Since 2000, the Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association has started to promote institutional reform and modernisation, aiming to implement corporate governance and enhance work efficiency. As a responsible social service organisation, YWCA has been dedicated to promoting corporate governance, formulating clear guidelines and establishing highly-efficient management and decision-making framework so that we can follow a strategic direction to achieve the expected outcome and efficient supervision services. Being willing to envisage challenges and having the courage to change and to keep abreast of the times are the keys to success for the present social service organisations. The Association, in the decade of institutional reform and modernisation, has never slacked off but only proceeded to the investigation and review of optimising our management. In 2010, we have compiled our new Handbook of Corporate Governance and held conferences and training for the directors, the management team and other staff so that they can grasp the concepts of corporate governance for a sustainable and efficient development of the Association.
Election of the Board of Directors
The election system of the Board of Directors has been adopted since 1938. Voting Members cast their vote to elect the Directors and the term of office of the elected Directors is four years. The election takes place every two years, with about half of the seats on the Board being re-elected. The Directors then elect the President and Vice-presidents of the Board whereas the Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary of the Board as well as the Chairperson of the committees are appointed by the President. Committees are formed to plan for the development of the Association.
12/2020-12/2021 Honorary Presidents, Honorary Directors and Directors List
Mrs. Grace Tsao
Mrs. Mona Leong, SBS, BBS, MBE, JP
Mrs. Patricia S.H. Ling, MH, JP
Mrs. Lena Liu
Dr. Agnes Ng, JP
Mrs. S.P. Huen Lee, May
Mrs. Wong Chu Ching Leen
Mrs. Helen Koo
Mrs. Leung Kan King Chun
Dr. Jennie Lee
Ms. Wong Lai Kuen, Hannah
Mrs. Emily Cheng
Dr. Hung Yeung Pong Wah
Mrs. Lau Chan So May, Lucy
Ms. Leung Mo Ching
Ms. To Sook Yuen, Helena
Ms. Wong Chiang Yen, May
Ms. Lui San Man, Simmy
Ms. Kong Wai Chi, Jenny
Ms. Hsu Yu Ming, Hanna
Ms. Leung Sui Ming, Olivia
Ms. Lee Shuk Ying, Helen
Dr. Yu Yuet Kwan, Patricia
Dr. Lou Weiqun, Vivian
Ms. Chan Sau Fan, Julie
Dr. Ho Kit Wan
Ms. Eva Lee
Ms. Chan Wing Mun, Grace
Ms. Lee Lok Sze
Ms. Chau Wai Yin, Ada
Ms. Sung Yuen Chan, Jeannette
Dr. Wong Wai Ching, Angela
Ms. Lam King, Ivy
Ms. Ma Fung Tin, Fanny
Ms. Lui Wai Man, Nancy
Ms. Tse Sui Yin, Sally
Ms. King Kong Sang, Mimi
Ms. Tso Miu Yue, Agnes
Ms. Pun Sau King, Flora
Ms. Tse Shuk In
Entered into 2020, the Association actively implements the 2020-2025 “Bold Steps” Strategic Plan to steer the Association’s continuous development and pursuit of its mission amid changing social circumstances.
1. Organisational Culture/ YWCA Values and Talent Development
Good organisational culture is the cornerstone of a stable and professional service team. The Association will strive to manifest Christian faith and inherit its vision, mission and core values. We will also stress on talent development and propel the inheriting of YWCA culture to enable staff to fulfill the organisational beliefs and goals at work.
2. Service Innovation and Enhancement
The Association will actively promote service innovation and enhancement in the following service areas to respond to the needs of society.
2.1 Infant, Children and Family Service
We firmly believe that family is the learning base for every child. By promoting family wellness, mutual understanding and acceptance among family members can be fostered and individuals can grow up healthily. In view of this, we aim to examine, plan and develop infant, children and family service from a cross-disciplinary perspective so that children can grow up healthily and family wellness will be enhanced.
2.2 Service for Children and Adolescents with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Our SEN services mainly serve infants, children and their families, and have achieved fruitful results. In the 2020-2025 “Bold Steps” Strategic Plan, we shall focus on the development of services for SEN children and adolescents and their families. The Association will continue to adopt a family-oriented service model to support SEN families. In addition to providing diversified rehabilitation training and establishing a network of family peers, we will promote sibling support services to offer emotional care for siblings of SEN children and adolescents, and provide respite support services for their parents and carers to enhance their family wellness.
2.3 Youth Engagement and Development
Teenagers have been paying more attention to social affairs in recent years, and expecting to play a more important role in the process of social development. In view of this, the Association will strive to provide innovative services and professional practices to the youth in three areas, namely social role, development opportunities and social connections. Besides, through various initiatives such as career planning, capability development, youth-led participation and communal co-creation, identity recognition of youngsters and an enabling environment beneficial to youth development could be strengthened and constructed, which could further promote a more meaningful community participation by youth.
