Programme Evaluation 2021

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Programme Evaluation 2021

Programme Evaluation

We work to evaluate our programmes and services to ensure that we continue delivering quality services, and that beneficiaries’ feedback is worked back into programme improvements. Despite the ongoing disruptions to service delivery, we continued programme evaluation, and highlight some of our key learnings from the year.

Bully-Free Programme (Workshops)

The Bully-Free Programme workshop was designed to increase students’ ability to develop empathy and perspective taking, promote positive values and behaviours, and develop effective communications skills, thereby strengthening the level of peer support for one another. Students are also taught how they can report and mediate bullying, thereby building a conducive learning environment in their schools.

The programme was delivered to 119 students across four schools, 100 of whom completed the evaluation measure. This tool assessed participants’ attitudes and feelings towards bullying as well as their likely actions as a bystander to bullying, and as a target of bullying. 54% of the participants showed an overall increase in their scores.

Our analysis of data from each of the four schools revealed that there were no statistically significant changes in the participants’ feelings and attitudes towards bullying, as well as their likelihood to fend for themselves if bullied. However, participants from one school were more likely to defend their peers in an appropriate manner after attending the workshop.

We observed that most of the students who attended the Bully-Free workshops already felt strongly against bullying and were likely to respond in a positive manner to counter it before attending the workshop. Since they already demonstrated this knowledge of appropriate behaviours prior to the programme, it was unlikely that the programme content would have improved their scores significantly. There were also indications that the current workshop materials were incompatible with the Primary 3 students’ level of comprehension. Guided by these findings, the team modified our 2022 workshop materials to aid comprehension for younger children.

Storm Riders

Storm Riders is an anger management programme that helps children, aged nine to 12, to understand their emotions and respond to anger in a healthy manner, without harming themselves, others or the environment. The programme focuses on enhancing children’s emotion management skills, problem-solving skills and pro-social skills.

In 2021, we have reached a total of 35 children through our Storm Riders programme. Programme evaluation data for our runs to the community children (n=9) revealed that 77.8% of the children showed statistically significant improvements in assertive responses after attending the programme. 66.7% of the children also showed reduction in aggressive responses, though this decrease was not statistically significant. These data are collected at the end of every run of the programme so that effectiveness of this programme can be assessed.

Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road (YBR) is a collaborative Children Support Programme with Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF) since October 2019 with the objective of providing early intervention for children and families affected by parental incarceration to reduce the detrimental socio-emotional impacts associated with long-term outcomes of parental incarceration. YBR incorporates home-based tuition, groupwork for children and the non-incarcerated parent, counselling, casework and family activity.

Two runs of groupwork were conducted in 2021, with a participation of 49 children altogether comprising 21 lower primary and 28 upper primary children. Due to social distancing restrictions, all sessions were conducted virtually. At the end of each session, participants were tested on their knowledge of the key learning objectives of the groupwork.

For our first run, children across both groups demonstrated generally good understanding of the key objectives. Lower primary students scored poorer than upper primary students, and particularly had greater difficulty responding to ambiguous statements such as “Feelings are never right or wrong” and “All stress is bad”. This could be due to the difference in level of comprehension between lower and upper primary students. This information guided the design of the learning objectives and tweaking of the poll questions at the second run, where practitioners re-crafted the questions to reduce ambiguity and to ensure that concrete examples were shared during the sessions to suit the understanding of both the lower and upper primary children.

Tinkle Friend

Tinkle Friend serves as a national toll-free helpline and chatline for primary school children in Singapore. It is an anonymous platform for children to turn to, especially in situations when their parents or main caregivers are unavailable.

Out of our 4,272 users, 590 of them participated in our user satisfaction survey in 2021. 86% of them indicated that they were satisfied with the service received, 89% of them felt better after talking to Tinkle Friend and 77% of them felt more confident to deal with their issue. We are encouraged by these results from our users and we will strive to maintain and improve our service delivery.

Safe and Strong Families – Reunification

SSF-R programme aims to prepare birth families through intensive and targeted interventions so that their children in foster and residential care can be reunified with them in a timely and safe manner. As these children would have been exposed to adverse childhood experiences, which are potentially traumatic events, it is critical that SSF-R practitioners provide trauma-informed care (TIC) for the children and their families.

In March 2020, Trauma System Readiness Tool was piloted to examine practitioners’ perceptions of (i) their understanding and ability to provide TIC for CYP and families, (ii) ability to coordinate service with other child-welfare agencies, and (iii) agency’s ability to mitigate the impact of vicarious trauma. The tool administered again in March 2021, revealing that, previous positive results were sustained through targeted competency development strategies via supervision, trainings and practice reviews. Furthermore, internal processes were reviewed for the administration of screening tools and facilitation of case conferences and network meetings. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was also increased collaborations among child-serving agencies in the community to mitigate the implications of COVID-19 collectively and provide integrated care for children and families.

Various areas for future improvement were also identified, such as

  • to enhance practitioners’ competency in relation to information integration tool, trauma-informed case formulation and caregiver trauma,
  • develop a co-worker model so that there is bandwidth to provide trauma-informed interventions for children and caregivers,
  • continue the use of technology to promote positive and stable connections for children (despite of COVID-19 precautionary measures), and
  • enhance efforts to address the impact of vicarious trauma on practitioners.

As Singapore moves towards endemic, it will be vital that SSF-R continues yearly TIC evaluation for continuous quality improvement.