People’s governments of various districts, cities and counties, administrative committees of pilot districts, relevant departments of the municipal government and relevant units:
In order to implement the spirit of the Opinions of the State Council on Strengthening the Protection of Children in Difficulties (by China  No. 36) and the Opinions of the Liaoning Provincial People’s Government on Strengthening the Protection of Children in Difficulties (by Liaoning provincial government  No. 57), optimize the survival and development environment of children in difficulties, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of children in difficulties, the following opinions are put forward.
I. General Requirements
Guided by Xi Jinping’s thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, we will fully implement the spirit of “safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of women and children and helping the weak”, in accordance with that decision and arrangements made by the Party Central committee and the State Council and the work requirement of the provincial Party committee and government, taking the promotion of the comprehensive development of children as a starting point and a foothold, adhere to the principles of family due diligence, government-led, social participation and classified protection, give prominence to the key points. We should focus on children in distress as a result of lack of or inadequate guardianship, pay attention to making up for the shortcomings and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of children in distress, and strive to establish and improve a classified security system for children in distress that is compatible with the economic and social development level of our city by the end of 2020. The service system for children in distress will be more perfect, the awareness of the whole society to care for and protect children will be significantly enhanced, and the growth environment for children in distress will be improved and more secure.
II. Scope of Protection
The children in distress referred to in this opinion are: orphans under the age of 18; children who have difficulties in living, seeking medical treatment or attending school due to family poverty; children who have difficulties in rehabilitation, care and social integration due to their own disability, HIV/ AIDS or serious illness; children whose personal safety is threatened or violated due to lack of family guardianship or improper guardianship, such as maltreatment, abandonment, accidental injury or unlawful infringement, as well as minors and abandoned infants who are wandering and begging in our city.
III. Contents of Guarantee
(1) basic living security
1. The children who are unable to determine their dependants, the children who carry HIV and AIDS and the children whose guardians are absent are included in the orphans’ protection scope, and the basic living expenses are distributed according to the orphans’ living standards.Those who have reached the age of 18 who are still enrolled in full-time schools may continue to receive basic living expenses according to the standards.
2. Children who have the ability to support legal dependents but have financial difficulties in their families shall be covered by the minimum living conditions and appropriately raised the level of assistance.
3. In the case of children suffering from sudden, urgent and temporary families with basic living difficulties, the level of assistance to children shall be appropriately raised when temporary assistance is implemented in accordance with the regulations.
4. Subsidies for living and nursing are provided to children with disabilities according to family difficulties and disability levels.
5. Civil affairs and other departments of social assistance should play a comprehensive role in ensuring social assistance, social welfare and other security policies to ensure the basic living needs of children and their families in distress.
(Responsibilities: District and county governments, leading district administrative committees, Dalian Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, Dalian Municipal Finance Bureau, Dalian Municipal Education Bureau, and Dalian Municipal Disabled Persons’ Federation)
(2) basic medical security
1. We will further improve the participation of minors in basic medical insurance and major illness insurance for urban and rural residents. Full financial assistance shall be provided for children included in orphan insurance coverage, children included in special hardship case assistance and support, and children from subsistence allowance families who participate in basic medical insurance for urban and rural residents.
2. For seriously ill and severely disabled children in difficulty, the basic medical insurance and the major illness insurance for urban and rural residents should be given an appropriate inclination, and medical assistance should appropriately raise the reimbursement rate and cap the line for eligible children.
3. The medical rehabilitation programs such as children’s behavioral hearing test and language training for children with hearing impairment should be included in the scope of basic medical insurance.
4. For the medical treatment of children suffering from acute and severe illness, the first diagnosis system and the first treatment system shall be implemented, and the payment shall be made by means of the emergency relief fund and other channels.
(Responsibilities: District and county governments, leading district administrative committees, Dalian Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, Dalian Municipal Finance Bureau, Dalian Municipal Health Commission, Dalian Municipal Medical Insurance Bureau, and Dalian Municipal Disabled Persons’ Federation)
(3) Strengthen the guarantee of education.
1. For children from economically disadvantaged families, the policy of financial assistance for education and the policy of “Two Exemptions and One Subsidy” for compulsory education shall be fully implemented.
