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Social worker always ready to serve

By Wang Qian | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-25 08:15
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Sun Linlin (left) visits a primary school in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, to give scarves to migrant workers' children. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Based in Jiangsu province, she understands the importance of her field, especially during the pandemic, Wang Qian reports.

Since Suzhou, Jiangsu province, started to face the resurgence of COVID-19 in February, Sun Linlin, head of Qingliu social workers' center in the city, has been thinking of ways by which they can participate in the front lines to help contain the virus and offer online services for people in need.

"The pandemic has posed new questions for social workers-how to provide proper service and better coordinate with the government," says the 33-year-old.

Having been a social worker for 11 years, this is a challenging time for her, because pandemic-related restrictions make most of the face-to-face social care practice impossible.

"Although facing difficulties, such as underfunding and health risks, Qingliu still found its way to deliver services," Sun says.

According to official statistics, there were about 12,000 expat residents in Suzhou in 2020. The city was listed as one of the "most attractive Chinese cities for foreigners" by the Foreign Talent Research Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2020.

To help expats get firsthand information, in mid-February, Qingliu set up a team of "language volunteers "that posts tips on pandemic control measures, such as nucleic acid testing, in Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean and the local dialect.

Ann Stephen-Smith, a Malaysian living in Suzhou, sent a thank-you message to Zhao Susu, an English-speaking volunteer of the team, for "keeping her community well-informed".

In the note, she writes: "I know you have been working full throttle, days and nights, to keep us informed with accurate and timely news about testings, results from the testings, updates and translation from news conferences and its impact on our community, addressing problems expats had with the health apps and beyond."

Besides participating in the front lines of such activities, Sun has moved Qingliu's services to virtual platforms.

"The pandemic has upended daily life, forcing parents working from home and students studying at home. To help families to get through the stressful time, we have invited teachers and psychological consultants to provide online courses once a week on such subjects as how parents develop a healthy relationship with their children and how students concentrate during remote studying," Sun says.

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