of the draft of the entire book. The Sub-committee is recommending that the Board considers inviting professionals from the social work field and other sectors to provide feedback on the draft.

    4. Social Work Day

    The International Federation of Social Workers has designated the third Tuesday of March each year as "World Social Work Day". This year, the World Social Work Day falls on 21 March 2023. The Hong Kong Social Workers Association, together with 11 tertiary institutions and the Board, has formed the Social Work Day (Hong Kong) 2023 Organizing Committee.

    2023The theme of the 2023 Social Work Day (Hong Kong) is "We Care, We Build". The opening events, "志雲北斗傾" and "Embracing Diversity on Social Work Day cum Anniversary of the Establishment of HKEDSW – Dinner Celebration", were successfully held on 21 March. From May to June, the organizing committee will hold the "社工民宿—兩日一夜話社工" activity. Social workers are invited to pay attention to and support these events. For more details, please visit the Social Work Day (Hong Kong) webpage (

    5. Qualification Recognition

    6. Promotion Work

    During the last half-year, staff of the Board Office introduced the work of the Registration Board to the social work students of the following institutions through online or physical visits::
    • Gratia Christian College (60)
    • Hong Kong Baptist University (130)
    • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University  (100)
    • Hong Kong College of Technology  (120)
    • Hong Kong Community College of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University  (50)
    • Hong Kong Nang Yan College of Higher (20)
    • Total:480

    7. Cessation of operation of the website for “Voluntary Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Registered Social Workers” (“VCPD Scheme”)

    For years, the Board has consistently supported and encouraged RSWs to continuously enhance their professional knowledge and skills to meet the changing social environment and the needs of service users. Therefore, the “Voluntary Continuing Professional Development Scheme for Registered Social Workers” (“VCPD Scheme”) was established in 2011. Through a dedicated website, the VCPD Scheme assisted activities organizers in uploading continuing professional development (“CPD”) information for RSWs’ reference, and provided a platform for RSWs to record their CPD records.

    After more than a decade of operation and also review over the past few years, the Board has observed that with the advancement of information technology, registered social workers can easily access various types of professional continuing education information through different channels. Moreover, there are other organizations that are more specialized in related work. Therefore, after careful consideration, the Board decided to gradually phase out the online platform for the VCPD Scheme, with complete cessation of operation on 31 December 2023. Details will be announced later.

    The Board would like to express gratitude to RSWs and activities organizers for their support and participation in the VCPD Scheme over the years. Moving forward, the Board will continue to explore more effective ways to promote the continuing professional development of social workers, with the expectation that RSWs will prioritize the public interest in their professional knowledge and conduct, and continue to make progress.

    CPD courses and activities for RSWs


    (as at 28/3/2023) 

    Total Number of RSWs: 27,197

    Gender Distribution 

    Male:8,516 (31%)
    Female:18,681 (69%)

    Qualification for Registration 

    Recognized degree:18,485 (68%)
    Recognized diploma:8,650 (31.8%)
    Others:62 (0.2%)

    Statistics on Complaint Cases (since establishment)

    Total Complaint Cases received:731
    Total Cases for Disciplinary Inquiry:160
    Total Established Cases:38

    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
    (The content of the following articles is solely the author's personal opinion and does not represent any position of the Board. The language of the article is published according to the original manuscript, no translated version is provided.) 










    從義活到義別(Die Meaningfully

    每個人都希望自己的一生盡可能活得精彩和有意義,不過對大多數低收入的市民來說,這可能是個離地的追求,因為當他們連三餐也成問題的時候,哪裡有閒情說精彩和談意義呢?事實上,我們的父母大多曾經歷貧困,但他們躬一生就是要養兒育女,使下一代可以振翅高飛,抬起頭來。曾經出席安息禮拜的人都會同意,只要細聽家人述說亡者的一生,我們都會被他對家人的關愛,甚至犧牲自己成全大任的事蹟而觸動,親友和來賓都會得到安慰和鼓勵,叫存留在世的我們要好好記念過去,珍惜當下,計劃未來。這樣,至愛的離世就成為了「義別」或有意義的離別(Frankl, 2004Kessler, 2020

    從接納到希望(Live Hopefully

    假如亡者與家人都擁抱對死後未來的積極信念,存留在世活着的人都會較容易適應哀傷和善別的過程。曾經有一位舊同事,在照顧初生嬰兒期間感覺腰痛,以為弄傷了腰骨,屢次求醫,未有改善。原來她的嫲嫲從她小時候一直照顧她,待她如珠如寶,可惜在疫情期間,她無法探望住安老院的嫲嫲,最後老人家不幸離世,她一直緊緊於懷,又擔心孩子誤解她對嫲嫲的哀悼,因而壓抑情緒,拒絕在孩子面前哭泣。當她認識到瀕死經驗的有關研究(如Moody, 2013),也明白到嫲嫲已安身立命,她便安然在孩子面前流露真感受。就在這時候,她的腰痛也漸漸消失,心情亦變得輕省了!原來接受死亡是個事實,還得對將來有正面信念,我們才可活得自在和有方向。

    從有心到有力(Care Competently

    臨終者與照顧者要懂得義別並心存希望,就要有心有力,持續學習具效能和有效率的方法,以應付從壓力、危機甚至創傷而來的種種挑戰。本地學者指出為有機會要面對臨終關懷的醫護及社福人員、義工、病人和家屬提供適當培訓可有效增加病人及照顧者的自我效能(Chan & Tin, 2012)。近幾年有大學提供了免費學習的機會和資源,讓有心人能提升照顧自己和他人的技能,及早減低因對死亡的概念、知識和處理方法無知而產生的風險詳細可瀏覽本港安寧服務的網頁了解更多有關臨終照顧計劃的內容。






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