2. We should establish a support system for regular schooling for children with disabilities, providing 12 years of free education, including compulsory education and upper secondary education, for families with financial difficulties.
3. For that children of the agricultural transfer population and other resident population, compulsory education shall be included in the scope of educational development plan and financial security, and the policy of taking entrance examinations in the places where they come from and the policy of exempting secondary vocational education from tuition fee shall be fully implemented.
4. We should support the development of pre-school education in special education schools, rehabilitation institutions for children with disabilities that have obtained permission to operate kindergartens and conditional child welfare institutions. And we will support special education classes in child welfare institutions to provide special education for children with disabilities in society while providing special education for children with disabilities in institutions.
5. We should improve the mechanism of compulsory education dropout control to ensure that children in difficulty attend school and do not drop out of school, and complete compulsory education according to law.
(Responsibilities: District and county governments, leading district administrative committees, Dalian Municipal Education Bureau, Dalian Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, and Dalian Municipal Disabled Persons’ Federation)
(4) Implementation of guardianship responsibilities
1. Children who have lost their parents and are unable to find their biological parents shall be placed in orphan placement channels and shall be properly placed in the form of kinship, institutional, family foster care and legal adoption.
2. Children whose parents are incapable of guardianship and have no other guardians, as well as children designated by the people’s courts to be guardians by the civil affairs departments, shall be taken in and brought up by child welfare institutions established by the civil affairs departments at the places where they have registered permanent residence. The civil affairs departments may also take care of them in the form of relatives, institutional care and family foster care.
3. If that biological parent of the child or the adoptive parent whose adoptive relationship has been established fail to perform guardianship duties and fail to change after education by the public security organ, a child welfare institution or a relief and protection institution established by the civil affairs department of the place where the household registration is located may provide temporary guardianship. The civil affairs department may also provide temporary support in the form of kinship support, institutional care and family foster care, and shall investigate the legal responsibilities of the biological parents and adoptive parents in accordance with law.
4. A person who has decided to carry out administrative detention as a punishable person or a suspect who has taken criminal coercive measures restricting personal freedom, such as criminal detention, the public security organ shall inquire whether there are any minor children who need to be entrusted to relatives, other adults or child welfare institutions or rescue and protection institutions set up by the civil affairs department in the place where the household registration is located, and assist them in contacting relevant personnel or the civil affairs department to make arrangements.
5. The executing organ shall provide assistance to the child welfare institutions and relief and protection institutions set up by relatives, other adults or the civil affairs departments of the localities where the prisoners or the minors without guardians who have been forcibly separated from the addicts shall be placed under guardianship.
6. A system for assess that adoption capacity of legally adopted children should be establish and improved to ensure that the adopted children are properly placed and receive good upbringing and education.
(Responsibilities: District and county governments, leading district administrative committees, Dalian Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, and Dalian Municipal Public Security Bureaus, Dalian Municipal Judicial Bureaus, Dalian Municipal Procuratorates, Dalian Municipal Courts, League Municipal Committees, Dalian Municipal Women’s Federations, Dalian Municipal Customs Work Committees, Dalian Municipal Mass League Organizations and Comprehensive Service Centers)
(5) Strengthen that welfare of children with disability.
1. We should accelerate the establishment of a rehabilitation assistance system for children with visual, hearing, speech, physical, intellectual and mental disabilities aged 0-16 years, and gradually realize free access to services such as surgery, rehabilitation aids and rehabilitation training.
2. We should include social dispersion of disabled orphans in the scope of “Orphan Medical Rehabilitation Programme for Tomorrow”.
3. We should support child welfare institutions in providing alternative care, parenting and rehabilitation services for socially disabled children, while providing services for orphans and disabled children in institutions.
4. Priority should be given to safeguarding the needs of children with disabilities in services such as rehabilitation of persons with disabilities included in basic public services.
(Responsibilities: District and county governments, leading district administrative committees, Dalian Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau, Dalian Municipal Education Bureau, Dalian Municipal Health Committee and Dalian Municipal Disabled Persons’ Federation)
IV. Working Mechanisms
If children fall into difficulties due to lack of guardianship or improper guardianship, relevant government departments should intervene in time to protect the safety of children.
