The developing child abuse mandatory reporting system in China: a mixed-method research on social workers

Stream: Chinese social policy: families and children
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 1.35 pm – 3.15 pm


This is a on-going research and will be finished in August, 2019.

As the child protection system (CPS) is rapidly developing in China since 2014, the child abuse mandatory reporting system, one of the four basic elements of CPS, is being legislated and practiced in Chinese cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Wuxi since late 2018. Social workers, amongst other child-related professionals, are obliged to report potential child abuse cases. Although this system has been operated in countries including Australia for decades, it is the first time to be practiced in mainland China. This research will explore social workers’ practice and attitudes towards this system, both in cities with and without the mandatory reporting system.

Mixed-method will be applied in this research, including survey and in-depth interview. The survey will conducted with the China Social Work Longitudinal Survey, approximately 7600 social workers in 56 Chinese cities will participate, and those have contact with children in daily work will answer questions on practice and attitudes towards mandatory reporting system. 20 interviews will be conducted in cities with mandatory reporting system, social workers’ recognition of child abuse and attitudes towards reporting duty will be explored.

This research could explore social workers’ acceptance in state intervention into family and recognition on child abuse. Furthermore, by examining a branch in CPS, it could be a practical extension to my PhD thesis on Establishing a suitable child protection system in China, and policy implication on the suitable boundary of mandatory reporting system could be provided accordingly.


Zimin Tan (Presenter), East China University of Science and Technology
I have my PhD graduated from Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW in 2018, and my research is focused on child abuse, child protection and state - family relationship.
I am now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Social Work department in the East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai.