Help schemes for kids come under one online system

The three schools which will be part of the pilot project are East View Primary School, Junyuan Primary School (above) and Tampines Primary School.
The three schools which will be part of the pilot project are East View Primary School, Junyuan Primary School (above) and Tampines Primary School.PHOTO: ST FILE

The system will analyse, match children's needs to over 10 help schemes in pilot project

A new programme in Tampines West will consolidate the various help schemes offered by different organisations into one system.

This is to better meet the needs and ultimately improve the social mobility of vulnerable individuals.

Three schools will be part of the pilot project, led by the North East Community Development Council (CDC). They are East View Primary School, Junyuan Primary School and Tampines Primary School.

Teachers, school counsellors and volunteers will first identify vulnerable children through a one-on- one screening. They could be financially needy, or have emotional issues because their parents are jobless or incarcerated, said general manager of the North East CDC Irene Lee.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has trained more than 200 teachers from the three schools on how to screen the needs of the children.

Social workers from the Students Care Service will then key the details into an online system that will analyse and match the children's needs to over 10 help schemes or programmes, such as the North East CDC's school meal fund which provides food vouchers to children. Other programmes include Tampines West Grassroots Organisations' (GROs) after-school mentoring programmes and character-building camps organised by the Singapore Scouts Association.

The system, developed by technology firm Trampolene Limited at a cost of $1.2 million, will also track the effectiveness of the help given to ensure individuals do not fall through the cracks, added Ms Lee.

Yesterday, the CDC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the MSF, the Singapore Scouts Association, Students Care Service, Tampines West GROs and Trampolene Limited to establish the North East Integrated Care Programme @ Tampines West.

The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Adviser to Tampines GROs, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, who witnessed the signing, said: "The community can work together to provide holistic help for these at-risk children. The programme not only screens and monitors the needs of these children, but it also engages them in activities that develop good discipline and character."

Ms Ong Lee Choo, principal of East View Primary School, said the programme's structure allows families to be referred to relevant community support agencies quickly.

Ms Lee added that the programme helps not only the children, but also their unemployed parents by linking them to job-placement schemes, thus providing more all-round support.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 19, 2017, with the headline 'Help schemes for kids come under one online system'. Print Edition | Subscribe