Community’s Online and Offline Interdisciplinary SMPC Model in Shaanxi, China

Prepared by Ying Liu

Associate Professor, Northwest University, Shaanxi, China


The outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 has impacted different walks of life including individuals, groups and organizations in China. To address social challenges under the state of emergency, the active participation and professional assistance of social workers is needed.

To collaborate with the “primary response” of the Shaanxi provincial government, the Shaanxi Province Association of Social Workers submitted a written proposal to assist. It involved both online and offline services to help individuals overcome difficulties including psychological consulting and provision of necessities. Social work associations worked together with a team composed of teachers and students majoring in social work in Northwestern University, social work service agencies, and social workers in Shaanxi province to respond effectively. The China Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) guided and coordinated the operation of the online service platform. The Shannxi Province Association of Social Workers provided services to communities and alleviate individuals’ anxieties.

SMPC, means “social worker, medical professional, psychological practitioner and community participation”. These professionals provided basic medical guidance, psychological counselling, emotional support and linked physical resources like masks, vegetables, and other necessities to affected populations in isolated communities and general communities. SMPC supported community workers and vulnerable populations in 4 isolated communities and 12 self-quarantined communities requiring external support. When the online platform service ended at 21:00 on April 10, a total of 508 cases had been responded to. Of these 109 clients/service users asked for basic guidance and 53 asked for in-depth services from experts to make it through. Because this interdisciplinary system integrates efforts from different professionals, SMPC is capable of solving individuals’ difficulties responsively. Student volunteers majoring in social work connected clients/service users with other professionals to meet their needs under expert guidance. Therefore, this system is advantageous to pivotal social organizations.

April 4th is the traditional Chinese festival called tomb-sweeping day, on which people usually mourn the loss of their loved ones and offer sacrifices to them. Because of the epidemic, many people had to stay at home, therefore the Shaanxi Association of Social Workers launched a campaign named “civilized ancestor worship and remembering the past”. which advocates civilized and safe ways to express our nostalgia, through online memorial services, family memorial services to reminisce about the past. Community residents participated positively in these activities .

After the epidemic eases, we plan to organize a seminar on “epidemic social work” for universities, administrative departments, scientific researchers and practitioners. This seminar will provide a project summary that sum up our experience, and formulate a complete theoretical system for future cases. It is our duty to strengthen the emergency capacity of social work to undertake sufficient preparation before the next epidemic begins so that it can be dealt calmly. This requires innovation and the development of interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation in epidemic social work.













Picture 1 :Screen shots of online SMPC posters









Picture 2: Screen shots of offline summary report