Following is a speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Dr E K Yeoh, at the Annual General Meeting cum 11th Outstanding Social Worker Award Presentation of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association today (January 18):
Prof Yuen, and members of the Association,
It is a pleasure for me to be invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Hong Kong Social Workers Association cum 11th Outstanding Social Worker Award Ceremony.
The Hong Kong Social Workers Association has all along maintained the objective of promoting the social work standard in Hong Kong. It has made utmost efforts to raise the professional status of social workers, and made invaluable contribution to the development of the social work profession over the years.
Hong Kong prides itself on caring for and supporting those least able to take care of themselves. Current economic restructuring will result in some profound adjustments in our society. This will inevitably exacerbate social problems. More than ever, we need a caring society with a spirit of dedication and responsibility. Here I cannot emphasise enough the importance of welfare services to the disadvantaged, the disabled and the vulnerable.
Welfare services are by nature human services. The success of welfare services depends to a large extent on the hard work and professionalism of social workers. You have earned the respect of society through selflessness, enthusiasm and compassion.
The Outstanding Social Worker Award is not only a good opportunity to pay tribute to dedicated social workers who have made exemplary achievements, but also a statement made by all social workers that they are striving for excellence. The introduction of the "Junior Outstanding Social Worker" Award last year was also an innovative idea to give recognition to the newer entrants to the profession. I hope that these awards will serve to give encouragement to all members of the profession to continue to build a caring community.
End/Friday, January 18, 2002