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Social Work Seminar of ‘Experience and challenges of China’s social work development’ held in CWU

On the afternoon of December 21st, 2016, the seminar with the theme of “The experience and challenges of China’s social work development” delivered by professor Wang Sibin was held in China Women’s University (CWU). The seminar was hosted by Liu Meng---vice president of CWU. Students of 2016 Mofcom Foreign Aid Degree Program and the postgraduate students majoring in social work attended the seminar.

The seminar was aiming at helping students better understand social work through introducing China’s practices in social work and experience in terms of problem solving. The seminar was a complete success, with the support of leaders of CWU and China Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). The major speaker was Wang Sibin, a professor of Peking University, director of sociology department, the chairman of China Association of Social Workers and honorary chairman of CASWE.


Professor Wang first introduced the history and status quo of China’s social work and elaborated on the experience accumulated during the development. He also analyzed the problems and the prospect of China’s social work in the future. Professor Wang briefed the students with the development of China’s social work from different aspects. Since the concept was introduced to China in the 1920s, social work has been facing the problem of the localization of foreign theories and practices. This problem was demonstrated in terms of aspects such as teaching, practice and theory studies. Professor Wang proposed to combine international standard practices with China’s concrete conditions and that education should be prioritized. There are two kinds of teams in China’s social work. One is the professional team which serves the communities in cities. The other is nonprofessional team which serves people at grassroots level in rural areas. How to deal with the relations between these two teams is another problem of great concern. Professor Wang analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of these two kinds of teams and put forward creative solutions, namely embedded development and mutually reinforcing development. In this way, we can give full play to the respective advantages of professional team and “barefoot social workers” and enable them to draw on advantages of each other to better serve the society. China’s social work is led by the government, which provides support in terms of policy and resources and the work is implemented and promoted by professionals. As to which one should be prioritized, the government or the professionals, professor Wang proposed that professionalization should be pushed forward first, which was in line with Chinese characteristics.

Professor Wang had strong sense of humor. He used many illustrious examples and put forward questions, such as math problems. Students responded actively. The atmosphere was very relaxing and exciting. In the Q&A section, attendees exchanged the experience of social work in different countries and discussed how to provide social service work for women in rural areas and whether we should choose professional method or nonprofessional methods. Professor Wang gave detailed answers to every question and Vice president Liu Meng explained some terms which are with Chinese characteristics, such as “barefoot doctors”. The seminar was concluded in a sound atmosphere.