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This article documents how a community approach was used as part of developing a child protection service in China. In order to demonstrate the potential of the community approach, it is first argued that the fragmented institutional arrangements and weakening family care in China have resulted in an incomplete system that leaves vulnerable children with insufficient support. However, as the current literature indicates, the community approach can be considered to provide an effective solution by mobilising community resources in the Chinese context. A pilot project which was set within a child protection service and delivered by a non-governmental organisation is presented as a case study. Five key elements that define the Chinese practice of the community approach can be summarised: (1) a belief in the important role of the community in the child protection system; (2) targeting those vulnerable children experiencing child maltreatment issues but with little family care; (3) the importance of involving the community in reporting, referral and intervention systems; (4) highlighting the protective role that the community can play; (5) collaborating with government to ensure the support of statutory resources. Lastly, this article discusses both the potential and challenges of using the community approach in this context.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104414
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Early online date5 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Child maltreatment
  • Child protection
  • China
  • Community development
  • Social work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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