Contracting social services in China: The case of the Integrated Family Services Centres in Guangzhou

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses the Integrated Family Services Centres (IFSCs) as an example to illustrate the contractual relationship between the state and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the capacities of government officials to implement the contracting-out of services in China. The data from 12 focus groups in 2015 indicated that local governments treated IFSCs as foot soldiers by asking them to fulfil duties beyond their service contracts. Moreover, Guangzhou government’s fragmented service evaluation arrangements and workload-oriented criteria were unable to effectively assess the impact of social work practices. The study concludes that appropriate legislation is required to safeguard the rights of NGOs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1343-1357
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number6
Early online date16 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Contracting services
  • Integrated Family Services Centres
  • NGO–government relationship
  • social work in China
  • service evaluation

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