“Concepts and Practices in Social Service, 2015 Summer Summit on Senior Citizen Welfare in China” was held in Shanghai on June 15th – 16th, 2015, sponsored by China Welfare Institute and the Committee of Social Aging Service of the China Federation of Social Workers, and co-sponsored by the NYU-ECNU Institute for Social Development at NYU Shanghai among others. Mr. Ninghui Kan, Deputy Secretary of the Leading Party Group and Deputy Secretary of General of China Welfare Institute, hosted the opening ceremony. Mr. Bingliang Zhen, Deputy Director of Social Welfare and Charity Promotion Dept. of Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ms. Danni Zhao, Vice Chairwoman of China Welfare Institute, Ms. Julan Gao, Inspector of Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau, and Mr. Bin Lv, General Secretary of Committee of Social Aging Service of the China Federation of Social Worker attended the ceremony and delivered Opening Remarks. The Summit attracted over 350 participants from all over the world, including China, the United States, Switzerland, and Japan.
The Summit brought together professionals in multiple fields, including prominent researchers and scholars (including Dr. Peng Du from Renmin University), and senior leaders from well-known corporations possessing tremendous experiences in aging care and social service to implement international collaboration and exchanges in aging care services in China. They introduced the fast increasing share of aging population around the world and particularly in China over the past decade and for the next 20 years to come. By 2014, over 212 million people were sixty years old or over in China and it is estimated that aging population will peak in 2030, which would be around 36% of the total population.
Dr. Tazuko Shibusawa, Associate Dean of Professional Programs at NYU Silver School of Social Worker and the collaborating faculty of the Institute, was invited as a one of the keynote speakers on geriatric social work along with how social work values, perspectives, and function may be an important force in delivering aging care around the world. Dr. Shibusawa also shared her personal rich experience in delivering aging care in the United States elderly care institutions. Moderated by TV Host, Mr. Xin Luo, Dr. Shibusawa along with other panelists shared their perspectives in resolution to the lack of caregivers in nursing homes and the adaption between the social environment and the elderly themselves.
On June 16 afternoon, Dr. Shibusawa, together with Dr. Wen-Jui Han, the Co-Director of the Institute, hosted one of the “Camphor Tree Bay Workshop on Aging Services”, providing trainings on geriatric social work practice intervention and evaluation. Case studies and role play were used to allow the participants to have some insights into the roles and functions of social work profession in aging practice. Participants were passionate and enthusiastic about incorporating social work professional values, perspectives, and functions into their elderly care practice. Extensive discussion and conversation took place during and even after the workshop.
Divided into three sub-forums, a series of in-depth keynote speeches were given as well by worldwide professionals in aging care to share their cutting-edge research achievements, their business models in delivering aging long-term institutional care, as well as to the latest aging policy development in China and around the world. The summit also hosted diverse activities, such as international salon titled “Oriental Elderly Care and Culture”, panel discussion on welfare concept and nurturing aging-care staff’s sense of belonging and achievement, along with visiting three local facilities in providing aging long-term care in Shanghai. The diversity of this Summit underscores the importance of collaboration between governmental officials, academic scholars, non-profit and profit organizations, communities, and individuals in order to deliver the most optimal care to the elderly.
As one of the most significant issues in contemporary Chinese society, aging care has attracted both public and academia attention. The Summit successfully provided a platform to integrate resources and implement international exchanges, which will influence the development of Chinese aging care system for years to come.