Event -“How They Are Coping: Children in the Age of Covid-19”

Members and guests attended a panel discuss on “How They Are Coping: Children in the Age of Covid-19” by Zoom on 9 February 2021.

Panelists

Andrew Adler, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in New York State (US) and has specialised in evaluating and treating a wide range of psychological difficulties for the past 20 years. He is the director of Adler Family Centre in Hong Kong adlerfamilycentre.com.hk. In his work in hospitals, clinics and private practise, Dr. Adler has evaluated and treated the full range of psychological difficulties. He specialises in the treatment of children and teenagers and also provides therapy to adults. Dr. Adler is an expert in conducting psychoeducational and Autism assessments, as well as child custody evaluations. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Family Law Association and Secretary of the Psychotherapy Society of Hong Kong.


Amy Williams (MCoun), has been providing therapeutic services to young people and adults in Hong Kong since 2015. In addition to private practise, Amy’s previous experience has included being a school counsellor for the following international schools: KGV, ICHK, KIS and YMCACC. Amy has been involved in all elements of pastoral care including one-to-one counselling, group therapy, teacher training, intern supervision and training, and the development of support plans. Amy currently works with young people, adults and families in her Central practise – Embrace Counselling HK embracecounsellinghk.com. Amy is an individual member of the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA) and the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).


Rabia Siddiqi (M.Counselling, M.Sc Applied Psychology) is the mental health counsellor at Integrate hk, integratehk.hk. She provides face-to-face and online counselling to a diverse group of children, adolescents and adults. She utilizes a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) in her practise. She also incorporates mindfulness techniques and principles of positive psychology to support the individual needs of her clients. In her work as an educator, Rabia has extensive experience working with primary school children who have had various academic and social-emotional challenges. She provides individual and small group interventions for emotional and behavioural issues. She is a full member of the Hong Kong Professional Counselling Association (HKPCA), Hong Kong Society of Counselling and Psychology (HKSCP) and Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

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How divorce and family stress activates underlying traumas, abuse and grief

Members and guests attended a talk by Dr. Monica Borschel on Wednesday 10 June 2020 by Zoom.

About Dr. Monica Borschel

Dr. Monica Borschel is a Clinical Psychologist at the MindNLife Clinic in Central. She helps individuals and families cope with loss, trauma and custody disputes. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in New York, and a PhD in Social Work and Social Administration from The University of Hong Kong. She is a Bricklin Custody evaluator and an EMDR practitioner, as well as a member of the American Psychological Association, American Counselling Association and the Hong Kong Family Law Association.

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Announcement by the Judiciary – Resumption of Court Proceedings Following the General Adjournment Period

The Judiciary announced today (April 22) that the General Adjourned Period (“GAP”), which started on January 29, will end on May 3. From May 4, all court proceedings will generally resume as safely as circumstances permit. In the same way, court and tribunal registries will also start to re-open by stages from May 6, the first stage including the registries of the Court of Final Appeal and the High Court. Having regard to the public health situation and the need for social distancing, court business will initially be conducted under reduced capacity. This will be closely monitored and adjustments made where appropriate.

See the notice in full here.

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Announcement by Judiciary – GAP


The Judiciary has announced that in view of the ongoing coronavirus, the General Adjourned Period (“GAP”), which has been in effect since January 29, will be extended for two weeks from March 23 (Monday) until April 5 (Sunday). The GAP will then be reviewed having regard to the prevailing public health situation.

Court hearings originally scheduled for March 24 (Tuesday) to April 5 (Sunday), will generally be adjourned. Only urgent and essential hearings shall be held as directed by the court. Parties will be notified if their hearings will be held as scheduled during these two weeks.

Other urgent and essential hearings will continue to be handled in accordance with the established mechanisms, including the Duty Judge system.

For further information on the GAP and Preventative measures taken by the Judiciary see https://www.judiciary.hk/en/home/index.html or call the Family Court: 2840 1218

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Announcement by Judiciary – Resumption of Court Proceedings Following the General Adjournment Period


The Judiciary announced today (March 6) that plans are being made for orderly resumption of court proceedings upon the cessation of the General Adjourned Period (“GAP”) on March 22, if the prevailing public health situation permits, and that court registries will start to re-open stage by stage from next week, the first stage including the Court of Final Appeal Registry, the High Court Registry, the Probate Registry and the Competition Tribunal Registry on March 9.

