Beyond-parental-control application numbers stable

We thank Mr Mohamad Shiran Mohamad Shariff for his feedback ("Short timeframe for applications"; last Tuesday).

When parents come to the juvenile court to apply for beyond-parental- control (BPC) orders for their child, trained social workers from the Singapore Children's Society (SCS) will first counsel the parents.

They will help the parents to try to resolve their problems with the longer-term interests of the child in mind and without court intervention.

The SCS is appointed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to handle pre-complaint counselling for BPC matters.

On average, about 12 to 15 BPC applications are received every Friday afternoon.

In the past three years, the Subordinate Courts have not observed a rising trend in the number of BPC applications.

Nonetheless, we will consider extending the application hours or dedicate more time slots for BPC applications should there be a significant increase in the number of BPC applications.

In urgent cases, parents may contact the SCS' Youth Service Centre (Toa Payoh) on 6253-1124 or visit it at Blk 109, Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-316, Singapore 310109, for assistance.

Parents who want more information or support in managing children with behavioural problems may contact SCS or family service centres (telephone 1800-222-0000)

The Subordinate Courts encourage families to take part in voluntary programmes to help them understand and deal with their situation, and develop skills to rebuild a relationship of trust and support to manage a child's behavioural problems.

An application by parents for a BPC order involving court proceedings can alienate a child and destroy the trust between them. A BPC application should, therefore, be a last resort.

Lim Lay Kim (Ms) Senior Assistant Director Communications Department Subordinate Courts

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