The Singapore Children’s Society aims to develop initiatives that follow the changing needs of beneficiaries

SINGAPORE – Recognizing that it must go beyond simply helping its beneficiaries with basic needs, the Singapore Children’s Society aims to keep up with the changing needs of children and develop initiatives that better support them.

“We need to do more than just lend a hand to our beneficiaries. Instead, we must find ways to enable them to be independent and resilient,” President Koh Choon Hui said Tuesday at a gala dinner at Marina Bay Sands to celebrate the association’s 70th anniversary.

For example, the society’s family service centers now offer psychological assessment and intervention in addition to support for basic needs like food and shelter due to the increasing number of cases of domestic violence, mental health issues and negative childhood experiences.

Beyond its services, the society continued its research, public education and advocacy efforts to address issues such as children’s mental health and bullying.

“We have grown from a convalescent home for malnourished children in Changi in the early 1950s to Singapore’s leading children’s charity with 11 service centers across the island,” Mr Koh wrote in a commemorative book. entitled By your side: 70 years of journey together.

The book documents the society’s challenges and successes over the years and includes testimonials from beneficiaries, employees and volunteers.

Mark (not his real name), a former resident of Sunbeam Place @ Children’s Society from 2005 until early 2022, is featured in the book. The 22-year-old thanked the staff, social service practitioners and friends he met at the shelter for their support.

The Choa Chu Kang shelter cares for abused or severely neglected children.

“They gave me a vision and a purpose that I couldn’t even see for myself. They shone the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m grateful for every single person that has been in my life,” he wrote. “Sunbeam Place is family to me.”

The book was presented to Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honor at the dinner.

“Children growing up today have to deal with issues that previous generations did not face,” Heng said.

For example, he added, the internet and social media can negatively affect mental health, and children will face major global challenges, such as geopolitical turbulence or climate change, in their lifetime.

The company’s services have evolved over time to meet the changing needs of children.

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