07 Caring Community


1. Structural issues:focus on social structures
2. Vulnerable groups
  • children, disabled, aged, ethnic minorities and poor families
  • difficult to mobilize individual resources (including personal ability, financial asset and social network etc.) to deal with crisis
  • more prone to having crisis comparing with the general public
  • need timely and additional assistance
3. Economic crises
Effects on communities, families and vulnerable groups
  • Communities
    • Change in the income of the general public will lead to a change in consumption pattern and dietary habits.
  • Families
    • Increases in working hours may lead to the increase in work pressure and tension between family life and work and thus the family relationship may deteriorate.
  • Vulnerable groups
    • Cut in public expenditure, esp. on social welfare which may affect the accessibility and the quality of services provided for the vulnerable groups.
Effects on individual health and well-being
  • Physical
    • Psychosomatic disorders
    • Not able to maintain basic standard of living
  • Mental
    • Triggers the feelings of depression
  • Social
    • People may withdraw from some social activities to reduce expenditure



Coming Soon
4. Family changes and their effects
Family structure
  • A nuclear family
    • a couple living with their dependent children in the same residence
  • An extended family
    • a nuclear or single-parent family living together with other relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in the same household
  • A stem family
    • a multiple family, living in the same household, in which the relationship between family members extends vertically; for example, a household consisting of a married couple, their children and the husband’s elderly parents
  • A reconstituted family / blended family
    • a couple with at least one partner who has divorced and remarried and which includes children from their previous relationship(s)
  • A single-parent family
    • a parent, who may or may not have been married, lives with one or more of his/her children
Family disintegration
  • Mental aspect
    • traumatic events that have a profound and lasting psychological impact such as grief
  • Social aspect
    • readjustment to new family relationships
  • Physical aspect
    • possible care deprivation due to the change in family financial situation
Single parent households and the consequences
  • Role confusion
    • e.g. children assume parent roles in the family
  • Contradictory cultural values
    • e.g. women take care of children / take up new career skills and seek a job after divorce
5. Displacement and migration
Population displacement
  • may result from natural disaster, human activities such as dam project, war, job, education, family reunion etc
Impacts on health
  • Physical
    • Health risks due to the change in living environment and lifestyles
  • Mental
    • Stressor / need for identity /self-image/ sense of belonging in the new community
  • Social
    • Change in community bonds and support networks
Possible risks of displaced groups or migrants
  • Possible care deprivation in displaced population
    • lack of access to health care information and related services
  • Readjustment to new environment: employment, study and social network
6. Community and Social Support Network
Social support
  • resources and encouragement received from social network, government and non-government organisations (NGOs)
Types of help
  • Emotional support
  • Friendship
  • Practical assistance
  • Suggestions and information
Social Support Network
  • Tight Social Network
  • Loose Social Network
7. Community Bond
Breakdown due to
  • technology advancement
  • individualism
  • long and irregular working hours
  • high mobility of community
Possible negative consequences
  • lack of communication among people
  • ignorance on their living communities and support
  • crimes in community
  • social disorder

Latest Update: October 2019





Tasks & Worksheets

Coming Soon

Assessing my learning

  • What are social changes?
  • How do social factors affect the health of a community?
  • What are the functions of the social support network?