International Conference on Outreach Work – Youth Gangs, Violence, and Female Delinquency

International Conference on Outreach Work: Youth Gangs, Violence, and Female Delinquency attracts 219 participants including scholars, social work professionals, and delegates from over ten countries or cities.

In Hong Kong, the outreach social work service has accumulated rich experience from its quality practice over the past 36 years. Its coverage is comprehensive, including District Youth Outreach Work Service (daytime service), Overnight Outreach Service for Young Night Drifters (midnight service), and Pilot Cyber Youth Outreach Projects (online service). Because of its effectiveness, this proactive approach has also been adopted by other services, such as Counselling Centres for Psychotropic Substance Abusers, Community Support Service Scheme for Young People with Minor Offences, and the Police Superintendent's Discretion Scheme for reaching out to engage marginalised young people in their own environment.

In the 21st century, the world has become increasingly globalised due to technological innovations, rapid spread of information, and greater mobility across borders. Assisted with smartphones and online communication tools, youth gangs' association and activities are becoming ever more complicated, multifarious, and camouflaged.

Encountering this technological challenge, outreach social work service worldwide is also faced with the question: Can this outreach and community-oriented approach survive? To bring together knowledge and insights of scholars, professionals, and social work practitioners worldwide, who are deliberating on breakthroughs in models, approaches, and strategies for working with young people at risk, and to foster networks that help to spread outreach social work locally and globally, the Department of Applied Social Sciences organised this International Conference on Outreach Work: Youth Gangs, Violence, and Female Delinquency on 3 - 5 December 2015.

The conference invited Professor Ross Deuchar from the University of the West of Scotland, Dr James A. Densley from the Metropolitan State University, Mr Henning Pedersen from the City of Oslo, Professor Karen A. Joe Laidler from the University of Hong Kong, and the Department Head, Professor LO Titwing to give speeches as plenary speakers on how to bridge the online and offline worlds of youth gangs for the outreach social work service.

At the end of the conference, the plenary speakers also joined the forum with other guest speakers, sharing the service models and outreach experience as found in various countries and cities. Altogether, the conference received 60 abstracts of oral presentations in workshops from more than ten countries and cities worldwide.