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Supporting Rural Social Work for Children in Need: A PolyU-PKU-ChicagoU Tripartite Collaborative Project

15 Apr 2024


The Training Workshop for Social Work Professionals Serving Children in Disadvantaged Conditions in Rural China took place on 20-21 March 2024 at Peking University (PKU). It was co-organised by APSS at PolyU, the Department of Sociology at PKU, the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice at The University of Chicago (ChicagoU), and the PKU-PolyU China Social Work Research Centre. Twelve teams of social work professionals from various regions in China, serving children in different disadvantaged conditions, participated in the workshop.

This workshop is part of the PolyU-PKU-ChicagoU Tripartite Collaborative Project, and is the first onsite face-to-face workshop following a series of online training workshop for the same groups of participants held between July and October in 2023. The workshop was Chaired by Dr Qiaobing WU, Associate Professor and Associate Head of APSS at the PolyU, as PolyU Representative of the Tripartite Collaborative Project. Dr Suo DENG, Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology at PKU, and Dr Zhiying MA, Assistant Professor of The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice at The University of Chicago, were also present at the workshop as PKU and ChicagoU representatives. Prof. Fengzhi MA, Professor of the Department of Sociology at PKU and Chairperson of China Association for Social Work Education, delivered a welcome speech for the opening ceremony of the workshop. In her address, she emphasised the workshop's objectives, which were to facilitate exchange among social workers and researchers serving children in the rural contexts nationwide and to further explore the path of integrating social work practice and research.

During the workshop, various experts contributed their unique perspectives and expertise, enriching the discussions and knowledge exchange. Dr Qiqi CHEN, Assistant Professor of APSS, and Dr Wei LU, Associate Professor of Xiamen University, shared their insights into evaluating projects for children in distress.

Dr Aimee HILADO, Assistant Professor at ChicagoU’s Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice, presented on the impact of trauma on children's development, emphasising the significance of early experiences, caregiver support, and trauma-informed interventions in promoting children's well-being. Prof. Hok Bun KU, Professor of APSS, encouraged participants to reflect on their own practice and construct practical knowledge that can benefit other social workers.

During the workshop, teams from different regions shared their cases and received feedback from guest speakers and workshop facilitators. Team representatives expressed their satisfaction with the case refinement and self-reflection process, discussing future plans and the workshop's vision.

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