A circular published by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in mid-February summarized the development of the social work sector in 2017 with detailed figures. By the end of 2017, 312,089 social work posts had been created in both urban and rural communities, relevant public institutions and social organizations. Compared with 2016, the number of posts had increased by 38,643. Most posts were at the grassroots level, for instance in villages and rural communities, accounting for 74.3% of the total.
Over the course of the year, 36,485 social work service stations were set up, and 7,511 social work service agencies and 750 social work associations were established. 326,574 people obtained certificates as assistant social workers and social workers, compared to 287,367 people in 2016. Out of these, there were over 60,000 new social workers in Guangdong, over 20,000 in Beijing, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and over 10,000 in Liaoning, Shanghai, Fujian, Shandong, Sichuan and Shaanxi.
These signs of progress partly contributed to the raising of funds spent in the social work sector. The circular shows that in 2017, the amount of funds invested in social work reached 5.11 billion yuan, of which over 1.8 billion was invested in Guangdong and over 1.3 billion yuan in Shanghai.