Inmates' children to get more help from Salvation Army

Ng Zhong Hau, 17, a beneficiary of the The Salvation Army's new initiative, shares his experiences during the Red Shield Luncheon on Friday, Aug 2, 2013. The Salvation Army is expanding its support services for children with parents in prison. It is
Ng Zhong Hau, 17, a beneficiary of the The Salvation Army's new initiative, shares his experiences during the Red Shield Luncheon on Friday, Aug 2, 2013. The Salvation Army is expanding its support services for children with parents in prison. It is getting children who once went through the experience of having to cope with the prolonged absence of their parents and their subsequent reintegration into the family to mentor others who are facing the same scenario. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The Salvation Army is expanding its support services for children with parents in prison. It is getting children who once went through the experience of having to cope with the prolonged absence of their parents and their subsequent reintegration into the family to mentor others who are facing the same scenario.

Other volunteers will also come in to support and befriend children who either have both parents behind bars, whose current caregiver is an ex-offender or those who come from families with a history of inter-generational incarceration.

This is because research has shown that children with parents in jail are more likely to offend, said Ms Linda Auyong, director of The Salvation Army's social and community services. These new initiatives were announced at the charity's annual Red Shield Luncheon on Friday at Conrad Centennial Hotel.

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, who was the guest-of-honour, said the biggest challenge for the sector now is to attract enough social service professionals and volunteers with the right values and skill sets to make a difference.