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HKBU Alumna Miss Dorothy Chan Sin-ting (Social Work)

The BUddy Post has interviewed alumna Dorothy Chan Sin-ting of the Department of Social Work who has recently been awarded “The Outstanding Social Workers Award 2012-2013” organised by Hong Kong Social Workers Association. She will share with us her passion and commitment to the field of social work.

Reporter: Why would you like to choose Social Work as your field of study? And why are you interested to be a social worker?

Dorothy: I have always wanted to be a social worker since I was a secondary school student. I witnessed how the social workers at my school offer assistance and advice to the students in need. I was studying an Associate Degree in Social Work at City University of Hong Kong prior to entering the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). After I obtained my Associate Degree, I would like to further pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at HKBU because the mission and vision of the Social Work Department totally aligns with my principle. In particular, the Department puts strong emphasis on promoting the welfare of the underprivileged and disadvantaged groups. I also had the opportunity to broaden my exposure through internship at various social enterprises and organisations.

Reporter: In your opinion, what are the essential qualities to become a social worker?

Dorothy: I think one should possess professional knowledge. He or she must be kind-hearted, be patient, and be a good listener. As the clientele come from different walks of life, a social worker needs to take time to develop a close relationship with them and strengthen their confidence before the clientele would disclose their stories. For instance, I have known a client for a year before she would reveal her inner feelings and thoughts.

Reporter: Can you share with us the cases you have handled previously? Among those cases, which type / one is the most difficult to tackle?

Dorothy: I am currently working at Caritas Hong Kong and my team focuses on youth and community service. One of the major projects we are working on is known as “Mission in the Dark”, which aims at assisting problematic teenaged girls who get themselves involved in compensated dating or working at night clubs. So far I have handled more than 80 cases over the past two years, and my clientele aged from 14 to 24 years old. Most of the clientele are not aware of the importance of having safe sex until they get infected by sexually transmitted diseases (STD). One of my major roles is to help educate them, and increase their awareness of having safe sex. When we approach our clientele initially, we do not expect to see a vast turnaround in their attitude and behaviour. It really takes time for us to penetrate into their circles, and build trust among them. I am very glad and fortunate to have witnessed that some of my clientele have eventually understood the meaning of life after our long-term counselling and group therapy. It is quite a blessing for these teenagers who have later on participated actively in our voluntary work in the Mainland, and have started a new chapter in life with stable job.

Reporter: How do you alleviate your pressure from work?

Dorothy: My parents advised me not to get too emotionally involved in my clientele’s cases. Yet, being a social worker, I think it is quite difficult to be emotionless. It is rather worrying that some of my clientele have committed suicide or being beaten by their boyfriends. I will however try to strike a balance between work and life. I would play flute and listen to music to calm myself down. In summer time, swimming is the best way to release my pressure from work.

Reporter: Do you think compensated dating has become a serious problem among teenaged girls? Any special techniques are required during the counselling process?

Dorothy: To a certain extent, I think the problem is getting more severe. In my opinion, these girls want to become compensated dating girls not only because of monetary reward, but they also want to gain a sense of self-satisfaction and get confidence from the third party. Under most circumstances, these girls lack caring and support from family, their academic performance is mediocre, and their self-esteem is relatively low. I started to approach these girls via social media such as Facebook, MSN, Blogs and Apps etc. After chatting with them on the internet for a while, I would invite them to a health check-up as some of them are being infected by STD. I treat my clientele as my peers and there is no generation gap between us as we are of similar ages. Trying to be sensitive and helpful at all times as well as accompanying them to visit doctors for health check-up whenever necessary would be a proactive way for ice-breaking and relationship building.

Reporter: Can you share with us your feeling on being the awardee of “The Outstanding Social Workers Award 2012-2013”?

Dorothy: Having gone through the vigorous selection process of “The Outstanding Social Workers Award 2012-2013”, I was indeed very honoured and delighted to be the recipient of this Award. It is quite encouraging as the Award serves as a significant recognition of my achievement and contributions in the field of social work for the past two years.

Reporter: What advice will you give to HKBU students who are interested in the field of Social Work?

Dorothy: Students should make sure that they are choosing the field of their interests and strive to work wholeheartedly for the benefit of their clientele and the community.

Interviewee’s Biography:
Graduated from the Department of Social Work at HKBU, alumna Dorothy Chan Sin-ting is currently working as a registered social worker in Caritas Hong Kong for the “Mission in the Dark” project. Recently, she has won“The Outstanding Social Workers Award 2012-2013” organised by the Hong Kong Social Worker Associations.



Dorothy has recently been awarded “The Outstanding Social Workers Award 2012-2013” in recognition of her dedication in social work and the community

Back to The BUddy Post March 2013
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