Parents who want to do better with their children may access support more easily now, with 10 social service agencies across the island appointed as one-stop regional centres for government-funded parenting support programmes.
Parenting Support Providers (PSP) will work with schools to provide programmes where parents can pick up skills, such as giving clear instructions to their children, and attend sessions to learn to manage their child's difficult behaviour, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) yesterday.
They can also be referred by the centres to other services if necessary, it added.
MSF has been partnering schools to deliver two programmes - Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) and Signposts - since 2014.
Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said by having social service agencies helm the programmes instead of individual schools, each agency can be a one-stop service provider for the region.
This will allow the centres to be more flexible in helping parents and provide more customised support for each family.
"In our move towards these 10 regional PSPs, we have replicated the essential feature of our social sector strategy, which is to provide more integrated, upstream and comprehensive support," said Mr Lee.
PARENTING SUPPORT PROVIDERS
ANG MO KIO, YISHUN
AMKFSC Community Services
BEDOK, GEYLANG SERAI
Morning Star Community Services
BOON LAY, TAMAN JURONG
THK Moral Charities
BUKIT BATOK, BUKIT PANJANG, CHOA CHU KANG
Fei Yue Community Services
BUKIT MERAH, KRETA AYER
CLEMENTI, JURONG EAST, QUEENSTOWN
Lakeside Family Services
HOUGANG, SENGKANG, SERANGOON
Methodist Welfare Services
JALAN BESAR, TOA PAYOH
Touch Community Services
PASIR RIS, PUNGGOL, TAMPINES
Methodist Welfare Services
Care Corner Singapore
The process of appointing the PSPs began in July and was completed this month.
Triple P equips parents with techniques to promote children's psychological, social and emotional competence.
Signposts, available only in primary schools, helps parents to understand, prevent and manage their child's difficult behaviour.
Tips that parents can pick up include how to show affection and praise their children, and how to give instructions clearly.
Close to 20,000 parents have attended the programmes across 295 schools, the ministry said. The programmes are free for parents.
They are available to parents of Primary 3 and 4 pupils and Secondary 1 and 2 students, who are at key transitional stages and may exhibit behavioural issues new to parents.
Those interested in joining the programmes can approach the agencies or their child's school.
Depending on the level or type of programme or individual needs, parents can attend seminars, one-on-one consultation sessions or group sessions. An online option for Triple P is also available.
The agencies will now also offer follow-up counselling to parents enrolled in these programmes and can refer them to other services if necessary, added the ministry.
Mr Lee, who was speaking yesterday at a one-day Asian Family Conference at Mandarin Orchard Singapore hotel, said evaluations of the two programmes have shown that parents benefit by gaining confidence in parenting.
He added that over time, more programmes could be added and the scope of the programmes will be expanded to address a wider spectrum of needs.