For fostering mental health of children, youth and their families, we strive to strengthen mental health assets in communities as well as Trauma-informed Care and Practice in services.Executive Director
Charles CHAN Kin-hung
The epidemic has changed the face of the world. Individuals, families, organisations and societal sectors need to learn and adapt to the changes brought forth by the epidemic.
Society needs to accept and adapt to the new normal as the epidemic has persisted for over a year. As one of the Hong Kong’s longest standing children services organisations, BGCA has always shouldered its social responsibilities and commitment to create favourable conditions for our service targets, to help them cultivate positive emotions and a sense of hope for their balanced physical and mental development. In February and March 2021, the Association conducted a “Survey on Child Happiness and Sense of Hope” showed that in the past year, nearly 40% children felt lonely sometimes or often. Close to 40% experienced major distress or mood swings, in which about 35% did not proactively seek someone to talk to or for help. Only 40% children set long-term goals for themselves. Drawing insights from the survey results, we will continue to observe and pay close attention to the emotional, social and employment needs and sense of hope among young people under the new normal, meanwhile providing timely and appropriate support via data analysis and service innovations.
Strengthening Trauma-Informed Awareness to Ensure Mental Well-Being
We should take extra care of our emotional and mental well-being in the face of this complicated, ever-changing world. The growth and development of children and youth can be profoundly affected as their families face abrupt changes caused by the economic downfall, epidemic and more. From senior primary or junior high school, youth are prone to depression, anxiety, bipolar affective disorder or more serious emotional health problems due to challenges such as academic and social difficulties, physical changes or even bullying. In light of this, the Association has focused its strategy on building and strengthening the mental wealth among youth and their families in recent years, with the aim to enhance parent-child relations on one hand, and to foster their resilience and self-healing ability on another.
Leveraging on its experience in trauma-related services over the years, the Association reinforces its training efforts across different service centres, small group homes, schools and outreach social initiatives, to enhance trauma-informed awareness among its frontline staff, so that it can be integrated into our service management and operations, creating a safe and protective environment for children. In addition, our LevelMind@JC project reinforces our regional youth services by strengthening our emotional and mental well-being support for secondary school students and youth, so as to enhance the effectiveness of early identification, connection, intervention and community support.
Enhancing Digital Competence of Disadvantaged Children to Embrace a New Digital Era
Our colleagues have much to learn and adapt amid the new normal. Since last year, we adopted a “hybrid mode” in many of our services, work, committee meetings and international conferences. From online learning, work approval to online remote business supervision we all worked hard to improve efficiency. As the pandemic persists and the new social normal sets in, this hybrid mode is likely to normalise as our work model. The Association is therefore committed to enhancing its staff's digital ability to manage and facilitate services, for which we underwent internal digital transformation, including the updates of various IT management systems for the digitalisation of our service systems. On frontline and service unit levels, our membership service management systems will be updated in the coming year, in hopes of providing more appropriate and caring service experience to the members. We will also allocate resources for the disadvantaged, including low-income families, children and youth in need, so that they will not fall behind the changes of society due to the digital divide. The Association believes in the importance of nurturing and enhancing digital competence among disadvantaged, normal families as well as working youth, which will also be one of the major focuses of our services.
Nurturing Talents for Our Professional Legacy
Nurturing talents has never been so important in this era of constant change. The Association will hence step up its effort in talent training and development, including succession and training plans for all levels, service innovations and knowledge transfer, in order to prepare us for any future challenges and to strive for excellence and beyond.