Mrs Lai Wong Suet Wing
Mrs. Lai has been doing family services, delivering counseling to couples, families, children for over 20 years in the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society. She had been the Manager in the Integrated Family Service Centre for years, providing supervision for social workers. Currently, her focus of work is on the pre & post-divorce service for families and their children. She is the Accredited Family Mediation Supervisor delivering Family Mediation Service and providing live supervision for Family Mediation Trainees; and the Parenting Coordinator delivering co-parenting counseling and parenting coordination service to the high conflicts co-parents. She is also the clinical leader of the Project: A Beam of Hope – Pilot Project on “Child-focused” Parenting Coordination & Co-parenting Services for Divorced Families of the Agency.
Effective co-parenting attributed to healthy upbringing of children
The 2011 census revealed that the divorce rate in Hong Kong had increased by 46 per cent over the 10 years. Research findings gave evidences that, on average, children with separated parents have poorer emotional well-being than those in intact families, while children of parents with a hostile parental relationship tend to have poorer emotional well-being. Many parents experience hostility in their break-up and the intensity of conflict that does not subside but intensified. Every level of hostility breeds painful consequences for the children, as the children are placed in huge loyalty bind.
It is appreciated that there is a review on shifting from parental right to responsibility in Children’s Dispute Resolution by the government. However, some parents might be in so much personal pain that they cannot do what is good for their children, even though they know it is their responsibilities. They need much emotional support, and inner strength to revamp their lives.
Love for their children is one of powerful strengths they have. They are lead to revisit their sweet moments with their children, if appropriate. The goals of the lives will be re-focused on the well-being of themselves and the children, instead of punishing their ex-spouses, or getting compensation for their pain. Parents are facilitated to make a commitment to establish a new relationship to be co-workers that need to leave their past hostility behind for the present and future of themselves and their children. Even either one parent can commit to start altering the amount of conflict in the children’s life. They will learn to catch the opportunity to choose the best decision for the children, as LOVE is not words but action.
A Beam of Hope – Pilot Project on “Child-focused” Parenting Coordination and Co-parenting Counseling Services for Divorced Families in various service delivery mode such as individual intervention, group work and community education would educate parents on “child-focused” co-parenting concepts and help co-parents to redefine their boundary and roles; disengage from the past marital relationship; learn to manage anger and conflicts; learn to negotiate on child matters gear toward effective co-parenting with an ultimate goal to promote the right and needs of the children from divorced family, allowing them to maintain relations and contacts with both parents on a regular basis. It is the first funded project by the Community Chest in Hong Kong with Parenting Coordinators accredited by the Cooperative Parenting Institute, U.S.A., which is an internationally recognized training institute, with qualifications meeting the requirements established by state statutes.
Shek, Daniel T. L., 2011, Journal of Family Studies, Vol. 17, Issue 2.
Eunis Vu, Shirley Ng & Lai Wong Suet Wing, 2014, “From Disintegrating Families to Family Solidarity”, Family Future, Hong Kong Family Welfare Society, in Family Future for 2014 Twentieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family.
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