Professionals encouraged to care for left-behind children
Chinese authorities have issued a document to encourage social work professionals to help take care of the country's left-behind children.
A volunteer reads a story book with left-behind children. [File photo: jxnews.com.cn]
The document, published on Monday, was jointly issued by the ministries of civil affairs, education and finance as well as the Chinese Communist Youth League Central Committee and the All-China Women's Federation.
According to the document, professionals in relevant fields are encouraged to provide assistance in caring for and protecting left-behind children, including conducting home visits, surveys and evaluations, reporting cases or suspicions of domestic violence or other forms of child abuse, and offering psychological counselling for children in need.
They may also participate in providing education for the children's families to improve their awareness of the law and domestic violence prevention.
The document said relevant expertise will also play a greater role in community services, such as promotion of safety education in schools and rural communities, protection of children's mental health, and prevention of children's misdemeanors.
Such professional services may be obtained through government purchases, according to the document.
Left-behind children refer to rural children under 16 whose parents are migrant workers or who have one migrant-worker parent and another incapable of guardianship.
As of the end of last year, China had about 9 million left-behind children, 4 percent of whom had no guardian at all.