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Dr. AU LIU Suk Ching Elaine (區廖淑貞博士)

Bachelor of Social Science (Sociology), Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1979
Master of Social Work, University of Hong Kong, 1982
Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Administration, University of Hong Kong, 2000

Assistant Head (Student Life and Learning, and Community Outreach), Department of Applied Social Sciences

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences

Residence Master, Jockey Club Humanity Hall

Contact Information

Office: Y7321 AC1
Phone: 34428768
Fax: 34420283
Email: Elaine.Au@cityu.edu.hk

Research Interests

  • Youth development, empowerment and services
  • Volunteerism
  • Runaway young adolescents
  • Parent-child Relationship
  • Family
I joined Department of Applied Social Studies, City Polytechnic of Hong Kong as a Lecturer in 1990 teaching Social Work courses. Today, I am an Associate Professor and Assistant Head (Student Life and Learning, and Community Outreach) of the same Department in City University of Hong Kong. I have developed and taught the course Introduction to Social Work for our Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work program since 1992 and three other courses namely Working with Individuals and Families, Working with Children and Families, and Counseling Children and Youth for social work and counseling students.

Before joining City University of Hong Kong, I had various experiences working for different target groups in the Hong Kong community. From 1979-80, I was a relief worker in one of the Vietnamese refugee camps in Hong Kong. From 1982 to 1990, I joined the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and worked in various positions from serving as a school social worker at four different schools to a supervisor of the school social work team and a youth counselling center during the time I was with the Federation.

My research interest and publication areas circle around youth and their relationship with families, and youth development and empowerment. As both a social worker and an academia, my vision is to create and discover innovative ways to practice what I believe about youth and their rights for positive development. In teaching, I adopt experiential and realistic ways to increase students’ motivation to learn. In my role as the Residence Master of the Jockey Club Humanity Hall since 2002, I implement whole-person development, group commitment, and sense of community as core values to build the hall culture. As the founder of the City-Youth Empowerment Project in 2005, I reach out to students from the whole university and provide them with community service opportunities to work with target groups ranging from emotional children, ethnic-minority youths, disabled youth, youth who have committed minor crimes…to hidden elderlies, the homeless etc. to promote social values of social inclusion, social justice and anti-discrimination. Today, the project is funded by the University Central Fund for teaching and learning initiatives for an annual enrollment of 1200 volunteers, rendering 15000 hours of services to over 30 community projects a year. For more information: https://www.facebook.com/sscyep.

I have published in international journals on various youth topics with recent focus on youth empowerment and volunteerism. I have also provided research consultancy work and training in the areas of youth development and youth policy in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. From 2004-2010, I was appointed by the Hong Kong Government to be a member of the Commission on Youth. I had also convened the 1st International Conference on Youth Empowerment: A Cross Cultural Exchange in May 2004 and the 2nd International Conference on Youth Empowerment: Empowering Youth through Volunteerism in June 2006. I was also one of the founding members of the Youth Studies Net and its Director from 2004-2006 in our department.

Award and Achievement

  • 2014 “Teaching Excellence Award” City University of Hong Kong .
  • Dec 2013 “Bronze Prize for the Highest Service Hours Award” Agency of Volunteer Service. Award to the City-Youth Empowerment Project.
  • Dec 2013 “Award for Continued Contribution in Volunteer Service (Education Institution) ” Boys’ and Girls’ Club Association (Shatin District). Award to City-Youth Empowerment Project.
  • 2013 “Knowledge Transfer Prize of Merit ” CityU CLASS.
  • 2001 “Contribution to Learning Award” Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, CityU .

Previous Experience

  • 1982 - 1990, ASWO and SWO, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. Social Worker and Social Work Supervisor.
  • 1979 - 1980, Program Secretary, Association of Volunteer Service . Relief work in one of the Vietnamese Refugee Camp in Hong Kong.

Research Grant

  • City-youth Empowerment Project, Teaching and Learning Fund, City University of Hong Kong, 2013 - 2014, Liu S.C. (PI), Lo T.W. (CO-I), Wu J.(CO-I), and Hui A. (CO-I).
  • Youth Problems & Youth Services in Macau SAR: A Blueprint for the New Millennium – A Follow-up Study, Social Work Bureau, Macau Government, 2011 - 2013, T.W. Lo (PI) E.S.C. Liu (Co-I) Chris Cheng (Co-I) .
  • Volunteer Motives, Role Identities and Sustained Volunteerism: An Intergenerational Comparison, GRF, UGC, 2010 - 2011, T.W.Lo (PI) E.S.C.Liu (Co-I) T Rochelle (Co-I) J. Cheung (Co-I).
  • A Study of Youth Needs in Tseung Kwan O, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, 2009 - 2010, T.W.Lo (PI) E.S.C. Liu (Co-PI).
  • Volunteer Motives, Role Identities and Sustained Volunteer, Strategic Research Grant, CityU, 2008 - 2009, T.W. Lo (PI) Elaine Au (Co-I) T. Rochelle (Co-I) J. Wu (Co-I).

Publication Show All Publications Show Prominent Publications


  • Wu, J. , Liu, S.C. & Lo, T.W. (2009). Psychometric Properties of the Volunteer Function Inventory with Chinese Students. Journal of Community Psychology. vol. 37, no. 6. 769 - 780.
  • Cheung, C.K. & Liu, S.C. (2005). Factors Underlying Junior High School Students’ Seeking Help from Social Services. Childhood. 2, 2005, Vol. 12. 55 - 69.
  • Cheung, C.K. , Liu, S.C. & Lee, T.Y. (Summer 2005). Parents, Teachers and Peers and Early Adolescent Runaway in Hong Kong. Adolescence. Vol. 40, No. 158. 403 - 424.
  • Liu, S.C. (2005). Perceived Parent-child Adjustment in the Family Reunification among a Group of Runaway Adolescent. Journal of Adolescence. Vol. 28, Issue 6. 687 - 707.

Book Chapter

  • Liu, S.C. , Holosko, M. & Lo, T.W. (Ed.). (2008). Onward and Upward: Youth are the Future. Youth Empowerment and Volunteerism: Principles, Policies and Practices. (pp. 298 - 306). Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong Press.
  • Liu, S.C. & Au, K.L. (Mar 2006). Equipping life. One Hundred Articles by Writers and Celebrities on Anti-corruption and Integrity. ICAC.

Last update date : 02 Jul 2014