Recent Activities

A New Page in Seniors Service

Working with seniors has been an important focus of SSLD R&D work in the last half year or so. Exciting developments are taking place in interventions for dementia, home support and community care, managing sexuality and intimacy issues, caregiver support, training of senior service professionals, volunteer development, etc. We have been doing consultation work for seniors service organizations with regard to their service model and program design. We are also contemplating social enterprise as a future direction of SSLD development.


Professor Tsang's current projects with long term community partners

  1. Play intervention for dementia - We have experimented with a play intervention program based on SSLD principles both in Canada and Asia. Participants include seniors with different levels of dementia, ranging from mild to severe. The initial results are extremely encouraging. Outcome behavioral markers include extended attention span, positive emotion, increased activity level, reduced washroom calls, increased communication and interaction behavior, and some cases of spontaneous recovery of cognitive functions. We are now planning to test the intervention more systematically through randomized controlled trials.
  2. Sexuality and intimacy needs - These needs are often neglected in seniors service. Professor Tsang has always been a strong advocate for sexual rights of seniors. We have been working with the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto for three years. The program include training for direct service staff, train-the-trainers, focus groups for service users and family members, and the development of practice guidelines and manuals, complemented by audio-visual and online resources.
  3. Professor Tsang and Sherlyn Hu (Leader, R&D) have recently completed a global scan on seniors service, covering the service models used in different countries. This is part of a seniors service model articulation exercise commissioned by the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care. Sherlyn Hu is presenting the findings in a series of webinars in English, Putonhua, and Cantonese.


Professor Tsang is working with partners in China to develop a diploma training program to caregivers of seniors. The goal is to provide a standardized practice and training in China, probably resulting in a national accreditation system. The program will employ SSLD as the core conceptual framework.

We are also working towards service model articulation and the possibility of setting up a model service organization/system in China.

Hong Kong

We are partnering with the Institute of Vocational Education (IVE), which is operated by the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council. We are hoping that this partnership will play a key role in training the next generation of seniors service professionals in Hong Kong and China. SSLD will be used as the overarching conceptual framework, and we will be developing a series of textbooks to support a comprehensive training program. Dr. Valerie Yingli Chang is helping to coordinate the collaboration between IVE and our partners in China.


As the Global Community Chair, Dr. Tsang has been involved with agencies in Tanzania to develop a SSLD practice model for local social worker training.

September 2012 to March 2013

April to August 2012

Professor Ka Tat Tsang is working in China to continue the various initiatives, including:

March to May 2011

Professor Ka Tat Tsang visited China and Hong Kong. He continued the work on psychotherapy training with Professor Jia Xiaoming of Beijing Institute of Technology. He offered consultation to the project team on cyber-counselling, MA students completing their theses, and faculty members on research and publication. Professors Tsang and Jia continued their dialogue on psychotherapy, counselling and culture in the Chinese context.

During this visit, Professor Tsang met with colleagues of the Department of Psychiatry, Tsinghua University, to work on the collaborative research project on suicide. The study is funded by CIHR, and UofT researchers include Professors Paul Links (PI), Samuel Law, and Wes Shera, and Juveria Zaheer. Professor Tsang provided training on narrative-based clinical research and interviewing to the Tsinghua team.

Professor Tsang visited the Kang Ning Mental Health Hospital in Shenzhen and gave a workshop on SSLD and how it can be applied to community psychiatry.

April 2011: Marion Bogo and Elaine J. Vayda's book on the Practice of Field Education in Social Work was translated into Chinese (by Ka Tat Tsang, Valerie Yingli Chang, and Shan Qi) and published by the Social Sciences Academic Press, China.

February 8-11, 2011: Professor Jia Xiaoming visited Toronto. Professor Jia is a nationally renowned psychotherapist and psychotherapy trainer in China and the Head of the Social Work Department at the Beijing Institute of Technology. As part of her visit and professional exchange, she presented a seminar on Psychotherapy and Mental Health in China at the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, and she also visited some of Toronto's major mental health service organizations including Mount Sinai Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Hincks-Dellcrest, and the Woodbine Psychological and Counselling Services.

November 1, 2010: Professor A. Ka Tat Tsang's Presentation at McMaster Univeristy about China Project (PowerPoint)

June 5-6, 2010: Couple Counseling Workshop Applying SSLD (Strategies and Skills Learning and Development) Principles, Chinese University of Hong Kong. (Summary)

May 2010: The book Glimmering Everywhere: The Journeys of 28 Chinese Social Workers is a book edited by Professor Ka Tat Tsang with Professors Guo Jianguo (Shandong University), Leung Yuk-ki (Chinese University of Hong Kong), and Yau Tat-yu (Hong Kong Polytchnic University). It was published in Chinese by the Chinese Society Press in Beijing and came out in May 2009. The first 3,000 copies were almost sold out within one year. The publisher wished to do a second print run. The editors have agreed to do the reprint and donate all the proceeds to Shandong University as student aid for social work students. The second print came out in May 2010. This book is an expanded version of Tsang, K.T., & Leung, Y.K. (Eds.), (2006). Glimmering Everywhere (Stories of 10 Social Workers). It was published by the Hong Kong Social Workers' General Union. It attracted a lot of attention in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The first printing was sold out. The theme of the book is how social workers uphold social work values in various challenging practice contexts. Whereas the 2006 version included stories from 10 Chinese social workers in Hong Kong, this expanded edition includes 28 stories from Chinese social workers from all over the world, including Canada, China, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Taiwan, UK, and the US. This book is the first of its kind in China to raise sensitive and controversial values and ethical issues in social work practice.

