Taking Stock and Moving Forward

August 13, 2019

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By Tan Khye Suan, Executive Director

Since March 2019, after we have established our new vision of

“Strong Families, Resilient Living, Beautiful Minds”

Epworth Community Services is now solidifying this vision with more concrete plans.

As mentioned in our earlier newsletter, we will now focus on the mental well-being of children and youths. Our efforts will mainly be on preventive and early intervention, building strong families and providing coping abilities for children and youths so that they will grow up with good mental well-being, or “beautiful minds”. We will also seek to identify and build on the strengths of our clients – children, youths and parents.

We believe that with good mental well-being, children and youths can eventually function better as adults. Thus, we can better achieve our objectives of helping them to:

We have taken stock of our existing programmes and services to ensure that they are aligned to our new vision.

The Literacy Intervention Programme as well as our STAR Behavioural Modification and Management Programme at Epworth Literacy are certainly in line with our vision. These programmes help to lay the foundation of children who may have challenges that prevent them from benefitting from our educational system. The progammes also help children to learn skills and acquire abilities to cope whilst on their education journey. Our Psychological Services provide advocacy, advice and direction for parents and their children on how to cope and overcome challenges in schools.

Epworth Foster Care helps children and youths to thrive with their foster families. Through our support of the foster families, these children and youths learn the value of strong families and coping abilities. With good mental well-being, they will become equipped to have good and stable families in future.

Epworth HomeSweetHome helps children who have been abused to recover from their trauma. Usually these children also have aggressive behaviour stemming from their past traumatic experiences. With the therapy we provide, these children can recover and restore their mental well-being, thus enabling them to function better in the community.

The programmes and services of Epworth Family Welfare not only provide coping skills, but also strengthen relationships between children and youths with their parents as well as other family members. It is recognised that strong familial ties and good relationship with family members contribute significantly to mental well-being.

Epworth Community Services will push ahead, leveraging on the strengths we already have. As we take steps forward, we will lay our plans before God, seeking his guidance and provision. We will also seek the support of stakeholders as well as the resources needed in order to see the vision and plans come to fruition.

In the next 5 to 7 years, by God’s grace, we hope to do the following:

      1. Our Literacy Intervention Programme and STAR Behavioural Modification and Management Programme has helped many children through their early years in education. Epworth hopes to expand these programmes, possibly with 2 new centres in the East and North-East regions.
      2. If there are sufficient resources, we will re-open our Mathematics Intervention Programme to help children with difficulties learning mathematical concepts.
      3. Epworth Family Welfare will be the main driver of our new vision that focuses on the mental well-being of children and youths. Apart from the current programmes and services, the department will also design new ones for prevention and early intervention. Some possible approaches that we will use include psycho-education through printed materials and social media; roadshows in schools; volunteer-driven programmes and services; groupwork; focus group discussions; support groups; and, counselling.
      4. The new vision can culminate with one to two counselling centres dedicated to supporting children, youths, parents and family members in preventive ad early intervention works for mental well-being.
      5. Being an organisation of Methodist origin, Epworth hopes to be the service provider of student care centres for all the Methodist Schools in Singapore.
      6. Through these student care centres, we will also provide programmes and services that will support the mental well-being of children in these schools.

When we set out on the journey with a new vision, “Strong Families, Resilient Living, Beautiful Minds”, we are mindful that God must be the leader and guide of our endeavour. We remember that: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

We seek the prayers as well as support of all our friends, supporters and stakeholders as we begin to move forward with the new vision. May God be glorified in our endeavour.

HOW TO DONATE

The important work of Epworth Community Services is funded primarily by generous well- wishers who strongly believe in our cause.

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