Proving that learning is a lifelong journey, Singapore Children’s Society marked its 70th anniversary celebration with a full-day Learning Festival on Friday, 14 October 2022.

The Learning Festival, which also included our 15th Singapore Children’s Society Lecture, was open to the public, and comprised three learning sessions on issues we hold close: vulnerable children, physical discipline, and children’s mental health.

Deep dive: Participants at the morning learning session which explored developments in children’s mental health

Sharing sessions: Narrowing the Focus on Children

More than 300 people, including social service practitioners, society staff and members of the public, attended the three panel sessions that were part of this year’s Learning Festival. In the first session, entitled “Vulnerable Children’s Journey Home”, the panellists discussed the challenges of reunifying children in out-of-home care with their birth families. The second session, “Children’s Mental Health: Beyond Awareness”, tackled the mental well-being of our children. The final session, “Physical Discipline in Families: Can We Spare the Rod?”, put the spotlight on a joint research study by the Society and Yale-NUS College on the use of physical discipline by Singapore parents.

Spirited discussions: Our panellists for the third session included (from left to right) Jacinth Liew (Parenting Coach), Steven Chia (Mediacorp Senior Editor/Presenter), Dr Cheung Hoi Shan (Assistant Professor of Psychology, Yale-NUS College), and A/P Isabella Wong (Board Member, Singapore Children’s Society)

During the 90-minute sessions, expert panellists, which included experienced social service practitioners, parents, and researchers, weighed in on the topics. They also took questions from the audience.

Lecture series: 15th Singapore Children’s Society Lecture

The Singapore Children’s Society Lecture was delivered this year by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration.

As the world around us evolves, and the needs of families change, new strategies are needed for better integrating and coordinating social services, and ensuring vulnerable families get the help and support they need. Entitled “Strengthening our Social Service Delivery”, Mr Lee’s lecture explored the systems and processes that Singapore has developed to form even more effective safety nets around vulnerable families.

“As a society, we are presented with this unique opportunity to constantly refresh ourselves… The pandemic has magnified many gaps that need to be addressed, and indeed the pandemic has shown that only by marshalling scarce resources to meet growing and evolving needs in a more coordinated way, can we better tackle the complex challenges that our service users face,” he said.

    Expert insights: Mr Koh Choon Hui, Singapore Children’s Society Chairman, and Minister for National Development & Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration, Mr Desmond Lee, launched the second volume of our compiled lectures

    Book launch: Our Lecture Series

    Our Learning Festival concluded with the launch of a special volume: ‘Thinking of Children: The Singapore Children’s Society Collected Lectures (2015-2021)’, which puts together the insights delivered by our distinguished speakers on various aspects of childhood over the last six years. This is the second book in the series. It is our hope that this book will continue to inspire more discussions that will bring about societal changes for a brighter future for the next generation. If you would like to purchase the book, email

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