When the Multi-Ministry Taskforce announced the Circuit Breaker measures on 3 April 2020, we knew that our four children and youth drop-in centres across Singapore will also have to suspend operations temporarily. Traditionally a place of solace for our children and youth, our four children and youth drop-in centres across the island help to promote positive development and prevent children and youth from engaging in risky behaviours.

While our centres are shut, our team of social workers and counsellors reached out to youth to quickly identify those who do not have adequate supervision or care giving at home, are in need of IT equipment to do home-based learning, or are lacking resources for meals at home.

We also doubled up our efforts to help the children and youth apply for the necessary IT equipment and financial assistance. For those students whom we have identified to be struggling with motivation and self-discipline, we even make it a point to go through the home-based learning together with them. Most importantly, we check in with them regularly to monitor their social-emotional well-being and assess if they are coping well, and also to look out for possible signs of abuse and family violence.

We also conducted live streaming sessions on Instagram on various topics such as self-care and motivation and featured interviews with chefs, civil defence professionals and media personalities. We hope that this will inspire youth members to start thinking about their future professions and understand the necessary educational pathways to undertake to fulfil their career aspirations.

Click on the video to hear directly from Shu Hao, a social worker based at JYC @ Children’s Society the challenges faced by our children and youth during this period, and how we worked alongside them to overcome these challenges.

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