The Department of Social Work has developed specialized research strength in the areas of youth work and youth counseling over the years. In 2004, on top of the Master of Social Work course with specializations on youth work and mental health, the Department launched a new Master of Social Sciences in Youth Counselling course, in which youth counseling in general, and narrative therapy in particular, have become the backbone of this new course. Besides enhancing youth research by launching master programme, the Department has also conducted training workshops in the specific areas of youth empowerment and narrative therapy for government departments and NGOs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China and Macau.
By the endeavor of developing the research strength in youth studies in the past years, the Department is now known for its niche in youth research and youth work practice, notably in empowerment practice and narrative therapy. With the establishment of the Centre for Youth Research and Practice, it is hoped that Department’s niche in youth research and practice can be synchronized and further developed. Upon the appointment of the University, Prof. Sammy Chiu, Head of Department, serves as the Centre’s Director in the initial two years.
1. To advance social work research in the areas of youth culture, youth policy and youth work practice;
2. To advance youth work practice through informed research in general, and empowerment and narrative practice for and with youth in particular; and
3. To establish research and practice links and to promote collaborative research and practice for youth with institutions within and outside Hong Kong.
The Centre for Youth Research and Practice is established to advance research and practice in the interrelated areas of youth culture, youth policy and youth work practice with specific reference to promoting exchanges and collaboration across different disciplines both within and outside Hong Kong. It is to be developed as a Centre of significance in youth research and practice in Chinese societies within the East Asian region.
The themes of the Centre are three-fold, namely, youth culture, youth policy and youth work practice. It is envisaged that these three aspects interrelate with one another and they form together as the three major themes under the Centre’s banner theme of research and practice in the field of youth.
Research – Regular surveys / research on selected hot issues pertinent to youth issues or youth concerns (initially twice a year or once every quarter, depending on resources available); Commissioned research projects from Government and NGOs; FRG or CERG research projects by individual researcher or team.
Focus groups – Meetings run on an irregular basis to tap the opinions of professionals and users in the field, which could help generate potential or new research/practice topics;
Conferences/ Seminars/ Press conferences – Press conference to release research/survey findings; Seminars/ symposiums /conferences to promote discussions and exchanges across different sectors and disciplines;
Training workshops/courses – courses in empowerment practice and narrative therapy run by the centre, or other courses commissioned by other agencies or institutions. (Group Paper)
Publications – research reports, working papers, and training packages which serve the function for promoting academic and professional exchange.
Consultations and Practice – consultations given to youth work agencies and/or the government; direct practice in youth counselling given by the Centre fellows.