Xiaoyuan Shang is an Associate Professor with the Social Policy Research Centre. Her research interests are in the areas of social welfare and child protection in China. Her recent research has focused on issues associated with the alleviation of poverty, social services for vulnerable groups including the elderly, disabled people and vulnerable children in China.
In 2001 and 2005, Dr Shang played a central role in leading a research team to conduct two important large-scale investigations on Children in Institutions and Other Forms of Alternative Care in China, and The Needs of HIV/AIDS Affected Children in China, for UNICEF and the MCA. In 2005 to 2009, Dr Shang organized the first national investigation of orphaned children in China.
Dr Shang is a co-author of In Search of Civil Society: Market Reform and Social Change in Contemporary China (Oxford University Press). In 2003 Dr Shang was awarded the Alice Tay Human Rights Award by the Australia-China Council for her significant contribution to improving the understanding of child rights in China. Her work has attracted a great deal of attention to the situation of orphaned children in China, and directly led to two important policy changes:
(1) a policy change from institutional care to foster care for orphaned children in state children’s welfare institutions, and
(2) the establishment of a new social assistance system for orphans in rural China.
Policy change in China – Xiaoyuan Shangs research findings added the issue of social welfare provision to vulnerable children to the policy agenda at the top levels of Chinese government. Chinese President Hu Jintao, and other senior officials (Wen Jiabao, Hui Liangyu, Li Keqiang and Minister of Civil Affairs) have adopted Shang’s research findings in child welfare provision. The policy changes have benefited approximately 730,000 orphans.
Current research projects
- 2010-2012 Transition to Adulthood of children in the care of the state, (Chief Investigators Xiaoyuan Shang and Karen Fisher).
- 2009-2011 ARC Linkage project Supporting Older People with Disabilities in China (Chief Investigators Xiaoyuan Shang and Karen Fisher)
- 2007-10 ARC Linkage, Experiences of families of children with disabilities in China, Partner Plan International – China (Chief Investigators Xiaoyuan Shang and Karen Fisher).
- 2006-2009 Australia Research Council, Linkage project with University of New South Wales, Save the Children UK, and Beijing Normal University, Developing An Effective System Of Child Protection In China, (Chief Investigators Xiaoyuan Shang and Ilan Katz)