Whole-community intervention for left-behind children in rural China

Shanshan Guan, Guosheng Deng - Children and Youth Services Review


As the annual number of reported difficulties with LBC increases in rural China, the need to find innovative and different interventions grows. In this study, the outcomes of a whole-community intervention program targeted at improving the well-being of LBC and other rural children ages 7–18 were examined through a quasi-experimental evaluation. Our evidence suggests that the implementation of the Children's Companion Mother Program benefitted LBC in several dimensions of their well-being: their resilience, physical health, academic performance, safety, guardianship and communicative competence. This study also examined intervention effects among different populations. The ‘Whole Community and Whole Child’ approach, containing pluralistic engagement, activated endogenous resources, and para-professional social service workers, should be employed in order to build up a systematic and effective rural child well-being framework.