Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project Symposium 2021 (5th – 8th October 2021)
Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project Symposium 2021
Bringing innovation to family services through information technology
[October 5, 2021, Hong Kong] Initiated and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project is hosting a four-day symposium themed “Looking Beyond the Pandemic: Creativity and Innovation in Promoting Resilience in Families and Children”. Representatives from the Government, academia, the social welfare and various cross-sectoral stakeholders will discuss creative ways in which information and communication technology (ICT) can be used to promote family well-being and resilience.
The symposium opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The opening ceremony was officiated by Dr Law Chi-kwong, HKSAR Secretary for Labour and Welfare; Leong Cheung, Executive Director, Charities and Community, The Hong Kong Jockey Club; and Professor Richard Wong, The University of Hong Kong’s Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Chair of Economics, Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, and Philip Wong Kennedy Wong Professor in Political Economy. Among other attendees were representatives from the 12 partner non-governmental organisations.
In his remarks Mr Cheung said ICT support from the Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project has been particularly useful during the pandemic. “Through cross-sectoral collaboration, the Project assists all 26 NGO‐operated Integrated Family Service Centres and Integrated Service Centres in Hong Kong to leverage the use of ICT, optimise NGOs’ processes and through data analytics further promote innovative family services.”
Dr. Law added, “The Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project manages, shares and transfers knowledge in full play – its undue efforts have contributed to the continuation of integrated family services throughout the year-and-half long pandemic. The Project has also been encouraging social workers to integrate technology into their family services and program designs. Aside from enhancing overall service quality and operational efficiency of frontline practitioners, the Project has also enriched service users’ experiences.”
Dr. Law further hopes that the symposium will take the Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project and Hong Kong’s family services to a whole new level, through the exchange of practice wisdom.
Professor Richard Wong, The University of Hong Kong’s Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Chair of Economics, Director of the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, and Philip Wong Kennedy Wong Professor in Political Economy said, “As the Partner Institution of the Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project, we are delighted to work with social welfare agencies to contribute to local families in order to attain our greater aspirations in enhancing family well-being in a long run. Under the crisis of the pandemic, despite being faced with numerous difficulties, both the HKU Team and family social workers gear towards a more systematic, evidence-based approach in rendering services – With assistance such as the management system development, design of ICT-related resources, data analysis and more, the social welfare sectors have been benefitted in terms of the convenience of their daily operation, and bringing people closer together.”
Nurturing talents and building sectoral capacity to address changing social needs are key foci for the Club in its commitment to the betterment of society. This is made possible by the Club’s unique integrated business model, through which it contributes tax and charity support for Hong Kong.
The Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project is one of the many capacity building initiatives supported by the Club. It encourages service providers to use information technology to help them respond more quickly and effectively to service needs.
As of June 2021, the Project’s service management system (i-Connect) has processed some 20,000 cases through the application of cloud technology. This has minimised the administrative work of Integrated Family Service Centres (IFSCs)/ Integrated Service Centres (ISCs), freed up time for social workers to follow up on individual users’ needs, and enhanced service efficiency and quality. Even at the height of the pandemic, when family service centres were closed, ICT enabled service providers to continue assisting families in need.
Under the Project’s i-Action family interventions, the Project team and NGO partners have jointly developed practical ICT tools, including 15 mobile applications and 12 interactive electronic games. Online and offline training sessions have helped promote family services in a fun and feasible manner. Information technology makes family services more accessible to different groups and allows the sector to identify early intervention situations, helping build stronger relationships.
Through a number of iconic large-scale public education activities and knowledge transfer initiatives, the Project team and the IFSCs/ISCs have been raising public awareness about family well-being and encouraging more social workers to use ICT in programme designs. Over 250,000 people have participated in the Project’s activities online or offline. The number of viewers of the one-stop family-friendly electronic hub, “Family Portal”, has exceeded 230,000 since its launch.
The Project’s i-TLS e-learning platform has been developed to provide training to the Project Partners and family social workers, enriching their knowledge and strengthening their skills. The Project team has been actively in touch with the social welfare sector to understand the operational needs of different social workers. Together, they have successfully established an atmosphere of information sharing, easy co-creation and interactive co-learning in the social welfare sector.
In addition, big data gathered by the Project team from the i-Connect service content management system, questionnaire design tool, working group meetings, public events and other channels, not only helps to assess the overall effectiveness of the Project, but also to identify trends in family services and users’ responses. Changing service needs arising from the pandemic can then be addressed accordingly.
For more information of the Project, please see the enclosed 【Download Link】
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