Boys' Town officially opens new centre for children, youth and families

A new centre for children, youth and families was officially opened by the Boys' Town on Friday, as part of its 65th anniversary celebrations. The charity provides shelter, education, vocational training and practical living skills to young people.

The new $15 million centre in Upper Bukit Timah will allow Boys' Town to care for boys of a larger age range, as well as their families. Executive director Irene Loi said: "Boys' Town has traditionally been associated with residential care for boys aged 11 to 18 ... However, we have come to realise that a wider spectrum of youth today are at risk, from (young children) who have suffered various traumas, to older teens who still require care and counselling."

New facilities include a 10-bed shelter for boys aged nine to 15 who suffered traumas such as physical abuse and need more intensive care. The shelter also has two family rooms, so parents can be with their children, if the parents themselves were also abused, for example.

There is also a 10-bed hostel for older youth aged 16 to 23 who may have graduated from the home's programmes but need a place to stay while completing their National Service or studies.

Each year, Boys' Town works with about 1,200 youths and their families, of which about 80 are part of its residential programme.