Family in Crisis Support Project
Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation initiated the “Family in Crisis Support” pilot project in 2017 to provide one-stop emergency financial assistance and counselling service for families in a crisis situation, helping them go through difficult times and get back on track, while filling the gaps in community services.
The Family Crisis Support Project provides timely and comprehensive support, including emergency financial aid, for grassroots families with young or school-aged children, which have unfortunately encountered accidents or sudden family changes (e.g. traffic accidents, industrial accidents, serious illnesses, natural disasters, fires, etc. resulting in loss of working capacity or death of the family breadwinner). Professional social worker from St. James’ Settlement (covering the New Territories) and the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (covering Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung) will intervene and proactively follow up on the emergency cases to alleviate feelings of helplessness of the needy families. The social workers will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment of the unfortunate families, provide counselling service and follow up on the cases to avoid multiple referrals and approvals. The programme also helps the families in crisis walk through the grieving process by arranging parent-child bereavement group, play therapy and art therapy.
After evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot project, Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation officially launched the programme in mid-2018. The programme targets to support 400 families encountering sudden change and facing crisis every year by providing financial assistance and counselling services.
According to the statistics, 51.7% are bereavement cases amongst which 59% are related to sudden death of family members and 41% are associated with death due to severe illness. Under this programme, social workers accompany these families through the toughest moments step by step
Apart from providing practical support, the ‘Family in Crisis Support Project also offers companionship and assistance to the bereaved families which I believe is most meaningful. Although the journey through grief is rugged and difficult, if the bereaved families can find the motivation to move forward again and take one small step at a time, they can finally get through the most difficult period and experience the growth in life
My mind went blank and I had no idea what to do next at that moment. As it turns out, I am able to find a full-time job and take good care of myself and my son