Gradual resumption of court proceedings

All hearings of the courts/tribunals originally scheduled between March 9 and March 22 have been generally adjourned. The courts will however continue to handle urgent and essential hearings and/or matters during this period. The updated list of urgent and essential hearings and matters is uploaded onto the Judiciary website for reference of court users and the public.

The Judiciary will continue to post updated information on the Judiciary website (www.judiciary.hk).

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Supporting Litigants in Person – the English experience

Members and guests attended a talk by Professor Peter Crisp on Thursday 16 January 2020 at Withers’ office. Professor Crisp presented his talk Supporting Litigants in Person – The English Experience through the lens of his work with Support Through Court a legal charity serving England and Wales.

Support Through Court offers assistance to litigants navigating the civil and family courts. Their aim is to help clients represent themselves to the best of their abilities with practical services, such as assistance with court forms, gathering evidence and information on how to present cases in court.

The number of litigants representing themselves in England and Wales rose significantly following extensive Legal Aid cuts in 2014. Limitations on legal aid within family proceedings saw a rise in private law applications initiated by litigants in person. In 2017 Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, told the House of Commons justice committee that the increase is ‘deeply worrying’.

It is vital that litigants in person have the tools they need to participate actively and constructively in the family law process. Equally, this represents particular challenges for lawyers and Judges working in the area.

The FLA thanks Professor Crisp for his informative talk and inspiration for better services for litigants in person.

Resources for litigants in person in Hong Kong SAR include: –

General resources

About Professor Peter Crisp

Having read Philosophy as an undergraduate, Peter switched to law qualifying as a Barrister at the Chancery Bar specialising in property and land law. Peter began his career in legal education at BPP Law School in 1997 as a lecturer on the Graduate Diploma in Law and Bar programmes. He served as Dean and CEO of BPP Law School from 2003 to 2017 and was a co-founder of BPP University. Peter is non-executive Chairman of Support Through Court, a major legal charity which supports litigants in person through the civil and family courts.

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Resource Update – Specialised Co-parenting Support Centres

Members of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Family Law Association attended a sharing session with the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong, the Social Welfare Department and several NGOs on 18 December 2019.

The session was an information sharing exercise to promote greater understanding of stakeholders in the provision of new services to support families going through separation and divorce. These services will be provided by NGOs and designated Specialised Co-parenting Support Centres (SCSCs).

The SCSCs assist the parents to carry out parental responsibilities under the child-focused principles, strengthen parent-child connection and provide support to children affected by parental separation/divorce and family change to promote their healthy growth and development.

Services are offered free of charge and distributed throughout Hong Kong.

The NGOS involved are:-

  • Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council (CMAC)
  • Hong Kong Family Welfare Society (HKFWS)
  • The Boys and Girls Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BGCA)
  • St. James’ Settlement

The SCSCs will assist parents to carry out their parental responsibilities aided by child-focused principle to strengthen parent-child connection and provide support to children affected by parental separation/divorce and family change to promote their healthy growth and development.

Specific services offered are as follows: 

  • Co-parenting Counselling Service ‘CPC’
  • Parenting Co-ordination service 
  • Supervised Contact & Exchange Service
  • Child focused co-parenting workshop & Talk
  • Therapeutic Group Course
  • Mutual Help Group and Volunteer Service

For further information you may visit the Social Welfare Department or speak to a family law professional 

https://www.swd.gov.hk/en/textonly/site_pubsvc/page_family/sub_listofserv/id_scsc/

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HKFLA Christmas Quiz 2019

Members and guests attended the HKFLA Christmas Quiz on Wednesday 4 December 2019. We were honoured to have the Honourable Mr Justice Coleman to be our Court of Appeal. This event is one of the most popular in the Family Law Association Annual Calendars and was as ever well attended.

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Chairman's Report for the Hong Kong Family Law Association 33rd AGM Monday 4th November 2019

Please view the Chairman’s Report here.

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AGM and Talk on 4 November 2019

Dear Members

Our AGM was held on 4 November 2019. The meeting was followed with a talk by Mr. Grenville Cross on “Children and Protection from the Criminal Justice System”. Mr Cross is the Patron of Against Child Abuse and Honorary Consultant to the Child Protection Institute. His talk was focused on the Protection of Children from the Criminal Justice System.

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