Caritas Social Work Services Division is taking new modes of service delivery to tackle the emerging social problems and ever-changing service needs. In reviewing the history of Caritas Social Work Services, we find that there are different stages of development during the past decades. Tailor-made services have been established so as to respond to the rising needs of the community during the period.


The first decade was marked by relief work for the new migrants residing in Hong Kong.


Caritas piloted the setting up of social work professional services and tackled community needs through different Multi-service Social Centres which were set up in local districts. Community development and family services were also organized for families in fishermen villages and in new towns.


Caritas developed the first phases of various social work services to assist the families in need as well as the individuals, youth, the elderly and the handicapped, to enhance their functioning capacity. Besides, we had set up experimental projects at old public housing estates and services for the refugees in the open and closed centres. Our models of intervention for the deprived had been both remedial and preventive.


During the decade, there was rapid development in services tackling the needs of children, youth and the elderly. Besides, a number of community development projects had been set up in the deprived and remote communities to fill service gaps. Pilot service projects had also been established to assist the special needs groups including the industrial workers, migrant workers from South East Asia, low income women and Vietnamese refugees. In 1983, Social Work Services had been re-organized to set up seven service departments, including Child Care, Youth and Community, Family, Rehabilitation, Elderly, Community Development as well as Other Social Work Services.


Starting from mid 1990’s, owing to the changing welfare policy, our services for youth, family and elderly had undergone the process of service re-engineering and re-structuring to formulate an integrated service model to provide community-based and one-stop service for different target groups in the community.

Besides, we provide services targeted at those vulnerable groups identified as high risk and being neglected by the larger community. These groups with special needs included drug addicts, party goers, the mentally ill and people with chronic stress, couples with marriages at risk, the unemployed, new arrival families and others whose human rights were being ignored.


Caritas continued to serve those disadvantaged groups including the ethnic minority, young girls with repeated pregnancy, families in crisis and in debts, addicted gamblers, survivors of sexual abuse, sex offenders, adults with early psychosis, children with learning difficulties and hidden people.

As to provide quality service, Caritas has established various partners to serve the community. Our service partners have been parishioners, parents, employers, health workers, legal people, educators and business enterprises. We have taken on the role of bridge builders, of advocators, and supporters of mutual help groups. Besides, we had set up work teams including social workers, therapists, medical care staffs, instructors, child care workers and supporting staffs. We strive to promote cross-professional and cross divisional collaboration to tackle the needs of the deprived in a holistic way.


We look forward to the mission of community care, of community building and the promotion of integral human development. Our vision is to advocate for social responsibility, social inclusion social cohesion and social capital. Service users are exhorted to take up the social responsibility to involve in mutual support projects and volunteerism. Service users are organized to voice their views and to express their opinions towards service quality.

In our aspiration for social cohesion, it is our hope to set up community networks and fulfill social responsibility by collaborating with the business groups, church groups and the general public. For service delivery, we have adopted the model of “social enterprise” to set up training and support employment projects for the deprived. Those projects that have been launched include Computer Recycle Project, Second Hand Recycling Shop, La Vie Bakery Workshop and Retail Shop, Artland, Oasis Café and City Farmers.

We are particularly grateful to all our supporters with whom we have established a trusting relationship, for their material, spiritual, and moral support and encouragement. Without them we would never have attained such quality service delivery. Looking into the future, we renew our pledge to help build a better Hong Kong with a heart full of love in the spirit of Caritas.

  

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