Lam, C.W. and Blyth, Eric (2012) Re-Engagement and Negotiation in a Changing Political and Economic Context: Social Work in Hong Kong. British Journal of Social Work. ISSN 0045-3102

This paper provides a commentary and analysis on the half-century development of social work in Hong Kong, from its origins in the twin roots of Christian ideology accompanying British colonialism and Chinese family values, the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, the Asian financial crisis and subsequent economic recession and major cuts in government funding for social welfare. We pointed out that the government had tried to co-opt social work for ideological ends. This aim was not achieved in the 1980s, but the government has succeeded in doing so by imposing the new financial control on the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) after 1997. We argue that the four major political challenges ahead for social workers in Hong Kong relate to social integration, urban maladies, social justice and indigenisation. We propose that a process of re-politicisation of social work by both agencies and practitioners, seeking to reclaim social workers' political and professional role, is necessary in order to ensure a more equitable distribution of community resources in Hong Kong to ensure that all citizens share in its prosperity.

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