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Conference on ‘Strengthening
Hong Kong’s Families’
‘Embracing a Holistic Approach:
Towards Synergy and Co-operation’
Families in Hong Kong
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Family has been the fundamental building block for society,
carrying the natural responsibility of caring, protecting, and
supporting its members
Harmony keeps a family united, and the happy and healthy
families are the foundation of a harmonious society
During difficult times, the society relies even more on
families to give strengths to members to cope with different
challenges and overcome crises
Hong Kong has undergone rapid socio-economic changes,
which have brought along stresses and challenges to the
families in Hong Kong, structures and functions of families
have changed significantly
New and complex family problems are on the rise, where
causes are often multi-faceted, a holistic approach is
essential in dealing with the needs of each individual in the
family
Youth as a Member of Family
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What we do for our youth today is an investment for social
stability and development
Family is a vital component for the physical, emotional and
intellectual development of a person, family serves as the
provider of the most natural and nurturing environment for
the growth and development for the youth
The recent financial tsunami exposes the flaws in our
economic structure and forces us to reflect on our role in
the long run, and the youth in our society is going to be our
most valuable asset in redefining Hong Kong as the Asian
world city
Promoting family friendly policies is of the best interests for
the youth, this will have far reaching effects in ensuring the
well-being of our future generations
Youth in Family Policy Making
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Given the complexity and ever changing nature of our
society nowadays, the youth is affected by diverse elements,
namely family, school, peers, community, media, and global
issues
Definition of family is also evolving, there are growing
numbers of families without children, single-parents, foster
parents, and those who live partly across the border
Nevertheless, it is self-evident when one considers that by
virtue of their birth, all individuals are youth and part of a
family at one time
Most family policies have an profound impact on youth, eg.
family allowance, social assistance, parenting and child care
policies, marriage separation, divorce, custody and child
support, family planning, housing allowance, maternal
family and child help services
How our future generations are going to become largely
depends on a comprehensive long term family policy
framework
Cross- Sectoral Integration
 In order to develop a comprehensive long term family
policy framework, a coordinated effort is needed, with
an emphasis on cross-sectoral integration
 Promoting family life quality is a top priority, currently
different bureaus, many commissions and bodies are
working on aspects of family life education, a basic
question is how the related effort can be integrated,
leading to a concerted approach across the
Government and the community
 Integrating family life education into a structured
formal curriculum is another important issue, through
a condensed and focal program in schools, students
and parents alike can learn the essential basic
knowledge and skills in family life education
Goals and Challenges Ahead
 Objectives of family policies should focus on
preserving the strengths and enhancing the
functioning of families, gearing them with resilience to
cope with challenges from the wider community and
from within the family, and educating them with
competence to handle different kinds of situations
 One of the guiding principles for such policies would
be to strive for self reliance and mutual support within
the community, early identification of problems and
timely intervention are also critical
 Though in execution, to what degree the Government
would intrude and intervene with the private life and
intimate emotion of the family would be a sensitive
issue, any social policy should aim to support, not
substitute the family