Ministry to review systems to enhance care

The Singapore Boys Home will move into its new home in Jurong

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said the Juvenile Homes will continue to review systems and procedures to enhance the security, safety and care of the youths.

A spokesman added: "For added oversight, there is also an independent Review Board which is appointed by the Minister for Social and Family Development. "The Board has the authority to review the living conditions and the standard of care and supervision provided by the Juvenile Homes."

MSF said it also reviews all cases of youths admitted to the Juvenile Homes to ensure that a proper care plan is in place for each of them.

The spokesman added: "To enable it to perform its duties effectively, every member of the Review Board is authorised to enter the Juvenile Homes at any time to inspect and make inquiries."

MSF said the Juvenile Homes' rehabilitation programme comprises educational, therapeutic and youth guidance elements:

EDUCATION

On admission to the Juvenile Homes, the youths are assessed by case workers and psychologists on their needs and risks before being placed on relevant therapeutic programmes.

They are also assessed by educators on their suitability for either academic or vocational education.

Exposure to the arts, sports and character development are also planned as part of holistic development.

A Youth Guidance programme is also being developed to help them acquire personal mastery in the areas of positive habit formation, attitudes and behaviour.

TROUBLED TEENS

The Juvenile Homes also have a regulatory system that encourages positive behaviour, as well as deterrent and disciplinary measures against undesirable ones.

Youths who are admitted to the homes often come from very challenging family backgrounds. They bring with them certain set behaviours, habits and thinking that have been moulded over the early years of their lives.

Some have also been involved with peers who are negative role models.

As they are still in their teenage years, they struggle with peer pressure; succumbing often to temptations or conformity to undesirable behaviours.

FAMILY SUPPORT

The progress of the youths' rehabilitation depends to a large extent on their cooperation, willingness and commitment to change.

For sustained change, the youth needs to be intrinsically motivated and determined to do so. Where their families make conscious efforts to provide practical support for their children, the rehabilitation of these youths have a higher chance to succeed.

The case workers and youth guidance officers together with their teacher mentor, counsel, advise and work closely with each youth.


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