Initiatives with Youth-at-risk in Hong Kong

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Vulnerable young people lacking self-esteem and aspiration are usually regarded as more at-risk. They deserve transformational change to ease rising problems associated with property crime, violence, illegal drugs, truancy and exclusion, etc.

Written by a host of scholars, frontline practitioners and supervisors of related expertise, this edited volume in nine chapters is a welcome addition to the study of the problems and practical issues of Youth-at-risk (YAR) in the context of Hong Kong. With an excellent and interesting analysis of a wide range of intervention programmes, this volume will help readers explore different initiatives for working with YAR, both theoretically and practically.

This book will certainly be of interest to social work and welfare academics, professionals from a range of youth services and voluntary organisations, carers, parents and family networks. Social policy specialists and youth justice students will also find the description of initiatives in the local context interesting and valuable.
Pub. Date
Jul 1, 2009
192 pages
152 x 229 mm
After the book Working with Youth-at-Risk in Hong Kong was published in 2005, there have been sayings that more books on introducing different initiatives of working with at-risk youth in Hong Kong should be published so that different kinds of local services for this target population can be known. It is primarily with this aim that the present book is edited. It has been mentioned that since young people are usually being perceived as immature, having low self-esteem, lack of coping ability and self-control, they are usually regarded as more at-risk (Lee, 2005). The definition of "at-risk" provided by McWhirter et al.(1998) has provided a comprehensible one. As stated, they defined "at-risk" as:
"A set of presumed cause-and-effect dynamics that place the child or adolescent in danger of negative future events...a situation that is not necessarily current but that can be anticipated in the absence of intervention."(p. 7)

So appropriate early interventions are needed for young people who exhibit certain kinds of deviant behaviour otherwise the consequences (effects) would be problematic. With reference to the at-risk continuum of young people they proposed (McWhirter et al., 1998:7-9), they supported the ideas of prevention and early intervention of youth-at-risk (YAR) of different socio-economic profiles (McWhirter et al.,1998).
The present book will put emphasis on both theoretical and practical parts on the different services and work with YAR in Hong Kong. With reference to the exhibited "problems" of the young people at different time, there are different approaches and services to the YAR in the territory. This book tries to introduce some well heard and current ones to the readers. The intended audience of this book is basically those who want to know more about the theoretical as well as the practical sides of the work with YAR of different exhibited problems (e.g. social workers, teachers, university and college students, etc.). This could also be a text book or a reference in courses on youth work in the universities and colleges.
It is a bit disappointed to say that most of the initiatives for YAR introduced in this text are reactive instead of proactive, that is, their establishment and existence are in response to the occurrence of certain kinds of YAR behaviour or phenomena. Among the eight initiatives to be introduced in this book, only the Police School Liaison Scheme could be regarded as proactive and early intervention programmes for the YAR. The other seven initiatives to be introduced include (1) District Youth Outreaching Social Work Team, (2) Overnight Outreaching Service for Young Night Drifters, (3) Community Support Service Scheme, (4) Hotline Service for Youth-at-Risk, (5) Counselling Centre for Young Psychotropic Substance Abusers, (6) Adventure Counselling Programme for Female Substance Abusers and (7) Working with Youth with Social Withdrawal. They could be regarded as reactive services to different "problems" of the YAR.
  • District Youth Outreaching Social Work Team
    —Charlie Wai-leung CHAN
  • Overnight Outreaching Service for Young Night Drifters
    —Chi-man CHOW
  • Community Support Service Scheme
    —ChiGary Kin-lam YUNG and Koon-mei LEE
  • Police School Liaison Scheme
    —Francis Wing-lin LEE
  • Hotline Service for Youth-at-risk
    —Siu-man HSU
  • Counselling Centre for Young Psychotropic Substance Abusers
    —Siu-ming TO and Benson Kwok-kai CHAN
  • Working with Youth-at-risk through Adventure Counselling Programmes: The Case of Female Substance Abusers
    —Alex Tak-shing LEE, Kennedy Kwok-hung NG, Wun-tsz HO, Fanny King-har WONG, Daisy Ming-lai LO
  • Working with Youth in Social Withdrawale
    —Victor Cheong-wing WONG
  •  Restorative Justice Approach to Youth-at-risk
    —Francis Wing-lin LEE