Programmes for at-risk minors to be centralised at two youth centres

Two youth centres working with troubled people under 21 will partner the authorities to run three programmes to guide and rehabilitate the youth.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced yesterday that Students Care Service and Care Corner Singapore will be the first two integrated service providers running three existing programmes for at-risk youth.

The plan is to centralise the three programmes so there can be "greater consistency in the quality of service delivery", said Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday.

He was speaking at Students Care Service's conference on children and youth work practice yesterday, which saw 400 attendees and was held in celebration of Students Care Service's 40th anniversary.

Currently, the programmes are run by various youth centres - some run all three, but others might offer only one or two.

The three programmes are:

• The Guidance Programme to divert first-time offenders who have committed minor offences from the court system and towards counselling and rehabilitation.

• The Enhanced Step-Up programme which works with those likely to drop out of school.

• The Triage which stations social workers at police division headquarters to assess the risks and needs of youth offenders.

Smaller agencies currently running the programmes will stop receiving new cases from MSF so that the programmes can be centralised at the two integrated service providers' centres in Woodlands and Clementi. Eventually, MSF will roll out such providers all over Singapore.

Centres which now offer at least one of the programmes can apply to become an integrated service provider. MSF will appoint new providers in two years' time and these centres will be trained with best practices learnt by Students Care Service and Care Corner Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2016, with the headline 'Programmes for at-risk minors to be centralised at two youth centres'. Subscribe