Social work and volunteer services are subsumed into China’s rural areas revival strategy

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The CPC Central Committee and the State Council recently published China’s rural areas Revival Strategy (during 2018 to 2022). Social work and volunteer services are mentioned in the 27th chapter, strengthening grassroots political power, and the 30th chapter, increasing the supply of rural public services.

A few of the main points listed in Chapter 27 are as follows. The government aims to move the gravity of rural administration downwards, and help first-line managers to utilise the available resources and services and innovate the service methods of the public sector to facilitate and satisfy the public’s demands. They will also promote the standardisation of the rural service system. “One-step service” platforms will be established, and there will be a separate online station in each village. The government will foster and develop social organisations, and encourage them to participate in rural social construction and volunteer services.

Chapter 30 also contains some key points regarding social services. Rural areas are a continuing focus of national social development strategies, including in public education, health services and social security. Education is considered to be a major part of the development plan for rural areas. Overall planning for schools providing basic education has thus become a major part of ensuring that a high-quality education is offered to students. Rural public health services will be spread to more places, and basic health management services will be provided to more rural citizens. As for social security, the government will strengthen the rural social security system, including optimising the social pension insurance system and the medical insurance system. Through the government purchase of public services, it aims to set up posts for public administration and social services, encourage professionals in social work or volunteers to provide services to the left-behind children, the elderly and women and underprivileged children, and to improve the quality of public services.