(1) Discovery reporting mechanism. Where primary or secondary schools, kindergartens, medical institutions, residential (village) committees, social service institutions, rescue and protection institutions, welfare institutions and their staff find children living alone or missing from guardianship, missing guardianship, or suspected of being subjected to domestic violence, accidental injury or other unlawful infringement in the course of their work, they should report the case to the public security organ or to the township (street) where they are located at the first time. If the aforesaid units and personnel fail to fulfill their reporting obligations, their superior organs and relevant departments shall seriously pursue their responsibilities.
(2) Emergency response mechanism. The public security organs shall immediately dispatch police officers to deal with cases involving infringement and take emergency measures accordingly after receiving such reports. If a child suffers serious bodily harm, faces serious threat to personal safety or is in a dangerous state of no one to take care of him or her as a result of the violation of guardianship, the public security organ shall contact other guardians, relatives and village (neighborhood) committees for proper resettlement and handle the formalities of written handover; if a child has the ability to express himself or herself, he or she shall be consulted on the place of escort. Where no other guardian, relative or other guardian, relative or village (neighborhood) committee can be found, the public security organ shall contact and assist the civil affairs department to properly place the children in distress in temporary guardianship and care institutions. In the above-mentioned cases, it is necessary to investigate and collect evidence in accordance with relevant provisions, so as to lay a foundation for further intervention measures and investigation of relevant legal responsibilities according to law.
(3) Assessment of support mechanisms. The civil affairs departments, together with the public security organs and the neighbourhoods (townships and towns), shall investigate and evaluate the family situation, guardianship, physical and mental health of children in distress, and arrange targeted professional services such as guardianship guidance, medical treatment, psychological counseling, behavioral correction, and legal services.
(4) Guardianship intervention mechanism. If the circumstances of domestic violence, abuse or abandonment of a child by a parent or entrusted guardian are relatively minor and no punishment for public security administration is imposed according to law, the public security organ shall criticize and educate the guardian or issue a warning letter to the guardian; if the guardian still commits an illegal act of infringing upon a child after the public security organ has criticized and educated the child or issued a warning letter, he shall be given an administrative penalty in accordance with the law; those suspected of committing crimes shall be transferred to the competent authorities in accordance with the law. Where a guardian puts a child in an unsupervised and uncared-for state that puts him or her at risk and that he or she does not change after education, or refuses to perform guardianship duties for more than six months, or where domestic violence, ill-treatment or abandonment of a child results in serious damage to his or her physical or mental health, or where there are other circumstances in which his or her guardianship may be revoked, his or her close relatives, village (neighborhood) committees, local civil affairs departments, schools, medical institutions, women’s federations, disabled persons’ federations and other relevant personnel or units shall apply to the court for revocation of his or her guardianship according to law.
(5) Escort transfer mechanism. If the guardian is unable to perform the guardianship responsibility, and there is no other non-resident children who can be entrusted for guardianship in this Municipality, the qualified children may be escorted to the civil affairs department of the place of their residence by means of the escort and transfer mechanism of vagrants and beggars, and the relevant guarantee shall be provided by the local civil affairs department.
V. Working System
We will give full play to the role of relevant functional government departments and the collaborative work mechanism, and build a comprehensive classified security system for children in distress in our city.
(1) Construct a four-level work network of cities, districts, cities and counties (pilot areas), townships (streets) and villages (residences).
1. We should establish a joint meeting system for the protection of children in distress in Dalian, under the leadership of the municipal government, to coordinate the protection of children in distress at the municipal level. The Municipal Civil Affairs Bureau shall guide and entrust the municipal juvenile protection agencies and municipal welfare agencies to do a good job in safeguarding children in distress, carry out the responsibilities of temporary guardianship and care for children in distress at the municipal level, improve the work network, and strengthen the work guidance for cities and counties (pilot areas) in each district.
