Working with involuntary clients: Perceptions and experiences of outreach social workers in Hong Kong

Wing Hong Chui, Kit Mui Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The outreach social work service is one of the dominant youth work approaches in dealing with delinquents and youths 'at-risk in Hong Kong. Yet this approach presents particular challenges. Outreach social workers usually play an active role in initiating and establishing contacts with young people, yet young people are reluctant to engage with the outreach social workers and are resistant towards therapeutic change. To date, little is known about what strategies and techniques are most effective in dealing with client resistance in this context. The aims of this paper are to gain a better understanding of the common resistant behaviours that outreach social workers usually encounter in their day-to-day practice, and to investigate how the outreach social workers respond to their clients' resistance with reference to case examples given in the in-depth interviews. The findings of this study provide evidence that whilst client resistance is common in the outreach social work setting, social workers' patience as well as sensitivity are essential in resolving resistance and building up a rapport with clients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-222
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Work Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Hong Kong
  • Involuntary clients
  • Outreach social work
  • Resistance
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Drug guides


Dive into the research topics of 'Working with involuntary clients: Perceptions and experiences of outreach social workers in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this