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Improving social work education

Author  :  WANG GUANGLU     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-09-24

A forum on social work and social development over the 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China was held in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province. Scholars and experts held in-depth discussions on the current theory and practice of social work and explored social work’s future development. 

Peng Huamin, a professor from the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Nanjing University, put forward that social work is in accordance with a conception of development centered on sharing. Improving people’s wellbeing remains a key task for social work. In the future, we should further innovate in social work and social governance, and we should take action pushing forward the transformation of government functions, building a new-type governance structure with multi-participation and establishing community-based social organizations.

Song Quancheng, a professor from the School of Philosophy and Social Development at Shandong University, said that the aging population is a severe issue facing human beings. Responding to such an issue requires the establishment of a social service system for elderly care with joint efforts from households, communities and institutions, which is a long-term strategic task. As the establishment of the above-mentioned old-age service system is at its primary stage, we have to address such issues as lack of overall planning, conflicts between supply and demand, shortage of infrastructure and capital, low professionalism, and the ineffective implementation of policies. We should leverage government functions, strengthen the construction of institutions, mechanisms and institutes for elderly care, increase capital input, support home care, and improve community-based services. We should also make efforts to encourage investment in the elderly care industry and improve standard services for the elderly. 

Guan Xinping, executive vice president of the China Association for Social Work Education, put forward that social work and social work education have entered a critical stage. A constantly increasing supply of social work talent has strongly supported the area’s development. However, the standard level of social work services and the quality of talent cultivation need to be enhanced, while government and society should pay more attention to social work. Universities should focus on both the theoretical and practical training of social work talent, conduct teaching reforms, improve education quality, push ahead with effective social work internships and enhance students’ capability.

Peng added that university teachers’ capability for social work includes their identification with the job, ability to do research and teaching skills. Currently, social work education mechanisms need to be improved and stronger support should be given to social work practices in terms of capital input and the evaluation of teachers’ performances. Through such international cooperation programs as visits to institutions and short-term training, teachers can broaden their horizons and reflect on their work. By comparing teaching and practice, they will be able to better understand local social work situations and carry out teaching and practice in a better manner. 

 

(Edited by SU XUAN)

Editor: Yu Hui

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