University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-298
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Work Education
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2010


Service users' and carers' involvement in health and social care education has become a mainstream activity in Britain. However, members from black and minority ethnic communities (BME) remain under-represented in this area of participation. In this article, we will take the readers across the globe to explore the difficulties and opportunities of engaging such an under-represented group, the Chinese community. The journey will begin in Britain where barriers to engagement of service users and carers from the Chinese community will be discussed. We will then travel to Hong Kong, a cosmopolitan city, where successful engagement in work with Chinese service users and carers will be explored. Throughout the journey, we will highlight the importance of the consideration of cultural factors, particularly Confucian beliefs such as social harmony and collectivism, when working with Chinese people. We will also fully explore the issue of ‘trust’ as a culturally laden concept in Chinese societies and its significance for successful engagement in work with Chinese service users and carers in different parts of the world.


This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Social Work Education on 25 June 2010, available online at:

ID: 12549045