Rising to the occasion: Disaster social work in China

Boon Wee Timothy Sim, Woon Ki Angelina Yuen Tsang, Chen Hui Quen, Qi Hua Dong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The fifth year since the deadly Wenchuan earthquake that killed more than 87,000 people will be commemorated in 2013. This article critically reviews the development and charts the direction of disaster social work in China, since the fateful 2008 Wenchuan earthquake jump-started it dramatically. While disaster social work publications, social work projects and organizations surged, young Chinese social workers felt challenged by poor professional recognition, harsh working conditions and limited prospects and support. However, they have been spurred onwards by the resilience and growth of their clients and professional fulfilment in the daunting process of recovery and reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-562
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • China
  • Chinese social workers
  • disaster management
  • disaster social work
  • Wenchuan earthquake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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