The Ministries of Civil Affairs, Education and Finance, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the All-China Women’s Federation have jointly issued the “Guidance on how to make best use of social work professionals in the protection of rural left-behind children”. The guidance puts forward a series of policies and measures to support and guide social work professionals that work for the protection of rural left-behind children.
The Guidance clearly defines the main tasks of social work professionals working with left-behind children: 1) assisting in the rescue and protection work; 2) carrying out family education guidance; 3) actively providing social care services.
In response to the issues of the weakness of social work and the flawed mechanisms of protection of left-behind children in rural areas, the guidance points out the need to: 1) strengthen the training and development of professionals; 2) actively cultivate and develop social work service institutions; 3) promote the construction of social work service stations in villages and towns; 4) increase the employment of social work professionals in relevant units.
The guidance puts forward requirements on strengthening the organizational leadership, safeguard measures and policy promotion. In terms of the organizational leadership, the guidance defines the responsibilities and mission of the government bodies that issued it, in other words the Ministries of Civil Affairs, Education and Finance, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League and the All-China Women’s Federation. When it comes to strengthening safeguard measures, the Ministry of Civil Affairs will participate in social service projects through social organizations and conduct a social work professional service plan to support related projects in rural areas. Departments at all levels will further bring suitable projects on left-behind children protection into the government purchase guidance catalogue, supporting information collection, investigation and evaluation for the protection work of rural left-behind children. In order to strengthen policy promotion, the guidance requires carrying out pilot studies in areas with a high demand, and then establishing a number of demonstration pilot projects to serve as examples.