$2-million programme to help at-risk youth over three years

SINGAPORE - A $2-million initiative that will help up to 900 at-risk youth over three years was unveiled on Tuesday (Nov 3).

Under the Youth-At-Risk Engagement Framework, organisations working with these young people can receive funding for new programmes to help them stay crime free, improve their family relationships and stay in school.

For instance, organisations will by next April have standardised assessment tools at hand to better understand their clients' needs.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin announced the initiative at a conference for at-risk youth attended by 1,000 participants from government agencies, voluntary welfare organisations, and schools.

Knowing the youth's risk level can help social workers "prescribe the appropriate intervention, make a referral to another agency or work together on a shared plan to help the youth", he said.

Mr Tan also announced a second initiative called the National Youth Work Competency Framework that will map out training and career paths for youth workers by the second half of 2017.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg