Your Letters

Ensure various parties know about resources to help kids

It is commendable that there is a community-based child protection specialist centre set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development - Heart @ Fei Yue ("It takes a community to keep kids safe from abuse" by Ms Ng Kwai Sim; May 15).

The service of protecting a child can only be as effective as the collaborative efforts of multiple parties in the community.

The various community groups, however, would need to be adequately informed about the services of child protection.

To date, the four-year-old mentioned in my previous letter ("Protecting kids goes beyond moving them to safe environment"; May 1) has yet to access the much-needed trauma-focused therapy.

Parties working to support the child were unaware of the resources of Heart @ Fei Yue. Also, distance and cost of travel make it highly unlikely for that child to access its services.

Educating parties on how to support children traumatised by abuse is also essential. Providers of services to children - childcare centres, kindergartens and studentcare centres, among others - are one major group that needs to know its role in protecting children, as it is often in such places that signs of trauma manifest.

The question "Am I doing the right thing?" often looms over efforts to support a child who has been abused, especially for individuals who raise the initial alarm.

Prejudice or ignorance, on the other hand, can work against the process of supporting the child.

Service providers in the community must be educated to play an active and collaborative role in protecting children.

Lucy Pou Kwee Hoon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 29, 2016, with the headline 'Ensure various parties know about resources to help kids'. Print Edition | Subscribe