As of June 30, China has built over 21,000 township or street-level social service centers, employing more than 53,000 social workers, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) at its 2022 mid-year meeting.
Seven provinces have achieved full coverage of township social service centers, and 17 have exceeded 50 percent. The current national coverage rate is 56 percent.
In the first half of 2022, the construction of social service centers was highly valued and emphasized in various national-level documents on grassroots governance, rural revitalization and employment promotion.
In addition, the MCA has incorporated the construction of social work stations into the overall arrangements for pandemic prevention and control work, people’s livelihoods and civil affairs reform.
As the number of these centers grows and they expand into central and western provinces and rural areas, social services will become more and more accessible for more people.
In the future, social service centers will play a significant role in promoting employment, ensuring people’s livelihoods, and improving the capacity of grassroots civil affairs services. This will require the relevant departments to further strengthen their policies and funding of the centers, adapt measures based on the centers’ local conditions, and improve supervision and risk management.