In the last 20 years, state care in China has shifted away from institutional care, towards alternative care that recognises children’s rights to an inclusive childhood and adulthood. This book reviews changes in policy and practices that affected the generation of young people who grew up in state care in China during this time.
The young people themselves give their perspectives on their childhood, their current experiences and their future plans for independence. These insights, combined with analysis of national state care datasets and policy documents, provide answers to questions about the impact of different types of alternative care on young people’s experiences, the impact on their identity and their capacity to live independently, finding a job, a home and relationships.
All countries continue to struggle with how to improve the quality child protection practices and alternatives to group care. The results here provide evidence to researchers, governments and professionals to help to improve social inclusion by changing institutionalisation practices.
Dr Xiaoyuan Shang is a Professor at Beijing Normal University, and Associate Professor, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia, who conducts research about social security reforms and child welfare and protection in China, focusing on the alleviation of poverty and social services for vulnerable groups including children, older people and people with disabilities.
Dr Karen R. Fisher is a Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia, researching about disability policy in Australia and China.
Introduction to leaving state care in China
Children in alternative care
Alternative care practices in child welfare institutions
Leaving care policies
Social inclusion impact of a childhood in state care
Self-identity of young people leaving state care
Economic security of young people leaving care
Social networks and employment of young people leaving care
Housing pathways of young people leaving care
State support for children in informal care
Growing up in institutional family group care
Policy implications for young people leaving care in China
"This book provides us with intriguing stories of Chinese orphans in their adulthood. It also offers a telling argument for changing practices to ensure a better future for children in state care." Kinglun Ngok, Centre for Public Administration Research, Sun Yat-Sen University