May 28, 2010: Lecture on The Future of Chinese Social Work: Challenges and Opportunities at the Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, Shandong Province. (PowerPoint, Chinese)

May 27, 2010: Dating and Courtship: The SSLD Approach Lecture for students of the Beijing Institute of Technology. (Powerpoint, Chinese)

May 26, 2010: Workshop on Academic Publication: Playing the Game Right for faculty members and graduate students of the Beijing Institute of Technology. (Summary: Format of Academic Papers, Summary: Getting Published)

May 25, 2010: Workshop on Process Analysis of Group Dynamics at the Beijing Institute of Technology. (Powerpoint, Chinese)

May 21-23, 2010: A three-day training workshop on The SSLD (Strategies and Skills Learning and Development) Model for social workers and mental health professionals in China, held at the Beijing Institute of Technology. We had participants coming from different parts of the country, including Guangzhou, Yunnan, Guanxi, Shandong, and Shenzhen.

May 15, 2010: One day workshop on Extracting and Documenting Practice Wisdom at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. (Powerpoint)

May 3, 5 & 8, 2010: Three-day training workshop on SSLD and Addiction for social workers of the Hong Kong Christian Service. (Powerpoint)

April 20, 2010: Visit to the Handa Rehabilitation and Welfare Association in Guangzhou, who provides service to individuals with leprosy in different parts of China. It is estimated that there are over 200,000 affected individuals in the country. The visit followed a series of prior meetings, and focused on the development of ongoing professional consultation and support for the workers of the Association.

April 19, 2010: Visit to the Jiangmen Rehabilitation Hospital and their Community Health Centre. Offered a half-day workshop on the application of the SSLD Model to Healthcare and Rehabilitation work. The workshop was attended by practitioners from different cities in South China.

March 2010: Professor Paul Links, Arthur Sommer Rotenberg Chair in suicide Studies, Department of Psychiatry, UofT, Dr. Sam Law (Psychiatry, UofT), Professor Wes Shera (Social Work, UofT), Professor Ka Tat Tsang, and Dr. Juveria Zaheer (Psychiatry, UofT) submitted a proposal to CIHR to do a study on Gender Role Conflict in Chinese and Chinese-Canadian Women with Suicidal Ideation and Behaviour. This is a collaborative research initiative between the University of Toronto and the Tsinghua University Department of Psychiatry.

December 2009: Professor Tsang visited Beijing and met with our partners including Professor Liu Pozi and Dr. Huang Xuezhu of Tsinghua University (Department of Psychiatry, Medical School), Mr. Wang Laizhu (Director General of the Central Office of the Ministry of Civil Affairs), and Professor Jia Xiaoming (Department of Social Work, Beijing Institute of Technology).

December 26, 2009: Professor Tsang delivered the keynote lecture at the Third Annual Meeting of the Shandong Provincial Association for Social Work Education. Title of the lecture: The SSLD System and Social Work Practice

December 26, 2009: Professor Tsang conducted a workshop on Evidence-Based Practice for graduate students of Shandong University.

December 25, 2009: Professor attended the annual review meeting of the Shanquan Community Service Centre in Jinan, Shandong Province. Shanquan is the first multi-service social service centre in the province of Shandong, which Professor Tsang helped to found.

December 24, 2009: Professor Tsang visited the Jinan City Mental Health Institute in the morning, and the Shandong Provincial Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in the afternoon. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen collaborative ties with these institutions and to support the role of the newly established social work positions in them. These new social work positions were funded by a private donor in Toronto.

December 21, 2009: Professor Tsang gave a lecture on Dating: The SSLD Perspective at Shenzhen University. The lecture was well attended, and was covered by a leading local paper.

December 20, 2009: Professor Tsang visited the Pengxing Social Service Centre in Shenzhen together with Ms. Valerie Chang, a MSW graduate of UofT. They met with Professor Yi Songguo, the Executive Director, who is also the head of the Social Work Department of Shenzhen University. Professor Tsang gave a lecture on SSLD and Social Work Practice to the staff, which included over 120 social workers.

December 10, 11 & 15, 2009: Three-day workshop on the SSLD (Strategies and Skills Learning and Development Model) for 40 social workers of the Hong Kong Christian Service.

December 12, 2009: Half-day workshop on the Multiple Contingencies Model (MCM) of Psychotherapy at the Centre for Emotional Health, United Christian Hospital. The workshop was attended by psychotherapists from various professions, including clinical psychology, social work, and nursing. (PowerPoint)

December 9, 2009: One-day workshop on the Multiple Contingencies Model (MCM) of Psychotherapy at the Yan Oi Tong Community Centre in Hong Kong.

December 8, 2009: Professor Tsang delivered a keynote speech on Evidence-based Practice in Social Work Practice at the International Conference on Globalization and Family Changes: Policy Implications, Practice Initiatives, and Evidence-based Practice, held at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

December 6, 2009: One-day workshop on Proactive Health Strategies: Applying SSLD Principle to Healthcare. Attended by healthcare professionals in medicine, social work, nursing and psychology. (Powerpoint)


Lead Gifts

Dr. Annie Wong Leung Kit Wah provided the lead gift that launched the China Project's first phase. >>More

Grace Chum has supported a Chinese Visiting Scholar, a major component of this project, as well as other initiatives of the China Project. >>More

Irene So has supported the China Project by funding a computer laboratory for social work education in Beijing. >>More

Percy Wong is committed to the China Project, in particular to our collaborative initiatives with Shandong University, both as a volunteer and a donor. >>More


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