Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy

Sowing the seeds of innovation: developing local solutions to tackle child maltreatment in China


Principal Investigator: Louise Brown

Research Team: Professor Agnes Law, Head of Department, Department of Sociology & Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, and Dr Lie Jie, Department of Sociology & Social Work, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

Funder: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Bath, University of Bath Alumni Fund, Qichuang, Gunagzhou (NGO)

Duration: February - October 2014


Project rationale and aims

Departmental themes
Institute for Policy Research themes

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Find out more about this project

Name: Dr Louise Brown
Title: Reader
Department: Dept of Social and Policy Sciences
Location: 3 East 3.41
E-mail: hsslb@bath.ac.uk
Phone: work+44 (0) 1225 385284

Child maltreatment is as prevalent in China as it is in other countries and yet there exists no formal reporting system or set of services developed to work with children. However, recent national media coverage in China about child maltreatment has drawn extensive attention about the problem and tougher laws are being urged by the general public.

This innovative project will facilitate the development of a model of practice (family group conferencing) for working with children and families where child maltreatment has been identified.

Working with colleagues at Sun Yat-sen University, Dr Brown will recruit up to 12 children and their families who would be willing to try using a Chinese version of family group conferencing to support their children.

Once the pilot project has been evaluated, the findings will be incorporated into a new module that will be delivered to social work students registered on social work degrees in China, starting at Sun Yat-sen.

The project will also enable staff at the University of Bath to take undergraduates out to China on fieldwork visits to locate their social work training in a global context.

This project aims to:

  • Pilot and evaluate an intervention for working with children and families in China where child maltreatment is suspected:
  • Train facilitators to deliver the model thereby providing volunteering opportunities
  • Develop a teaching model for delivery on social work programmes in China
  • Provide opportunities for student exchange and fieldwork visits to China for undergraduates at Bath

The intended outputs and outcomes of this project are as follows:

  • To deliver a two -day training conference at SYSU on the prevalence of child maltreatment and the signs and symptoms of abuse
  • To introduce professionals, students, families and volunteers to a model of practice called, ‘Family Group Conferencing’
  • To deliver an additional two-day training event for prospective co-ordinators
  • To set up referral mechanisms for children and families where child maltreatment is suspected or identified and offer a ‘Community Group Conference’
  • To develop a module for training social work students in China