Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and organized by the Department of Social Work, CUHK, the CLAP@JC Community of Practice Session on “Promoting Equity and Sustainability through CLD Intervention” was held successfully on 12 January 2024 via Zoom.

Over 100 participants from different parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, France, South Korea, Mainland China and Hong Kong, attended the event.

It was an honour to have Dr. Anthony Mann, Senior Policy Analyst (Education and Skills), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Prof. Bong Joo Lee, Professor of the Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University, as our guest speakers. Our event highlighted the unequal access to employment opportunities for youths, even among those with similar academic backgrounds. Key findings presented from OECD research emphasized how social backgrounds affect career prospects, and the session explored global strategies for improving career guidance to address this issue. Attention was also given to Korea’s We Start project, which has evolved into the Dream Start initiative, now a national model offering comprehensive support services to disadvantaged children across 229 communities. The event emphasized the importance of early intervention and equal development opportunities in combating poverty and inequality.

We were also delighted to have commentators Prof. James Côté, Emeritus Professor, Department of Sociology, The University of Western Ontario, and Prof. Chau Kiu Jacky Cheung, Co-Director (Research, Community, Co-PI) of CLAP@JC, give insightful reflections on the topic. Prof. Côté’s commentary emphasized the need to dismantle psychological barriers like “identity anxiety”, advocating for targeted interventions that reshape young minds early on. By adjusting perceptions and aspirations, such interventions could harness the Pygmalion effect to elevate youths’ achievements. Prof. Cheung championed a strategic, all-encompassing framework that forged a support network uniting families, educational bodies, NGOs, industry players, and policymakers. As demonstrated by the CLAP@JC project, this network nurtures a cooperative spirit, empowering young individuals and honing their innate values, abilities, skills and knowledge (VASK). By advocating for a persistent, strength-based approach, the strategies proposed by Prof. Côté and Prof. Cheung underscored the importance of sustained support through transitional life stages, setting them up for meaningful engagement with and contributions to their communities, promoting both personal growth and societal sustainability.



Group Photo of Speakers, Commentators and Participants