Author: Cheung, Kin Sum
Title: Advocacy in social work practice and education in Hong Kong : how can it be learnt?
Advisors: Tsui, Ming-sum (APSS)
Degree: DSW
Year: 2019
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Social advocacy -- China -- Hong Kong
Social work education -- China -- Hong Kong
Social service -- Practice -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xi, 269 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Both Western and local scholars have urged the social work profession to rethink advocacy for social justice in political and socio-cultural-temporal contexts. There are currently no systematic records to trace the development of advocacy practice, nor evidence-based research to describe the meaning of learning and practising advocacy in Hong Kong. Investigating the meaning of advocacy from social work teachers, practitioners and students can lead to a clearer understanding of the notion of different levels of advocacy practice, appropriate for the political and social work context in Hong Kong, to identify the knowledge and skills required that can enhance curriculum development and professional growth. Based on the purpose of the research, qualitative research was to use in this exploratory study by employing narrative enquiry as for the research methodology. In-depth interviews were conducted with teachers, students and practitioners. A total of 15 participants were selected for interviews. The first finding indicates that the purpose of advocacy practice is vague in community development, is not based upon theory and ignores etymology. The interpretation behind the meaning of advocacy practice aims to have relevance as one of the core social work values in pursuing social justice. The second finding discloses that experiential and reflective learning with systematic evaluation is an adequate approach for learning of advocacy. Advocacy is not currently given a prominent role nor sufficient support within social work, thereby causing difficulties in finding experienced teachers, as well as motivating students, social workers and NGOs in advocacy practice. The third finding supports that the development of individual learning is affected by cultural differences, the learner’s personal beliefs, and economic and political environment. Improvements suggested include understanding sources of knowledge, integrating and refining the Western framework to enrich local experiences. The fourth finding is that all informants are keen on making improvements in social work training especially in classroom teaching, fieldwork placement and external activities. In addition to answering the research questions, the results give rise to implications for informing social work practice and education. Educators have been informed to review the curriculum of social work education such as management of changes related to dealing with power and political influence. Every social worker is advised to have self-reflection on social work advocacy in his/her daily practice. Practitioners for advocacy practice are recommended to establish a platform to advocate the social work sector to improve the learning and practice of advocacy. Researchers are suggested to a) clarify the concept of advocacy and evaluate its activities; b) address theory and practice gaps so as to create an advocacy model locally; c) enhance records of successful advocacy projects and explore new ways of advocacy practice; d) analyze the impacts of capitalism and neo-liberalization on advocacy practice; and e) conduct research for the proposed platform to resolve difficulties of advocacy practice in Hong Kong.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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