Social work with youth in social withdrawal: in-home and beyond-home intervention modalities

Victor C W WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses the characteristics and the process of in-home and beyond-home social work intervention with young people suffering from social withdrawal in the form of chronic self-seclusion at home. These young people are characterized by their socially avoidant behaviour and are deprived of the enjoyment of legitimate social status as a student, worker or trainee. As a way of confronting this problem, 'start where the client is' - an age-old social work intervention principle - can be read in a literal sense, i.e. taking home as a secure place for rapport-building and initial intervention with the clients to pave the way for further intervention beyond the home setting, both online and offline. Drawing on qualitative interviews with youth clients and social workers, it is argued that adopting a flexible, informal and tailor-made approach to working with youth in silent and invisible disengagement from the rest of society has to take into consideration spatial, relational and organizational dimensions of intervention modalities and possibilities if the goal of youth reengagement is to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-174
Number of pages14
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • beyond-home intervention
  • hikikomori
  • in-home intervention
  • informality
  • social withdrawal
  • youth


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