The unprecedented changes brought about by COVID-19 to daily life could lead to physical and mental pressures, as well as family problems. To study this, the “Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project” (“The Project”) team conducted a survey on the “Impacts of the COVID-19 Outbreak & Information and Communications Technology on Family”. The survey results were released on 7 July 2020.
Initiated and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Project is in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong’s (“HKU”) School of Public Health and the Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative and non-governmental organisations. The Project aims to encourage members of the public and social welfare units to apply more elements of Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) in promoting family well-being as well as apply the use of ICT in the work of Integrated Family Service Centres (“IFSCs”) and Integrated Service Centres (“ISCs”) to promote family harmony.
The survey, which was conducted online in late May, successfully interviewed more than 4,900 people. 93.7% of respondents reported that the use of ICT rendered some help during the pandemic, such as in receiving information about the pandemic (89.3%), strengthening family communications (52.7%), and improving family relationships (12.9%).
Together with its community partners, the Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project is providing a wide variety of ICT resources, including but not limited to family-friendly mobile game applications, gamified ICT tools, and e-messages to promote family harmony. The Project also encourages social welfare organisations to apply ICT in their routine work at IFSCs and ISCs. At present, the Project is assisting 26 IFSCs/ISCs operated by non-governmental organisations in Hong Kong to enhance their family services by leveraging ICT and to instill an attitudinal change among frontline workers, thereby motivating social workers to adopt more ICT elements in case management and interventions. To this end, the Project Team has initiated and co-created a series of i-Action programmes which provide hardware, software and technical support for the social service sector.
For more information, visit www.jcsmartfamilylink.hk.