2.4 Elderly Service
With the rapid growth of aging population in Hong Kong, the society’s demand for elderly services is increasing. The Association is committed to nurturing the abundant life of the elderly from the physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects. “Promoting the health and wellness of the elderly”, “inspiring their potential and improving their quality of life" and "inheriting experience and creating an independent life" are the core goals for the elderly service from 2020 to 2025. A service model of retirement adjustment and ideal planning will be established and developed as a tool for paradigm shift for the reference and application by the sector and service users. The Association will also promote an interactive network of retirees and encourage golden agers to use their skills to create and pursue new dreams after retirement.
2.5 YWCA Movement
YWCA Movement is not only the original aspiration of the Association, but also its service characteristic and core mission. Through important elements including Christianity, women, and members/volunteers, we have implemented corresponding planning and inherited our mission in our diversified social services. We will strive to deepen women empowerment, enhance volunteers/members nurturing and demonstrate the value of Christianity. By promoting gender equality and women empowerment, women leadership and inheritance, volunteers and members nurturing and Christianity ministry, the uniqueness of the Association will be manifested and “life enhancement” will be realised.
3. Service Innovation, Research and Development
The Association is committed to collecting and analysing data through scientific and systematic methods to generate meaningful information for formulating strategic development direction and service development, embodying beliefs in evidence-based practice and providing up-to-date services. Besides, our colleagues explore and study social phenomena through literature review, survey studies and focus group interviews, in order to understand the needs of community, evaluate the effectiveness of services and develop innovative services. The Association will invest resources to establish innovative culture and develop services from a visionary perspective. Through training, we will continue to equip our staff with evidence-based knowledge and use design thinking to launch innovative services.
4. Application of Technology
In order to meet the needs of future service development and improve agency capabilities and effectiveness, the Association will promote technology application in three different areas – network and equipment upgrading, application of big data in service, and strengthening staff’s skill-set and inheritance of technology application. Through organising and analysing the data of different systems, service categories and stakeholders, it is hoped that thoughtful and effective service will be developed and the resilience of the Association in the face of unexpected emergency situations will be enhanced.
5. Brand Service Establishment
Rooted in Hong Kong for a hundred years, Hong Kong YWCA has always been "women-oriented" and launched various social services that fulfill the purpose of "life enhancement". It remains at the forefront of society and continues to develop various innovative services in response to the needs of different communities. For the public to better grasp the Association’s brand and services and to establish our distinctive brand services, the Association will set up a cross-departmental core group to identify the brand service of each service department with development potential and develop specific strategies and action indicators for establishing our brand services. We will also coordinate the roles and positioning of various departments in the development of women’s work in order to build a women-oriented, forward-looking and professional service image and promote the YWCA culture and beliefs.
1.1 Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association (“HKYWCA”) is committed to maintaining good corporate governance, emphasizing accountability and high standards of service delivery, operation and probity which enable our stakeholders to have trust and faith in the organization to take care of their needs and to fulfill its social responsibility. Employees at all levels are expected to conduct themselves with integrity, impartiality and honesty.
1.2 In line with the above commitment, HKYWCA has devised a whistleblowing policy to encourage its employees and other parties who deal with the organization (e.g. service users, service providers, contractors etc.) to report any malpractice or wrongdoing within the organization.
2.1 To provide the employees and other stakeholders with reporting channels and guidance on raising genuine concerns about any malpractice or wrongdoing (which is not being dealt with as a complaint or grievance), in confidence and without fear of reprisals, to ensure that HKYWCA continues to improve its services and provide best value.
2.2 To act as a deterrent to malpractice and help protecting the reputation of HKYWCA.
3.1 “Whistleblowing” refers to a situation where an employee decides to raise a genuine concern about malpractice or wrongdoing within the organization. The person raising the concern is known as “Whistleblower”.
3.2 It also applies to members of public and others who in dealing with HKYWCA have any concerns in relation to employee misconduct, suspect breach of any regulations, standards, unethical conduct or fraud and corruption that they report this concern.
4. General Policy and Scope
4.1 This policy applies to all employees (regular and part-time), members of public and other stakeholders and is intended to assist them to disclose information relevant to suspected malpractice or irregularity through a confidential reporting channel.
4.2 Whistleblowing matters may include but not limited to:
- A failure to comply with any legal or regulatory requirements
- Criminal offences, breach of civil law and miscarriage of justice (e.g. theft, fraud, corruption, false claims)
- Malpractice, impropriety or fraud relating to internal controls, accounting and financial matters
- Improper or other unethical conduct
- Racial discrimination or sexual harassment
- Health and safety of any individual being put at risk
- Showing undue favour over a contractual matter or to a job applicant
- Deliberate concealment relating to any of the above
4.3 If the nature of the matter is deemed not within the scope of this whistleblowing policy, the case will be dealt with under the complaint policy or as appropriate.
4.4 This policy is not designed to further any personal disputes, question financial or business decisions taken by HKYWCA, complaints related to services delivery, or matters which are covered under the HKYWCA’s complaint policy, unless they involve malpractice or irregularity as listed above. Otherwise, they will be dealt with under the complaint policy by relevant parties (e.g. Human Resources, or Service Units).
