The Hong Kong Council of Social Service
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service Formation 1947 Type Non-governmental organization Headquarters Wan Chai, Hong Kong Leader Ms. Christine M. S. FANG Website http://www.hkcss.org.hk/index_e.asp/
The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) (Chinese: 香港社會服務聯會﹝簡稱社聯﹞) is a council coordinating NGOs in the social service field in Hong Kong, established in 1947. The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, an umbrella organization of over 340 social service organizations, is committed to promoting the development of social welfare, and in close collaboration with various sectors building a just, caring and inclusive society.
To promote the development of social welfare together with its member agencies, through:
- Enhancing accountability of social welfare service agencies;
- Promoting improvement of social welfare services;
- Facilitating agencies to better serve the community;
- Advocating equality, justice, social integration and a caring society;
- Setting the local welfare sector as a model of excellence in the international community.
In 1951 became a statutory body. There are more than 370 institutional members, more than 3,000 service units providing social welfare service to over 90% of the Hong Kong population. HKCSS committed social justice, fairness, and certainly people have natural rights, and the community has the responsibility to provide every citizen with basic social and economic resources; individuals have had an obligation to fulfill to the family and social responsibility, self-reliance, self-fulfillment.
Emergency relief to refugees
- HKCSS was established in 1947 to coordinate refugee relief work
- Central Records Office was set up to avoid overlapping of relief efforts
- Welfare Handicrafts Shop and an Interest-free Loan and Saving Scheme were launched to help people to be self-reliant
Pioneering services to meet social needs
- Promoted innovative services and Employment Assistance Scheme was launched. Setting up of Rehabilitation, Children & Youth, Family & Child Care Divisions to coordinate services
- Organized Training and conducted social research to lay the foundations of social work profession
- Helped found the Community Chest and Agency for Voluntary Service
Partnership towards better welfare
- Worked in partnership with the Government in drafting the White Paper “Social Welfare in Hong Kong : The Way Ahead” and the Five Year Plan
- Participated in the drafting of Rehabilitation Programme Plan and Programme Plan for Services for the Elderly
- Facilitated launching of new services including school social work, youth outreaching service and Rehab Bus
- The first Festival for the Elderly was organized in 1979 which later became the Senior Citizens Day annual celebration
Leadership in local & international community
- Worked with the Government in drafting service standards and standard costs formulation, and the set up of Central Registry for the Disabled
- Launched public education campaigns in promoting civic education and social services
- HKCSS was designated as the responsible organization of the social service functional constituency in LegCo election and a Council's member was invited to sit on the Basic Law Consultative Committee
- Active participation in international community, taking leading roles in international bodies
Synergy to promote social development
- Organized public education campaigns to promote the participation and well-being of the disadvantaged groups
- Facilitated the establishment of the Social Workers Registration Board and various self-help groups
- Developed the Social Development Index and conducted researches on social policy to advise on policy formulation
- Professional interchange with the social welfare counterpart in the Mainland
Scope of work
HKCSS has two major types of services: "Member service and Professional Aid" and ""Social Service". Member service and Professional Aid is divided into five different sectors of work: Sector Development & Partnership, Service Development, Quality Management & Efficiency Enhancement, Policy Research & Advocacy and International & Regional Networking. And Social Service is divided into four categories: Children & Youth, Elderly, Family and Communities and Rehabilitation.
