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All in the Family: New Approaches to Child Relief in Post-Mao China (家庭化——后毛泽东时代儿童福利体系新发展)

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image of Rural China

The delivery systems for caring for dependent children have undergone a radical transformation in Reform-era China. Beginning in the mid-1980s, a dramatic resurgence in the number of abandoned infants as well as homeless youths from rural to urban areas placed great strains on the existing framework of state-run institutions for the young. China’s Civil Affairs branch has responded to the crisis by embracing a policy of “multi-approachism” 多元化 that places primacy on local experimentation and initiative. Civil Affairs workers have expressed the need to “societalize” 社会化 social-welfare work, in which the government works hand-in-hand with both outside organizations and Chinese families to provide a better future for at-risk children. These findings suggest that societalization has led, not to the privatization of services or the withdrawal of the state, but rather to the formation of creative partnerships between government and nongovernment entities in aiding the dependent child. Throughout the post-Mao period we can also observe a paradigmatic shift from institution-based care to a family-centered approach that aims at providing the disadvantaged youngster with the warmth and love of the kin unit.This article is in Chinese.改革开放以来,中国儿童福利事业体系经历了彻底的改革。从八十年代中期开始, 弃婴和从农村进入城镇地区的流浪未成年人数目再次急剧增加,现有的国营儿童福利机构体系面临严峻挑战。针对这一挑战,中国民政部门采取了多元化政策,重点依靠地方试点与创新。民政部门倡导社会福利工作“社会化”,倡导政府与社会团体、普通家庭共同照料高危儿童。研究结果表明,社会福利体系工作的“社会化”并未导致服务私有化、也没有导致国家退出这一工作领域;相反,社会福利工作的“社会化”引导政府与非政府行为体创建了一种新型合作关系,来共同照料需要救助的儿童。自毛泽东时代结束以后,社会福利体系也经历了一种范式转变,相关工作原来以机构为基础,现在逐渐转向以家庭为中心,用亲情单位为需要救助的未成年人提供温暖与爱。

Affiliations: 1: Clark University (克拉克大学)


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