"Strength" community: the role of community development services in SARS

Kwok-Kin Fung, Suet-Lin Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Studies on disaster have been criticised as putting too much emphasis on individual therapy. The community perspective highlights the significance of the sociopolitical factors in causing disasters and intervention at the community level. This paper, examining the contribution of community development services during the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, reveals the significance of establishing an extensive network of vulnerable groups and community organising groundwork in times of crisis. Intervention during the SARS crisis included crisis intervention, providing community education, promoting community care, community participation and supporting the unemployed. After SARS, the focus was on reinforcing the spirit of mutual help, anti-discrimination and reconstructing positive shared meanings of the disaster. In mobilising community resources, the concept of the "strength" community has been confirmed. The SARS experience has revealed that, although disasters are becoming complex and global, remedies can be found in the local community. Community is an important disaster resource.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHong Kong Journal of Social Work
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004

User-Defined Keywords

  • SARS
  • Disaster
  • Community Development


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