4.5 HKYWCA will handle the reports with care and will treat the Whistleblowers’ concerns fairly and properly.
5. Confidentiality and Protection
5.1 All concerns will be treated confidentially. The identity of the Whistleblower will not be revealed without his or her consent. However, they may need to come forward as a witness or provide a statement as part of the evidence. In order not to jeopardize the investigation, the Whistleblower is required to keep confidential the fact that he or she has reported.
5.2 There may be circumstances in which HKYWCA may be required or legally obliged to reveal the Whistleblower’s identity, for example, an investigation leads to legal proceeding being initiated. If this is the case, HKYWCA will endeavor to inform the Whistleblower that his or her identity is likely to be disclosed.
5.3 In some circumstances, HKYWCA may have to refer the concerns to relevant authorities without prior notice or consultation with the Whistleblower.
5.4 HKYWCA will not tolerate any harassment or victimization including informal pressures and will take appropriate action to protect the individuals when they raise a concern in good faith.
6. Anonymous Allegation
6.1 Anonymous allegation would normally not be considered. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the allegation should not be made anonymously.
7. Untrue Report
7.1 Whistleblower will not be at risk of suffering any form of reprisals as a result proven that he or she is acting in good faith and reasonable manner.
7.2 On the other hand, if a Whistleblower makes an untrue allegation maliciously, with an ulterior motive, he or she may face disciplinary action. HKYWCA also reserves the right to take appropriate actions against any relevant person, including the Whistleblower, to recover any loss or damage caused by the untrue allegation.
8. Reporting Channels and Format
8.1 All Whistleblowers may report their concerns to the Chairman of the Audit Committee, the Chief Executive or the Head of Internal Audit Department in writing and provide supporting documentation where possible. All reports should be sent directly to the following e-mail address which is only accessible by the designated persons mentioned above or post to the following address and marked on the envelope “To be opened by addressee only”:
Chairman of Audit Committee or Chief Executive or Head of Internal Audit Department
Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association
No. 1, MacDonnell Road
Central, Hong Kong
8.2 A log of all allegations received will be maintained and reported to the Audit Committee on a regular basis notwithstanding whether the issue is finally being dealt with under the Whistleblowing Policy.
8.3 The progress of investigation into any allegation covered by the Whistleblowing Policy will be periodically reported to the Audit Committee until the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Audit Committee.
9. Investigation Procedures
9.1 Upon receipt of information from the whistleblower, the Chief Executive and Head of Internal Audit Department, after consulting with the Chairman of Audit Committee, will first review the allegation received to assess whether the matter has any substance and falls under the purview of this Whistleblowing policy.
9.2 The format and length of an investigation will vary depending on the nature and particular circumstances of each reported case. Where appropriate, the matters raised may:
- be investigated internally by Whistleblowing Team
- be referred to the Hong Kong Police Force, Independent Commission Against Corruption (“ICAC”) or other regulatory authorities
- be referred to the appropriate committee of HKYWCA
- be referred to the external auditor
9.3 If the matter falls under the purview of this policy, a Whistleblowing Team, which is made up of the Chairman of the Audit Committee, Chief Executive, Head of Internal Audit Department, and two Board members, where applicable, will collectively make the necessary evaluation of the matter and conduct investigation. Depending upon the circumstances and the expertise required for the investigation, the appointment of Board members will be decided by the Chairman of the Board.
9.4 The Whistleblowing Team has the right to invite any member of management and staff to join the investigation of the allegations, if necessary.
9.5 All allegations will be promptly investigated by the Whistleblowing Team. Upon completion of the investigation, a report on the investigation results and recommendations on the appropriate corrective action will be prepared, without revealing the identity of the Whistleblower, and submitted to the Board of Directors for a final decision on the action required.
9.6 If there is sufficient evidence of the existence of criminal activity or corruption or breach of legal and regulatory requirements, the matter will be referred to relevant regulatory authorities (e.g. the Hong Kong Police Force, ICAC) or external parties (e.g. external auditor). If this is the case, the Whistleblowing Team will seek the approval from the Chairman of the Board before referring the matter to relevant external parties. Once the matter is referred to a regulatory authority or an external party for investigation, HKYWCA will hold further action on the matter until the result of the external investigation is available.
9.7 The Whistleblowing Team will communicate with the whistleblower wherever reasonably practicable on the concern received:
- acknowledging that the concern has been received
- notifying the whistleblower of the final results of the investigation, where appropriate
10. Record Retention and Disposal
10.1 Records and all relevant information relating to all reported malpractices and irregularities under Section 8 of this Policy will be kept for a period of 7 years from the completion date of the investigation (or whatever other period may be specified by any relevant legislation).
10.2 All Information that need not be retained must be physical destructed or disposed of in accordance with associated disposal guidelines.
11. Interpretation and approval of the Policy
11.1 The Board of Directors is responsible for the interpretation of this Policy. Any amendments to this policy must be approved by the Board of Directors.
11.2 The Audit Committee has overall responsibility for the review of this policy.
11.3 The policy is implemented from the date of approval of the Board of Directors.
12.1 The policy is prepared in both English and Chinese language. The English version should prevail in case of any discrepancies between the English and Chinese versions.