The University of Hong Kong
Department of Social work and Social Administration
Summer Overseas Placement Report
Placement Location: Toronto, Canada
Placement Agency: Chinese Family Services of Ontario
Placement Period: 2nd June 2009 – 10th August, 2009
Student Social Worker: Ms. Law Mei Yu
Fieldwork Supervisors: Ms. Mary Fong
Introduction of the placement agency
Chinese Family Services of Ontario is funded by various levels of governments, United Way Toronto
and York Region and community donations. Incorporated in 1988, Chinese Family Services of
Ontario (CFSO) is a non-profit, charitable, accredited professional family services agency with a
focus on Chinese Canadians. The agency’s ultimate goal is to offer both linguistically and culturally
sensitive counseling and family services that will enhance the functioning and enrich the quality of
life of individuals and families.
Scope of service of the placement agency:
1. Individual/Couple/Family Counseling 9. Program for Drug & Alcohol Abusers and
2. Settlement Services 10. Youth Services Program
3. Group Counseling 11. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
4. Family Life Education 12. Consultation and Liaison
5. Violence Against Women Program 13. Employee Assistance Program
6. Domestic Violence Intervention Program for Men 14. Internship/Field Practicum
7. Counseling Services for probationers and 15. Family Life Education Resource Centre
8. Program for Problem Gamblers and their Families
Brief account of the work assignments:
For the case work, I have been the intake worker and conducted seven intake works and completed
the corresponding intake summaries throughout the practicum. Besides, two case management works
and the corresponding case recordings were done. Cases shadowing and case management sessions
inside and outside the office were conducted throughout the practicum. Also, I have attended the
clinical meeting in gaining more professional knowledge of the case work.
For the group work, I have attended meetings for the youth group, parenting group and partner
assault response treatment group of the agency. I have been the co-facilitator of the youth group and
involved in planning the summer camp for new immigrants and the youth volunteer training program.
I have also participated and facilitated in the fund raising event in the form of garage sale.
For the community work, I have been planned and implemented the community education project for
late July. I was responsible for lobbying partnership from the mall and planning all materials for the
project. Project proposal and evaluation have been done. Besides, I have done the presentation in the
staff meeting about the stress management.
Other work tasks:
I have the community walk, agency visits, reviewed of different case fillies and interviewed with the
ten staffs throughout the placement. I have also maintained my daily refection log throughout the ten
week practicum in order to reflect my insights and learning along the practicum. I have also
interviewed by the MingPao reporter about the domestic violence issue in Hong Kong.
Needs assessment and application of theoretical knowledge, practice models and intervention
Being the intake worker, I have been trained to conduct in intake works that promotes trust and
understanding in engaging the clients. Throughout the process, I was able to train my listening skills
and communication skills. Listening attentively and respectively was important in understanding the
clients’ message or underlying meaning. Through appropriate questioning, rephrasing, reflection of
feeling and clarification, I was able to identity clients’ need, assess their problems and facilitate
clients’ expression of feelings. I attempted to use the BPSS model as the framework to understand
the biological, psychological, social and spiritual of the client for assessing their situation and
problem encountered. I have also demonstrated to establish the non-judgmental, empathic conditions
throughout the intake process under the framework of the person centered approach.
Being the co-facilitator of youth group enabled me to apply the knowledge and skills of working
with youth into practice. Through involvement in the youth group, I have leant how to engage and
build up relationship with the youth. I have participated in the meeting and shared my ideas and
feedback in the discussion. Different kinds of techniques such as encouragement, appreciation, and
self-disclosure were attempted to stimulate their ideas and help them to aware their meaning they did
not ware in the group discussion Client centered approach was applied in building the trustful
relationship with the youth. Besides, I have involved in planning the volunteer training program and
the summer camp for new immigrant during the practicum. Working on the proposal and evaluation
of the volunteer training program provided me opportunity to integrate and apply of theoretical
knowledge. I was able to review and evaluate my working progress and performance on the youth
group by discussion with the youth group worker and supervisors all along the practicum.
Being the primary organizer of the community education project, I was able to have the chance to
apply relevant theories and knowledge for the project. I have applied the concept of community
education and the partnership into practices. Through the project, I had direct contact with the
community members and was able to identity their needs through communication. Through the
program, the linkage between the community and agency was strengthened. I had initiated contact
with client in proper attitude and engaged them through the project. The project had facilitated the
help-seeking process of the clients. Some clients knew our agency and made calls to the agency after
the project. Letter for lobbing for partnership, proposal and evaluation of the project was handed in
throughout the process.
Reflections on professional and personal growth gained from this placement
During the practicum, I was more able to aware my own values and attitudes. By maintaining the
daily reflection throughout the ten weeks placement; I reviewed my performance and learning all
along the time. With the guidance of my supervisor, I was able to aware my strengths and weakness.
I was also realized my own values or belief through working with the clients and discussion with my
colleagues. The intensive reflection inspired me to aware the influences of my own values in my
professional practice. As being as the placement student in a context very different from Hong Kong,
I had spent time in understanding the Canadian social system and the local community resources. I
used much time to familiar with the local system in order to engage with the clients. I understood that
the clients’ welfare should be in the first priority. Throughout the placement, I was more confidence
with trusting my own abilities in engaging with different clients. I learnt to emphasize the quality of
work instead of the quantity of work.
For the professional development, I understood the importance of taking initiative to seek help from my
colleagues and supervisor through difficulties. Taking initiative to make full of possible learning
opportunity in the agency is crucial. It was the great opportunities to prepare myself being more
competence and confidence. By participating in different programs in the agency, I have shared my ideas
and perspectives through discussion with my colleagues. I have discussed with supervisor and colleagues
about my performance and had self-reflection and review all along the time. Thus, I was able to explore
my strengths and areas for improvement throughout the placement. In order for better learning, I have
shared my own ideas and feelings during the supervision. I also brought my difficulties up in the
supervisor. It helped me to remove my obstacles for learning and worked harder for areas of improvement.
Sharing of feelings
This is a really fruitful experience for me to work in the Chinese Family Services of Ontario. The culture
difference had made me to widen my horizon in the new environment, new social system and community
resources. It enhanced my openness and acceptance on trying different new things and learning to adapt in
different environment. Besides, it also enhanced my confidence in contacting with different culture of
clients. CFSO was a supportive agency to provide me with different learning opportunities. The staffs
were helpful and supportive in providing me different learning opportunities. I had different chances to
explore many new things and inspirited me to think in a new ways. Discussion with my colleagues and
supervisor always inspired me to think out of the box and made me aware the importance of the social
ethics and knowledge.
Memorable moment in CFSO: