Art Intervention for primary school children with risks of domestic violence: a community parent-child approach

Partnering Organization

Caritas-Hong Kong

Project Period

Sep 2021 – Apr 2024


80-120 pairs of parent-and-child service users with risks of family violence in 10 primary schools and 3 children & youth centres

How it works

The project adopts a parent-child based, psycho-educational approach to provide parent-child art therapy group sessions for primary school children and their parents with signs/risks of domestic violence or single/reconstructed family referred by the school or the Integrative Children and Youth Service Centre. The project includes:

  • Four series of 12-session group creativity workshops in a joyful, playful, and safe setting
  • Sessions for parents to understand their children’s developmental needs
  • Training workshops on art facilitation for social workers in school and community settings
  • Co-working training and coaching for social workers
  • A handbook will be compiled to share the structure and execution of parent-child art facilitation workshops for teachers, social workers and other professionals


The project makes use of the arts to provide a joyful, self-directed and safe platform for children with risks of family violence to release their inner feelings through creative activity, facilitate effective counselling, and promote developmental growth.

At the end of each series, the children and the parents will show improvements in expressiveness, engagement, social interaction and teamwork.

Project sustainability

Dr Sophia Law will document and write up a handbook in using the arts in social services for families with domestic violence, “train-the-trainers” is a core part of the project for future sustainability. Ms Sarah Tong, the art therapist will adopt a co-working approach in training the social workers on the value of art facilitation, and how to implement the activities, so that beyond this programme, they can continue to use art with children and their parents. The collaboration of school social work and community centre will render holistic support to the families with risks in various aspects.

Why Art as an Intervention?

Children with risks of family problems / domestic violence:
  • Stress
  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Insecurity
  • Cognitive delays
  • Delays in social & emotional development
Art therapy helps them:
  • Disclose their inner feelings
  • Develop cognitive skills
  • Express emotions without words
  • Uncover repressed memories
  • Grow in resilience