SINGAPORE - When she learnt that a pregnant patient with HIV was about to lose her home, Ms Lin Jingyi, 30, Senior Medical Social Worker at the Communicable Diseases Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), knew she had to act quickly.
Undeterred by rejection, Ms Lin fought tirelessly to find interim housing for her patient, even calling experts for a conference session to address all the stakeholders' concerns about HIV.
"I wasn't sure what the outcome would be, but I was definitely sure that I would give my best... It is important to ensure the safety of the child and the welfare of the mother," she said, letting on that she had had sleepless nights over the case.
Her persistence paid off, and one of the shelters agreed to a short-term placement due to the urgency of the situation.
The case is just one example of Ms Lin's dedication to making a difference in the lives of her clients and the community.
For her exceptional work with HIV patients, Ms Lin became one of four social workers to receive top honours from President Tony Tan at the annual Outstanding Social Worker Award (OSWA) Presentation Ceremony and Tea Reception at the Istana on Tuesday (Nov 8).
Organised by the Singapore Association of Social Workers (SASW) and supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and ExxonMobil Asia Pacific, the awards recognise those who have made outstanding professional contributions to the lives of clients and the community under their care.
Said Agnes Chia, President of SASW: "These awards provide a platform for us to appreciate the years of dedicated service that these social workers have put in, and to commend the tireless and remarkable champions among us."
The awards are divided into two categories. Launched in 1998, the Outstanding Social Worker Award (OSWA) is open to all professionally trained social workers working in the social service sector, while the Promising Social Worker Award (PSWA) was introduced in 2008 to recognize up-and-coming social workers who have made a difference in the lives of clients, their families and the community.
Veterans Ms Nancy Ng and Ms Chee Wai Yee clinched this year's OSWA, while Ms Lee Kaiyi and Ms Lin Jingyi received the PSWA.
OSWA recipients will be given a trophy, a certificate, a cash grant of $1,000 from MSF, a personal development grant worth $10,000 sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific and a professional development and management programme grant worth $30,000 by MSF.
As a PSWA recipient, Ms Lin will be given a certificate, a cash grant of $1,000 from MSF, a personal development grant of $8,000 sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific and a professional development and management programme grant of $14,000, sponsored by MSF.
"I'm thankful to be recognised for the efforts," said Ms Lin. "I'm also thankful for this opportunity to share about the social work profession, and I hope to use this opportunity to encourage people to pursue social work as a profession."