1.Members service and professional aid
Sector development & partnership
- Facilitate the development of the social service sector and the partnership among different sectors, strengthen cooperation between business and social service sectors in particular to enhance resources and shared responsibility to help those in need
- Enhance charities’ resources development and fundraising capacity
- Promote charity accountability and effective giving
- Promote public understanding on the work of NGOs and facilitate other sectors keep abreast of the current issues
- Provide a call transferring system that connects to over 280 hotline services in Hong Kong to help those in need
- Promote and participate in Long-term Welfare Planning to meet future challenges
- Promote service development and service quality to better serve the public
- Provide common platform for cross-sectoral partnership in service review and new initiatives
- Facilitate the welfare sector keep abreast of and respond to the overall needs and changes of society
- Promote and encourage agencies to share and adopt good practices
Quality management & efficiency enhancement
- Promote good NGO management practices and accountability through various management programs, tools and training
- Enhance the information and communications technology (ICT) capability of NGOs
- Explore, experiment and promote ways of deploying ICT in the sector to enhance service response and delivery
- Promote evidence-based practices and learning to enhance professional service
Policy research & advocacy
- Conduct policy analysis, research and advocacy on welfare and social policies; and analyze social development statistics and trends
- Maintain regular dialogue with policy makers to influence policy making
- Promote social development and civic society
- Promote and support Social Enterprise in Hong Kong welfare and social development agenda
- Promote Digital Inclusion and equitable ICT policies in information society
International & regional networking
- Foster network and exchanges with international and regional counterparts for experience sharing and practice advancement
- Represent the NGO sector to participate in the international and regional social welfare and social development agenda
- Facilitate the local welfare sector to keep abreast of international agenda on welfare issues
- Benchmark overseas experiences and augment local knowledge
- Monitor the compliance of the international conventions related to welfare and social development in Hong Kong
2. Social service
Children & youth
- Liaises agency members to discuss and comment on policy issues
- Provides platform for agencies to share on experience so as to enhance service quality in response to the needs of young people
- To promote the well being of the elderly in all aspects of their living by providing services that will enable them to remain members of the community for as long as possible
- To provide residential care suited to the varying needs of the elderly
Family and communities
- Development of services, including family, community development, new arrivals, ethnic minorities and substance abuse
- It now has 134 registered member agencies.
- Promote the coordination and improvement of services and facilities for persons with disabilities
- Participate in policy review and formulation
- Conduct public education
- Develop new rehabilitation programs
It is a part describing the core businesses of HKCSS in details. Some of them are already mentioned in 'Scope of Work'. There are totally six different types of core businesses, including Sector development and partnership, Service Development, Policy research and advocacy, International and regional networking, Information Technology Service Centre and HKCSS-HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre.
1. Sector development and partnership
- Agency finance and administration
- Corporate social responsibility and partnership
This Partnership Unit strengthens cooperation between business and social service sectors to enhance resources and shared responsibility to help those in need. The Caring Company Scheme has been launched to promote a good corporate citizenship by inspiring enterprises to participate in social service affairs in collective effort to build a caring company.
- Resources development and fund-raising
The Resources Development Unit helps enhance charities' resources development and fundraising capacity. Launched an online charity platform www.WiseGiving.org.hk to enable the public to get hold of social needs and make informed giving decisions, as well as to advance charity accountability and transparency in Hong Kong.
- Capacity building
The HKCSS Institute is committed to the promotion of good NGO management practices and charity accounting through various management programmes, tools and training.
2. Service development
A. Children and youth service
It is responsible for development of Children & Youth service. It liaises agency members to discuss and comment on policy issues, provides platform for agencies to share on experience so as to enhance service quality in response to the needs of young people.
B. Elderly service
- Community Support Services
The service objective is to assist elderly persons to remain living in the community for as long as possible. These services also give support to carers. With increasing diversity of community support services for the elderly, a more integrated approach to facilitate access to services will be adopted.
- Neighborhood Elderly Centre
NEC is a type of community support services at neighbourhood level which provides a range of comprehensive services to cater for the psycho-social and developmental needs of both healthy and mildly frail elders, including, educational and developmental activities, volunteer development, carer support service, counseling service, reaching out and networking, social and recreation activities, meal service, drop-in service, Information and referral centre on community resources.
- Social Centre for the Elderly
Social Centres for the Elderly organize social and recreational activities for elders in the community and to provide information regarding welfare services for the elders and referral to appropriate services.
- District Elderly Community Centre 
DECC is a type of community support services at district level to enable elders to remain in the community, to lead a healthy, respectful and dignified life, to enhance their positive and contributing role and to involve the public to build up a caring community. DECC provides services including community education, case management, support team for the elderly, health education, educational and developmental activities, information and referral centre on community resources, volunteer development, carer support services, social and recreational activities meal and laundry services, drop-in service.