2. That government of each district, city and county, and the administrative committee of each pilot district shall be establish under the leadership of the government, the lead of the Civil Affairs Department and the Office of the Working Committee on Women and Children and the implementation, guidance, coordination and supervision of the security policies for children in distress through information-sharing and coordination mechanisms organized by the departments of education, health, medical security, human resources and social security, as well as Public Security Organs and the Disabled Persons’ Federation. According to the rescue and protection mechanism for left-behind children in rural areas, we should establish a safety protection mechanism for children in distress in urban and rural areas, including mandatory reporting, emergency response, evaluation and assistance, guardianship and intervention. We should rely on relief and protection agencies, child welfare agencies, relief and support agencies for the especially needy, service agencies for the disabled, and public service facilities in urban and rural communities to improve the service network for children in distress, radiate to urban and rural communities, and give play to the functions of temporary asylum, foster care, and welfare services.
3. The township government (sub-district offices) shall determine the child supervisors, enter the child information into “the National Information Management System for Left-behind Children and Children in Difficulties in Rural Areas” in a timely manner, instruct the child directors of the village (neighborhood) committees to carry out the mapping and investigation, conduct the preliminary examination and evaluation of the child information, and at the same time establish the child information file, so as to achieve one file per person. The township governments (sub-district offices) shall make unimpeded contact with the county-level governments and their civil affairs departments, the offices of the Working Committee on Women and Children, the departments of education, health, medical security, human resources and social security, as well as the public security organs and organizations of the Disabled Persons’ Federation, and rely on the administrative (dispatched) offices of the above-mentioned departments (organizations) in townships (subdistricts), timely handle the social assistance, social welfare, security protection and other affairs of children in distress and their families.
4. The Village (Residence) Committee shall establish a child director who shall be a member of the Village (Residence) Committee, a college-graduate village official or a professional social worker. They should be responsible for the publicity and daily work of the security policies for children in difficult circumstances, grasp the basic information of the children in difficult circumstances such as their families, guardianship and schooling through comprehensive investigation and regular visits, guide and supervise the families in performing their duties of maintenance and guardianship according to law, and report the situation to the township governments (subdistrict offices) through the village (neighborhood) committees. The Village (Residential) Committee shall inform or assist the children and their families who are found to be in difficult circumstances, such as financial poverty or children’s own disabilities, to apply for relevant social assistance, social welfare and other security; where the absence or improper guardianship of the family results in a threat to or violation of the child’s personal safety, the compulsory reporting responsibility shall be implemented. Actively assist township governments (sub-district offices), civil affairs departments, offices of the Working Committee on Women and Children, education, health, medical security, human resources and social security departments, as well as public security organs and disabled persons’ federations in carrying out the work of safeguarding children in distress.
(2) Establish the linkage mechanism of departmental cooperation.
The Civil Affairs Departments and the office of the Working Committee on Women and Children should play a leading role in doing a good job of comprehensive coordination, guidance, supervision, and other work, and work together with relevant departments such as education, health, medical security, and human resources and social security, as well as public security organs and organizations of the Disabled Persons’ Federation, and promote the work of safeguarding children in distress. The administrative departments of social assistance such as civil affairs, education, health, medical security, human resources and social security, and housing construction in urban and rural areas should further improve their policies and measures, and perfect the working mechanism of “one-door acceptance and cooperative handling”, so as to ensure that eligible children in difficult circumstances and their families receive timely and effective assistance. The civil affairs, education, health and public security departments and public security organs shall supervise and guide primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, nurseries, medical and health institutions, social welfare institutions, and rescue and protection institutions to effectively perform the duties of mandatory reporting, emergency response, evaluation, assistance, and guardianship and intervention entrusted by the safety and protection mechanism for children in distress, so as to ensure the personal safety of children in distress.
(3) Give full play to the role of the group organization.
Group organizations at all levels should give full play to their own advantages and extensively provide care, assistance, rights protection and other services suitable for the characteristics and needs of children in distress, and play an exemplary and leading role. Trade unions, the Communist Youth League, women’s federations and youth league organizations should mobilize the broad masses of workers, youth league members and women to carry out various forms of care and services for children in distress. Relying on the workers’ home, women’s home, children’s home, parents’ school, family education guidance center, youth comprehensive service platform and so on, strengthen the education guidance and training of children in distress and their families. The Disabled Persons’ Federation should rely on service facilities for the disabled to strengthen rehabilitation training and special education for disabled children, speed up the establishment of a rehabilitation assistance system for disabled children, strengthen the construction of rehabilitation institutions for disabled children and the training of professional and technical personnel for rehabilitation services, organize and implement rehabilitation assistance projects for disabled children, and improve the level of rehabilitation security and service capabilities. The Customs Work Committee should organize and mobilize retired veteran comrades such as veteran cadres, veteran soldiers, veteran experts, veteran teachers, and veteran models to cooperate in providing care and services for children in distress.
