Shenzhen, the pioneer of Chinese social work

In 2006, on the party's sixth plenary of sixteen session, the strategic deployment of constructing a great team of professional social workers was put forward. Since then, it is a natural choice of China to develop social work, in order to build a harmonious society as well as to promote economical and social development. Guided by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Department of Civil Affairs of Guangdong Province and the Municipal government, and with the support of the relevant departments, Shenzhen has now built up the modern system of social work, constructed a Shenzhen-styled model of social work, which is led by the government, runned by the society, and performed with professionalism and specialism. This kind of social work has made great contributions to social services, community management, social construction and many other aspects, and has become the role model of social work services in China. Shenzhen municipal party committee and the municipal government put forward the “Opinions on advancing the workforce of social workers and propelling the construction of social work industry” along with seven supporting documents (known as “the 1+7 documents”), the definite system serves as the backbone of social work development in the city.


By 2016, Shenzhen has 8230 social workers with professional qualifications, fostered 7234 full-time social workers, 804 local supervisors, 180 private social work agencies and 668 community party-masses service centers, delivering professional social work services throughout the city, extending to new districts and communities. Services cover 14 major areas: the elderly, youths, women and children, community residents, education, medical affairs, the disabled, jurisdiction, drug control, enterprise affairs, military and ethnic minorities. Shenzhen is building up a modern system of social work, playing an important role in social services, community management as well as social development. Social work in Shenzhen is now shaping into a system with Chinese characteristic and Shenzhen style.


With the outstanding efforts, privatized operation, and the professional standard, Shenzhen social work has become the model of social work development in mainland China. In November 2009, Shenzhen was honored “National pilot city of social work”. In 2012, the “privatization and professionalization of social work in Shenzhen” project was nominated for the “6th Chinese local government innovation awards”. In the past few years, 6 social workers from Shenzhen have been honored as the national Top 10 social worker figures, 8 events have been chosen as the national Top 10 social work events.