Hong Kong Family Welfare Society

About the Net Education and Counseling Services:

The net education and counseling services offered by Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (HKFWS) aim to address the problems that have arisen due to the increasing popularity of the internet. These include, for example, internet addiction, cyber bullying, the online generation gap, the spread of inappropriate content, and smartphone overuse. These problems harm not only the mental health of children and youth, but also family relationships. With a family perspective, we have taken a forward-looking approach, adopted creative work methods, and flexibly deployed resources. They have launched programs and events that respond to the needs of different social segments and remedy gaps in the services in society.
The services are grounded in empirical evidence, with research findings guiding the direction of services and intervention methods. Also, the program has introduced international research, such as U.S. author Kimberly Young’s authoritative survey on online addiction, to evaluate the severity of users’ online addiction. In response to the needs of different service groups, our fellow staff designed various innovative, multi-level intervention models, which include activities focused around education, prevention, and treatment. In order to find more professional and more suitable methods of intervention, we have been actively cooperating with different professionals (such as teachers and lawyers) to have in-depth discussions on internet issues. Furthermore, we have been actively encouraging the participation of service users and people who have gone through the experience to serve as volunteers, to exhibit a spirit of mutual support and to establish a harmonious and more acceptant society.

Service Objectives

1. Foster healthy and safe online attitudes and behaviors in children and youth;
2. Reduce conflicts between parents and children that are triggered by internet issues, and promote understanding and communication between parents and children regarding the internet;
3. Encourage the participation of people from all segments of society and special needs individuals;
4. Help the public recognize the online risks and advocate a healthy online culture.
 
From the time the service was established until now, we have received wide recognition from our service users and partners, as well as coverage from Hong Kong and foreign media (such as BBC from the UK). Our aim is to increase public awareness of the youth online culture while seeking to advocate social change, for example, by establishing a healthy online culture in schools, advocating for school policies with “zero tolerance” of cyber bullying, and encouraging healthy use of digital devices.

 

In order to further develop localized net education and counseling services, we have partnered with professionals across different industries in Hong Kong to seek more professional and effective intervention methods, so we are able to address the needs of society for responding to these emerging issues. In the past, we have served over one third of the schools and communities in Hong Kong, and many have directly benefited from our services.
 

Service Development History

  • Service start

    Service began in 2004 with the objective of preventing youth online problems and narrowing the gap between parents and children in the digital era.

  • “Research Report on the Impact of Youth Internet Use on Family Relationships and Mental Health.”

    In 2005, the HKFWS released a publication titled “Research Report on the Impact of Youth Internet Use on Family Relationships and Mental Health.

  • Net Ambassadors

    Since 2005, HKFWS has recruited and trained over a hundred youth and parent net ambassadors. By sharing their own experiences, they brought out their message about a healthy internet culture to communities and schools.

  • Internet education lectures and workshops for parents

    Between 2005 and 2007, with financial support from the Education Bureau , HKFWS organized 124 internet education lectures and workshops for parents at primary schools and secondary schools.

  • Organized several talks and workshops

    In 2008, HKFWS began receiving financial support from the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority and organized several talks and workshops on the healthy use of the internet, reaching over 1,000 parents. The contents of the talks were made into a parent education CD and pamphlet that were distributed to all Hong Kong schools and orgarizations.

  • Organized a large-scale education program “Healthy Internet Connection”

    In 2009, we organized “Healthy Internet Connection,” a large-scale, territory-wide education program that reached over 300 schools and 3,000 students, parents, teachers, and social workers.

  • “Cyber Bullying Among Hong Kong Secondary School Students.”

    In 2010, we published a research report on “Cyber Bullying Among Hong Kong Secondary School Students.”

  • New Projects Start

    Beginning in 2011, we launched the “Healthy Net Support Network” and “WebOrganic” porjects.

  • Report “Cyber Bullying: Interpersonal Relations and Conflicts of Hong Kong Upper Primary School Students and Junior Secondary school Students.”

    In 2013, we published a research report titled “Cyber Bullying: Interpersonal Relations and Conflicts of Hong Kong Upper Primary School Students and Junior Secondary school Students.”