Columbia School of Social Work Hosted Social Policy Public Forum in Shanghai

Nan Jiang
June 10, 2018

On May 28, 2018, Columbia University Social Policy Public Forum was held successfully in Shanghai with nearly 100 alumni and professionals participating. The event was organized by the Columbia School of Social Work and Columbia China Center for Social Policy and supported by Columbia Global Centers | Beijing. The event was live-streamed with over 71,000 online audience. 

Dean Irv Garfinkel, Professor Qin Gao, and Professor Jinyu Liu of the Columbia School of Social Work made presentations at the forum. During her opening remarks, Professor Qin Gao, Director of the Columbia China Center for Social Policy, introduced the dual mission of research and education of the Center, and welcomed opportunities for exchange and collaboration from research institutes, scholars, students, and the public. Professor Gao’s presentation focused on China’s ongoing targeted anti-poverty initiative that aims to eradicate poverty by 2020. 

Professor Irv Garfinkel, Interim Dean and Mitchell I. Ginsberg Professor of Contemporary Urban Problems, introduced the Columbia School of Social Work as the oldest school of social work in the U.S. and highlighted the exciting research and activities undertaken at the School. He expressed excitement and anticipation about more dialogue and collaboration opportunities with those in China. Dean Garfinkel’s presentation focused on child allowance as a policy solution in the United States. He made the case that a universal child allowance is crucial to reducing poverty and income insecurity among children and to increasing their life opportunities. 

Professor Jinyu Liu shared her research on dementia caregiving among Chinese families. She pointed out the lack of rigorous evidence in this area and highlighted the urgent need for building such evidence as the rapid population aging trend continues in China and elsewhere. Building on a meta-analysis, Professor Liu presented an intervention designed by her and her collaborators that aims to provide mentoring and other support to Chinese dementia caregivers. She emphasized the importance to promote evidence-based research programs to raise the visibility of dementia caregivers and advance solutions that address this common challenge globally.

In the second part of the forum, doctoral students Jack Xiaoning Huang (MSW ’2013), Nan Jiang (MSW ’2013), and Yalu Zhang (MSW ’2014) from the Columbia School of Social Work shared their research and experiences at Columbia. They encouraged those who are interested in doctoral studies in social work to pursue this journey and apply to Columbia. 

The audience actively participated in the Q and A with the presenters. Questions and feedback addressed the role of social workers in a changing world, effectiveness of policies and services in different settings, and the need for scientific evidence in building a solid knowledge and action base for social work and other fields. Many participants stayed after the forum to engage in one-on-one exchanges with the presenters as well as with each other. They expressed excitement and gratitude for having this opportunity to learn about new research and engage in in-depth dialogues with top experts from the Columbia School of Social Work.

Columbia Affiliations
China Center for Social Policy