Over 600 private institutions offering social work services are currently operating in China, according to a statement released by the China Association of Social Workers (CASW) on Thursday.
The institutions provide services in fields concerning people’s livelihood, national unity, community services and criminal rehabilitation, the CASW said.
Lu Shizhen, an official with the CASW, said that private social work institutions have made rapid progress in recent years, but only take 10 percent of the total number of social work institutions in China, compared to 60 percent in the United States and Hong Kong.
Moreover, imbalanced development is apparent in different areas and fields, Lu added.
“The private institutions should improve their levels by combining international conventions with national conditions, and a batch of social workers who have good professional skills and understand national conditions should be cultivated,” Lu said.
A long-term plan (2011-2020) for developing a national social work system has been jointly made by 19 departments, including the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) central committee, the Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs of the CPC Central Committee and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The plan said that China will establish 50 national-level bases aimed at cultivating 80,000 private social work institutions by 2020.