Capitalising on our heritage and 80 years’ of experience in serving the children and youth in Hong Kong, BGCA strives to be the leading and most respected NGO in delivering services for the development of our young generation.
Over the past 80 years, we have built a strong network with children, youth and their families. This enables us to obtain greater insights into their real concerns and challenges, explore new ideas and approaches to help them tackle challenges, and speak on their behalf to advocate children/youth- friendly policies.
Through empirical studies and researches, we are committed to offering evidence-based analysis and recommendations to influence public agenda. We are also proactive to share our opinions and advocate on topical issues impacting our younger generation, such as on child custody and access arrangements, free kindergarten education policy, children’s rights, subsidies to low-income families, “One belt one road” initiatives and the handling of domestic violence and sexual assaults involving children and young people etc.
BGCA moves with the times, we regularly revisit our strategic goals and service direction to keep pace and meet with the changing needs of our community. We set clear focuses and priorities to optimise our resources so that we can deliver greater values for our society and for the long-term benefits of children and youth development. We are determined to embrace the diversity of our talents, to build synergies and collaborations with different stakeholders, and to prepare ourselves for embarking on new and exciting opportunities ahead.
BGCA believes that sound corporate governance is the key foundation to providing quality service. BGCA Board has devoted conscious efforts to continually enhance the corporate governance system, processes and practices in the past year. Dr. Ng Yin Ming, our new Chairman, together with the dedicated support of all committee members, will continue to lead BGCA to achieve its mission by adhering to the highest level of integrity, stewardship, transparency and accountability. BGCA Board puts strong emphasis to uphold good corporate governance practices. More details of the work done in the year can be found in the separate Corporate Governance section (page 23 to 26) of this report.
Our Funding and Our Core Services
Total Income and Expenditure during 2015-16 amounted to HK$458 million and HK$438 million respectively. 59% of the annual income came from Government subvention while the rest was from membership fees and charges, corporate sponsorships and funding supports from charitable trusts, public donations, other fund-raising initiatives as well as income from the Headquarters (HQ) building and interest earned.
We are most grateful to the HKSAR Government for the continued financial support and to the Social Welfare Department (SWD) for its valuable guidance. We wish to specially thank the many kind-hearted donors, volunteers and public-spirited corporations. Our heartiest thanks also go to the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Lee Hysan Foundation and Sun Hung Kei Properties Charitable Fund Limited etc. for their generous support.
Current Services/Programmes Offered
Key Work Themes of 36 Projects
BGCA plays a significant role in offering comprehensive services to Hong Kong’s children and youth and their families. During 2015-16, we served 328,2621 children, youth as well as their families through 23,186 initiatives and 114,656 programme sessions. To deliver such wide scope of professional and tailor-made services to our service targets, we have to maintain a strong workforce of approximately 1,000 staff.
We have a robust and well-trained front-line professional team: approximately 40% of our workforce are registered social workers. Others are clinical psychologists, drama/play/physio/occupational/speech therapists, registered nurses, welfare workers, project staff and programme assistants. In addition, we have 52 dedicated teaching staff including principals and teachers to run our 4 kindergartens, and a team of well-trained staff to operate our camp. Behind the scene, we also have a committed management and administration team who provides leadership, financial, HR, administrative and back-end support to our front-line practitioners.
As we are delivering people-oriented services, human resources are critically important to BGCA. Over the year, we devoted considerable efforts in nurturing and grooming the talents in our organisation as well as training and motivating our front-line staff to achieve service excellence. Special Task Forces were also set up to review HR policies, enhance staff structure, benefits and compensations, and to develop sustainable succession, training and development plan. Pilot run of 5-day work week was also implemented during the period from March to July, 2015 for further feasibility study of full implementation in the future.
Key Management Staff Changes
There had been some key people changes within BGCA’s senior management team. Ms. Lilian Law, Executive Director, was on sick leave from June to December 2015. During this period, we are greatly indebted to Mr. David Yau Po-wing, Hon Secretary of the Association, for his kindness to take the helm as Honorary Interim Executive Director. Ms. Law resumed office in January 2016.
Mr. James Leung, Assistant Director (Corporate Development), decided to leave BGCA in February 2016 after 25 years of service. We thank Mr. Leung’s dedication to BGCA over the past two decades. We were pleased to announce that Dr. Wong Kwai Yau, who has served in BGCA for more than 20 years, was selected and promoted to take over the position with effect from 1 February, 2016.
Ms. Winnie Shum, Head of Finance, started to take sick leave in March 2016 for approximately 6 months. Ms. Carol Chu, Finance Manager, was appointed to take up the Acting Head during Winnie’s absence.
Going beyond laws and regulations, BGCA is highly aware of its responsibility towards the community and the environment. We have been working towards adopting various green measures such as sourcing Green suppliers, improving energy efficiency and raising environmental awareness, including adherence to eco-friendly printing and recycling of used paper/ IT equipment / rechargeable battery, separation of waste, using LED and energy efficient lighting, and disposing less items and utensils etc.
In addition to providing high quality services to our service recipients, BGCA also endeavors to engage the wider public to build a civil society and caring community. Our efforts in encouraging social inclusion and promoting volunteering service were publicly recognized. In 2015-16, BGCA received the following awards:
- With a total of 170,660 hours of volunteer service to the community, BGCA received a merit award of Highest Service Hour Award (Public Organizations category) in the 2015 Hong Kong Volunteer Award Presentation Ceremony held by the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service of SWD.
- BGCA successfully nominated 75 corporate partners to obtain the Caring Company Logo under the Caring Company Scheme 2015/2016, and received the second highest votes of My "LIKE" Exhibition Booth Activity in Caring Company Partnership Expo 2015 held by The Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
- BGCA websites for Jockey Club South Horizons and Yau Tong Children & Youth Integrated Services Centre received The 4th Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme Awards – Silver Award organised by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.
Major Risks and Uncertainties
With increased complexity in services and operations, BGCA attaches great importance to the continual review and enhancement of existing policies, processes, procedures and risk exposures. The Board has also been cautious in identifying and managing various risks, including risks related to finance, service quality, manpower and operations, in order to ensure sustainable development of the organisation.
To achieve this, under the guidance and monitoring of the Audit Committee, a Compliance and Continuous Improvement Department (CCI) was set up in January 2013 to identify key areas of risks and put forward recommendations for improvement and quality assurance of various services. This department was renamed as Internal Audit Department (“IAD”) in July 2015, and the CI (Continuous Improvement) function originally under CCI was transferred to Services Operation last year. This restructuring further delineates the distinctive roles and responsibilities between Internal Audit and Continuous Improvement, allowing IAD to provide independent and objective assessment on various areas in risk management, internal processes and controls, and service quality.
a. Operational Risks:
In 2015-16, BGCA has secured over HK$21 million from SWD to establish the “Smile” On-site Pre-school Integrated Service Team to provide on- site rehabilitation services for pre-school children with special educational needs for a period of two years. With the dire demand and limited supply of para-medical professionals such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists for such rehabilitation services in Hong Kong, BGCA is faced with keen competition in recruiting and retaining the right talents for delivery of related services. Robust manpower resource planning and management become critical in preventing potential impact for not being able to recruit these professional staff timely.
Also, a number of our senior and experienced staff will be due for retirement in the next few years. Succession planning and development is a major focus to ensure sustainability and competiveness of our high service quality. In this respect, specific Task Forces have been set up to actively address and tackle the challenges.
With the diversity and large scale of services provided by BGCA, the Association is exposed to various risks (both at organisational and operational levels) stemming from our service operations. In addition to observing requirements set by SWD and other funding bodies, effort has been made to systematically identify and mitigate various operational risks, and ultimately ensure service quality. In 2015-16, IAD has completed 10 Service Quality Standards (SQS) audits, one compliance review, one administrative audit, and one Value For Money (VFM) audit across BGCA’s various services. Following the audits, IAD has also made recommendations for continuous enhancement of the operations.
b. Financial Risks:
Sustainability in funding is a fundamental challenge to a non-profit making organisation such as BGCA. The funding of BGCA comes mainly from HKSAR Government as well as commercial and individual sponsors or donors. With the continuous development of BGCA, we inevitably face the uncertainties of securing sufficient funding to support our services particularly when there are changes in Government funding policies or when the factors impacting the macro-economic environment become unfavorable. To mitigate the possible financial risks, BGCA has to maintain a prudent management and proper monitoring of our financial resources. The following actions were taken in 2015-16:
- The Finance and Investment Committee (FIC) was established in September 2015 with dedicated effort to guide and monitor matters relating to financial management and investment performance of BGCA.
- A special Task Force was set up to review and enhance the organisation’s annual budget preparation process, including a thorough review of non- subvented projects.
- Another special Task Force was set up to review the staffing support, structure and salary policies with a view to providing adequate resources to fulfill future commitments for Lump Sum Grant (LSG) services, taking into consideration the potential financial constraints such as future salary revision and Government’s 0-1-1 policy.
- With BGCA resuming full management of the HQ building in August 2014 and increased annual rental income, the Estate Management and Development Committee was specifically delegated the responsibility for the development, management and maintenance of the HQ building.