- Support Team for the Elderly
To reach out to single and needy elderly and provide them with social networking and support service; encourage volunteers to visit and assist single elderly.
- Day Care Centre for the Elderly
Day Care Centres for the Elderly provide a range of centre-based care and support services during daytime to enable the frail and demented elders suffering from moderate or severe level of impairment to maintain their optimal level of functioning, develop their potential, improve their quality of life and to enable them to live in their own homes wherever feasible and possible. Services provided by Day Care Centre includes nursing care, rehabilitation training, health education, carer support services, day respite service, counselling and referral services, social and recreational activities, meal, transportation service.
C. Family and community service
It is responsible for the development of services, including family, community development, new arrivals, ethnic minorities and substance abuse. It now has 165 registered member agencies. A paper on the existing family and community situation and services is available for download.
D. Rehabilitation service
The Hong Kong Joint Council for People with Disabilities is the umbrella body of non-governmental organizations for and of persons with disabilities in Hong Kong. It was granted exemption of registration under the Societies Ordinance (cap. 151) in October 1965. The aims of the Joint Council are to promote the coordination and improvement of services and facilities for persons with disabilities, participate in policy review and formulation, conduct public education and develop new rehabilitation programmes. It also plays an important role in the local and international rehabilitation field. As the objectives of the Joint Council are similar to the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), the Joint Council was incorporated into the HKCSS and became the Rehabilitation Division of HKCSS in November 1965. Further to the 2001 organizational review and re-structuring of HKCSS, it has been agreed that such partnership relationship shall be maintained and, from December the same year onward the Management Committee of Joint Council would be equivalent to the Rehabilitation Specialized Committee of HKCSS.
3. Policy research and advocacy
It is an aspect to collect data on social development, so as to understand and predict the trend of social development, conduct scientific research on policies which have an influential impact on welfare and social development, advocate for justice and rational public and social policies, maintain regular dialogue with policy makers, monitor the implementation of policies proposed by HKCSS. The events include Civil Service Summit on Urban Renewal, Seminar on Job Creation at District Level, Civic Sidewalk Issue and the Young Policy Analyst Program (YPAP).
4. International and regional networking
Major Work of International and Regional Networking International and Regional Networking is one of the core businesses of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. The mission of the Core Business is to help the Council to achieve its strategic goals by building networks, pooling external resources, introducing different and diverse visions, and consolidating knowledge and experiences from overseas and the Mainland. Through interactive processes, the CB functions to facilitate the local welfare sector to keep abreast of and participate in the international agenda on social welfare and social development so that it can enjoy more resources for making their own rational and informed decisions for the short and long term development of social welfare and social development in Hong Kong.
5. Information technology service centre
The aims of the centre include the enhancement of the ICT capacitiy of NGOs, the exploration, experiments and promotion of ways to deploy ICT in sector and the promotion of digital inclusion and equitable ICT policies in information society. There are six different services provided, which are Products and Services, Workplace IT Skill Training, Web Services, Secondment, System Development and Consultation Services.
6. HKCSS-HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre
It is a program jointly sponsored by the Hong Kong Bank Foundation and Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged of Social Welfare Department, HKCSS-HSBC Social Enterprise Business Centre (SEBC) of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service is a new initiative to promote social entrepreneurship, advance social innovation, synergize social enterprises' resources, network social conscious business executives and make a positive social change.
The Council has initiated cross-sectoral collaboration projects to bring together wisdom, resources and efforts from the business sector, professional groups, policy makers and the Government in areas of service enhancement, NGOs capacity building and benefiting disadvantaged groups.
(updated to 2010)
- Chief executive is Ms. Christine M. S. Fang.
- Business Director for Sector Development & Partnership is Mr. Cliff K. W. Choi.
- Business Director for Service Development is Dr. Timothy W. L. Chan.
- Business Director for Policy Advocacy & International Networks is Mr. Chua Hoi Wai.
- Business Director for Corporate Management is Mr. Joseph K. M. Wong.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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