In November 2009, 13 high-level social welfare administrators from Xinjiang, Ningxia, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and Shanxi attended a 21-day executive training program, which included visits to social welfare departments, NGOs, and universities in Hawaii, San Francisco and St. Louis in the United States.
Upon their return to China, members of the delegation formulated plans to increase social work training for civil affairs ofﬁcials, encouraged research on issues that are pertinent to social work, and strengthened vocational training offered by government institutions. An alumni network was formed, with training programs and forums being organized regularly to encourage continuing exchange, dialogue and professional development among social welfare administrators.
The program also seeks to nurture a core group of trainers of social workers teaching at tertiary educational institutions and government training centers. So far, 135 participants recommended by their institutions have attended training sessions in Beijing, Kunming, Hangzhou and Xi’an, consolidating existing knowledge while learning new concepts and practices in teaching, learning, and mentoring, among other topics. Meanwhile, the four training sites were developed into regional centers that would provide further training to trainers of social workers after the end of ZeShan’s program in 2010.
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