Opportunities and Challenges
Young people are the leaders of tomorrow and they are the most valuable asset in Hong Kong. The fact is, like many other developed economies in the region, Hong Kong has been facing huge challenges relating to ageing population. The number of young people aged between 11 and 23 is shrinking year on year, with 1.16 million in 1996 to 923,000 in 2015. It is anticipated that the number will continue to fall to approximately 841,000 in 2024, representing a substantial drop of more than 27% as compared to 1996.
HKSAR Government understands the dire need to develop our next generation because of the dwindling workforce. Our Government also attaches great importance to providing a favorable environment conducive to the holistic development of young people. Education is one of the major areas that our Government cares about. The expenditure on education for 2016-17 is estimated to reach $75 billion, which is approximately one-fourth of the Government’s total recurrent annual expenditure, and accounting for an increase of 70% over the figure a decade ago.
However, the environment is increasingly complex, competitive and challenging for our young people. They face intense competition and pressure with heavy curricular and extra-curricular activities in their early stage of life. On the other hand, they are living in a deeply divided society with polarized and entrenched opinions, emotional confrontations and finger-pointing culture as to who and what is to be blamed.
At BGCA, we realise that we have a very important role to play at this juncture. We are endeavoring to create positive influences over our next generation and to inspire them to develop a will of taking up responsibilities and to bulid resilience in the face of adversity. Our objective is to nurture a healthy and happy generation that has courage and positive thinking.
As we are operating 75 community service units across the territory and we own the highest number of Integrated Children and Youth Services Centres (ICYSC) in Hong Kong, we see tremendous opportunities to leverage our comprehensive network to serve the young people and facilitate them to grow stronger and better. As ever, we will continue to develop innovative and novel services and strengthen our existing services to support the young people at this time of perplexity. Through a number of children social participation programmes such as “Junior Chief Executive”, “Junior Financial Secretary” and “Junior Councillor”, we wish to encourage our young children to understand the key issues in our complex city and develop critical and independent views on current affairs. Our ultimate goal is to nurture them to become responsible and contributing citizens.
Moreover, we will roll out a series of action plans to enhance their total BGCA membership experiences and enrich our other existing programmes such as interest classes and after school care programmes. We will also launch more tailored-made programmes in 2016-17 to develop children’s creativity through six disciplines, namely, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Culture & Art (STEMCA).
In face of the overloaded and stressful daily learning schedule for our children, we listen to their voices through systematic studies. We also make our best attempt to reflect their views and persuade concerned parties to take concrete actions such as making pledges to offer more free time to children, encouraging physical fitness programmes and outdoor activities, and promoting quality family time etc. in order to address their stress problems.
Policy advocacy for the benefits of our young people will continue to be one of the major foci of BGCA. We will sustain our efforts in taking an objective approach to understanding issues that have impacts on children and will continue to provide strategic and evidence-based recommendations to our policy-makers.
Our efforts do not just end in Hong Kong. For nine consecutive years, we have served children in Mainland China through direct services or services at schools and in community and family services centres. We provided trainings to Mainland social workers and share our experiences with them. Our Mainland services continue to receive positive feedback from municipal governments, schools and our service targets. With the Chinese government passing the new laws on security controls on foreign NGOs (Law on Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-governmental Organisations), which will be effective from 1 Jan, 2017, we will closely observe and ensure full compliance with the laws and at the same time review our strategies in Mainland China to ensure our resource allocation perfectly aligns with our overall mission and objectives.
We strongly believe in the great value of investing in early childhood development. We shall therefore look forward to meeting Prof. James Heckman (Nobel Prize Laureate in Economic Sciences, Director of Center for the Economics of Human Development, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, USA) and Dr. James Pawelski, (Director of Education and Senior Scholar, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania, USA), in our 80th Anniversary scientific conference in October. They will speak extensively about the rate of return in early childhood development and positive psychology. We shall also actively look for ways and resources to offer rehabilitation services for pre-school children with special educational needs, to provide timely training support for these children at their prime time of development and to help them grow healthily.
Last but not least, we are very enthusiastic, as ever, to establish close collaborations with different stakeholders in the society to explore new possibilities in serving our young generation. We are committed to optimising the resources we have, developing our people and discovering innovative approaches for the benefit of children and youth.
With the strong dedication of our professional workforce, the wise counsel of over 80 passionate Committee Members, the unwavering support from our Government and the generosity of corporate sponsors, individual donors and volunteers, BGCA is steadfast, sagacious and courageous in living up to our mission in serving young people in Hong Kong.