Social Work and Social Administration: a rapidly developing profession in China

In the process of constructing a stable, harmonious society for the well-being of her citizens, China is in great demand for professionally trained social workers and social administrators, and it is certain that the career prospect for our graduates is very promising.

Employment Opportunities in China

In 2006, a policy statement was released at the 6th National Congress of the 16th Communist Party of China Central Committee. This policy statement proclaimed that a “large” social work force was needed to help build a harmonious society. Since then  professional status of social workers is officially recognized and social work posts begin to establish within government structure. Governments of numerous cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, play a leading role in subsidizing social work projects.

By the same policy the Ministry of Civil Affairs is committed to develop a better Social Administration work force, generally referred as the Civil Affairs Work Force, to administer social security provisions, disaster relief, elderly care and neighborhood development. Social administrators will work hand in hand with social workers as a better welfare system develops.

Social workers and social administrators are also in demand in other public services including healthcare services, educational services, legal and judicial services, low cost housing services and many other areas.  

SWSA graduates are well recognized for their professional competencies and specialized skills. The trajectory of their career development is promising. Job opportunities exist in various government departments and a wide range of public and private social welfare agencies and institutions. Some of these graduates proceed to pursue postgraduate studies in China, Hong Kong, or overseas. Other graduates move into careers, which include

  • Civil affairs and social welfare: Social security, family services, children and youth, school social work, elderly services, rehabilitation services, medical social work, forensic social work and community development
  • Social management and administration: Service coordination and management, social planning and social research
  • Careers working with people: Human resources, public relations, insurance and
  • Customer Services.

 

Strategic Partnerships

A close partnership between the Department of Social Work of the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), a pioneer in social work training in the territory, and SWSA has been developed since our establishment. The curriculum of the Programme is endorsed by the HKBU social work colleague from whom a faculty member is appointed to serve as our external examiner.

Regarding local service partners we joined hand with the Zhuhai Luixiang Street Office and the Hong Kong Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council to set up the Zhuhai Kangning Neighbourhood Mutual-Aid Association.

Recently, the Programme and the Zhuhai Social Welfare Centre have been working on a number of projects including the Pre-School Special Education Service, Rehabilitation services and general Social Work Services.

For 3 consecutive years since 2011, we organized at the Welfare Center a series of workshops and training programs on services for the older people. Attendees included administrators of elderly service agencies and licensed social work professionals in Zhuhai. Lately, we are designated to operate a pioneer project of Outreaching Social Work services to all (16) public Elderly Homes in Zhuhai.

In 2013, the College has entered into Strategic Partnership agreement with the City of Zhuhai and among other areas helping the city to further social work provisions is highlighted.

SWSA has also established close cooperation with a number of overseas universities particularly member institutions of the Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC).

From Augsburg College Dr. Christina Erickson, came to join our work as a visiting scholar in the spring semester of 2012. She taught two social work courses and lectured at a number of workshops and college extra-curricular events.

We have plans to further formulate agreements with Universities regionally and internationally to arrange summer courses, exchanges and overseas study options. Placement opportunities in the United States, Canada, Singapore and Taiwan etc. will be explored.

The SWSA programme at UIC is also member of:

  • The International Association of Schools of Social Work
  • Asian and Pacific Association for Social Work Education
  • China Federation of Social Work Education and Standing Committee of Southern China Region