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Shenzhen needs 65,000 social workers by 2010
Latest Updated by 2006-12-14 09:17:52

SHENZHEN is expected to need four times as many social workers over the next four years to meet growing social welfare needs, officials with the municipal civil affairs bureau said yesterday.


The move is expected to provide social services with an ideal ratio of one social worker for every 600 Shenzheners.


A new registration scheme will also be implemented for all social workers, including the existing 17,000 staff, which will provide clear criteria and instructions for the professionals.


Candidates will be required to obtain national certificates in related fields, and be classified as assistant social workers, social workers and senior social workers, according to the officials.


The expected 65,000 social workers will work to help orphaned children, senior citizens and people with disabilities.


Meanwhile, five communities in Yantian and Longgang districts have established the city's first social services centers for needy residents, providing mental consultancy and special care for the elderly and children in the community.


"To maintain its top ranking among mainland cities, Shenzhen urgently needs to build its social services for a harmonious society,"said a spokesman surnamed Chen from the municipal civil affairs bureau.


Chen believed providing such a system within a few years was feasible.


"Shenzhen had 160,000 registered volunteers within two decades, and this gives us a good foundation for the future social services,"Chen said.


He expected some of the volunteers to become full-time paid social workers.


According to a survey conducted by the municipal committee of the Communist Youth League of China, more than 42 percent of Shenzheners have served as volunteers, and nearly 85 percent believe volunteers are highly recognized by society.


Social work was first recognized as an occupation in China in 2004.


According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, China is now facing a severe shortfall of social workers.


At present, there is on average just one social worker for 1,000 needy people in China. Poor educational backgrounds and lack of professional training are believed to be the major reasons hindering the number of social workers.


Li Liguo, vice minister of the Civil Affairs Ministry, was cited by Xinhua as saying at Tuesday's state-level meeting in Shenzhen that the shortage in the number of social workers has led to many social problems, especially when society is undergoing rapid economic reform and social development.


The ministry is expected to train some 100,000 professional social workers before 2010.


Editor: Wing

By:Tan Xiaomi Source:Szdaily web edition
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