Hand in Hand for the Betterment of Youth Outreach Services

No social issue can be viewed from a single perspective, nor can it be resolved by any individual or group alone. Social advancement is often based on collective wisdom and collaboration.

Fully recognising the role of higher education institutions in society, academic units of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) put every effort into transferring their knowledge and facilitating partnership with concerned parties. In this context, the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences organised the 2nd International Conference on Outreach Work 2019, themed “Drug Abuse, Hidden Youth and Signature Programmes”, from 10 to 13 June 2019. Its aim was to connect academics, professionals, policymakers, and practitioners in sharing ideas and experiences, as well as developing initiatives for the implementation of at-risk youth services.

The conference comprised three plenary sessions, three signature programmes and four special sessions held at CityU, as well as site visits.

The plenary sessions were hosted by Dr John WONG Chee-meng of the National University Hospital and National University of Singapore, Professor KWOK Siu-ming from the University of Calgary, Canada, and Professor Agnes LAW Koon-chui, from Qi Chuang (Hong Kong) Social Services Network. The sessions identified current and emerging mental health issues, discussed possible solutions and shared lessons learnt from the experiences of the Canadian and Guangdong governments.

The signature programmes featured sharing by representatives of various social service institutions, while the subjects of special programmes were outreach work in Singapore, drug addiction and rehabilitation, hidden youth and animal-assisted therapy.

After all the on-campus sessions, the participants were taken on a visit to the various service sites providing drug addiction treatment, outreach, education or general youth services in Hong Kong.

Taking home the references from the successful example of other places, in addition to the insights gained from the presentations, sharing, discussions and site visits by professional and passionate participants, CLASS is optimistic that new light can be shed on helping young people.