(4) Encourage and support that participation of social force.
We should establish a benign interaction mechanism between government-led and social participation. We will speed up the incubation and cultivation of professional social work service organizations, charitable organizations and voluntary service organizations, and guide them to donate funds and materials, implement charitable projects and provide professional services around the basic needs of children in distress, such as basic life, education, medical care, care and rehabilitation. We will implement the state’s preferential tax and fee policies, support social forces in setting up institutions to provide care and rehabilitation services for children in distress, and encourage them to participate in government-purchased services, including through government-social capital cooperation (PPP). We will support professionals and volunteers such as social workers and legal workers in providing psychological counseling, spiritual care, family education and guidance, and rights and interests protection to children in distress in light of their different characteristics. We should encourage caring families to provide family foster care, entrusted foster care, caring support and other services to needy children in distress in accordance with relevant provisions, so as to help children in distress get proper care and family affection. And we should actively advocate corporate social responsibility, through one-on-one assistance, charitable donations, the implementation of public welfare projects and other ways to provide more help for children in distress and their families.
VI. Organizational Guarantee
(1) Strengthen organizational leadership. Governments at all levels are responsible for safeguarding children in distress. It is necessary to put the work of safeguarding children in distress on an important agenda and on plans for economic and social development, clarify the responsibilities of departments, improve work evaluation, compact the main responsibilities, strengthen incentive and accountability, formulate supervision and evaluation methods, specify supervision and evaluation indicators, establish a normal and regular supervision and evaluation mechanism, regularly report on work, and promptly sum up and disseminate advanced experience. We will strengthen information-sharing and dynamic monitoring of the work of children in difficult circumstances at all levels and in all departments.
(2) Strengthen capacity-building. We will coordinate the resources of all parties, give full play to the role of the government, the market and society, gradually improve child welfare institutions or child departments of social welfare institutions, rescue and protection institutions and facilities, improve service functions, enhance service capacity, and meet the needs of children in difficult circumstances under guardianship and care. We will support civil affairs departments in setting up social protection centres for minors and be responsible for taking the lead in carrying out specific work on the protection of minors in their respective jurisdictions. And we should utilize existing public service facilities to open up children’s activities and service places, such as children’s homes, and integrate child-oriented service functions into the community public service system. Financial departments at all levels should optimize and readjust their expenditure structures, raise funds through various channels, and support efforts to ensure the well-being of children in distress. All regions should actively guide social capital investment to provide more powerful support for the work of safeguarding children in distress.
(3) Strengthen the construction of professional teams. We should strengthen the construction of children in distress protection team, develop work norms for child directors or child supervisors, clarify work responsibilities, strengthen the sense of responsibility, and improve the ability to serve children in distress. We will energetically train professionals in child support services for children in difficult circumstances, and support institutions of higher learning and secondary vocational schools in adding specialties and courses related to child services. We will implement the relevant treatment for special education teachers and medical and nursing personnel in child welfare institutions and rescue and protection institutions, encourage qualified professionals and technicians to participate in the evaluation of educational and health titles, and give them appropriate preferential treatment in the evaluation. We should strengthen the construction of nursing staff for orphans and disabled children, and do a good job of professional qualification appraisal.
(4) Strengthen propaganda and guidance. We will strengthen the publicity of laws and regulations on safeguarding children’s rights and interests and policies on safeguarding children in difficult circumstances, carry out various publicity and education activities, strengthen the awareness of the whole society to protect children’s rights, strengthen the legal awareness of the responsibility of the family to perform its duties, and strengthen the awareness of the responsibility of the government to lead and care for children in difficult circumstances. We will vigorously promote socialist core values and the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation in caring for orphans and kindly children, encourage, advocate and praise neighbourhood watch-keeping and community mutual assistance, publicize and report on advanced models, and play an exemplary and leading role. We should establish and improve public opinion monitoring, early warning and response mechanisms to properly respond to social concerns in a timely manner.