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Singapore Government

National Family Violence Networking System Conference 2020

23 November 2020, Monday, 9am to 1pm

About the Conference

Established in 1996, the National Family Violence Networking System (NFVNS) is an island-wide networking system that connects the police, courts, hospitals, social service agencies, and the Ministry of Social and Family Development into a tighter network of support and provides multiple access points for families affected by violence to seek help. Since 2001, the Family Violence Dialogue Group (FVDG), a member of the NFVNS, has organised the NFVNS Conference to strengthen partnerships and share best practices in policy, practice and research on family violence.

This year marks the 24th anniversary of our establishment in family protection work. We seek to venture into innovative ways that bring new perspectives to the sector. The theme for this year’s conference is Family Protection: Behind and Beyond the Crisis. It serves as a catalyst for critical thinking and creative approaches to better serve the needs of families affected by violence in times of global or national crises.


Time (hrs) Programme
0845 – 0900 Registration
0900 – 0905 Welcome and Administrative Instructions
0905 – 0925 Opening Address by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development, and Education

Sharing by the Co-chairs of the Focus Group Workstream of the Taskforce on Family Violence
0925 – 0935 Announcement of Family Violence Dialogue Group (FVDG) Appreciation Awards
0935 – 1005 Presentation of Research and Data on Family Violence
1005 – 1040 Breakout Group Networking and Sharing of Participants’ COVID-19 Experiences
1040 – 1055 Break
1055 – 1210 Panel Discussion
1210 – 1220 Break
1220 – 1250 Keynote Address
1250 – 1255 Closing by Emcee
1300 End of Conference


Opening Address:

Ms Sun Xueling
Minister of State for
Social and Family Development, and Education
Ms Sun Xueling was elected a Member of Parliament in September 2015. She currently holds the position of Minister of State in the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Ministry of Education. Ms Sun serves as a Board Member of the Chinese Development Assistance Council.

After the 2015 General Election, Ms Sun was appointed CEO of Business China, a non-profit organisation which was launched in 2007 by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, late founding Prime Minister of Singapore and then Premier Wen Jiabao of the People’s Republic of China.

Ms Sun is currently the co-chair of the inter-agency Taskforce on Family Violence that aims to work together with the community to empower victims and perpetrators alike to break the cycle of violence. Ms Sun is also co-leading the Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development, which aims to understand Singaporeans’ aspirations and ideas on how we can further advance our women in Singapore.

Data Presentation:

Mr Wong Wah Ming
Assistant Director,
Translational Social Research Division,
National Council of Social Service

Wah Ming joined the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) in September 2020 as an Assistant Director in the Translational Social Research Division. His team works on the Intergenerational Transmission of Criminality and Other Social Disadvantages (INTRACS) Research Programme – a large-scale data analytics project which links administrative data to answer policy and research questions on social and criminal justice.

Prior to NCSS, he was an Assistant Director at the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS). During his tenure at DOS, his team analysed the key trends in household income and measured income inequality using the Gini coefficient. In 2019, his team set up the Trusted Centre for Individual and Business Data to support cross-sectoral government data analytics projects. They curated the synthetic data used in the Datathon for HyperHack 2019.

He is a graduate of Nanyang Technological University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business, specialising in Actuarial Science. His passion lies in tapping on data to support policy formulation for low-wage workers, the elderly and the vulnerable groups.

Panel Speakers:

Ms Sophia Ang
Senior Director,
Counselling and Psychological Services,
Family Justice Courts
Sophia Ang is the Senior Director of the Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the Family Justice Courts (FJC). She oversees the strategic direction for the mental health and social science related services within FJC. Sophia leads a professional team of court psychologists, social workers and counsellors that provides forensic and therapeutic services for litigants and their families undergoing various legal proceedings. Since joining the Courts in 2006, she has been involved in setting up frameworks and processes of counselling and family mediation. In 2011, she helped to conceive and set up Child Focused Resolution Centre, and was responsible for the development of the Child Focused, and later, Child Inclusive counselling within the Family Justice system.

Prior to joining the Courts, Sophia headed a non-profit social service agency, and provided mediation and counselling related consultation and training services to corporations and government agencies. Sophia is a registered clinical supervisor and counsellor with Singapore Association for Counselling, a principal mediator and family mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre and a Certified Mediator with the Singapore International Mediation Institute (SIMI).

Ms Chan Lay Lin
Principal Medical Social Worker,
Medical Social Work Department,
Institute of Mental Health
Lay Lin is a principal Medical Social Worker with the Institute of Health since 2008. She conducts family therapy and complex case management, where family violence features regularly in her work. In 2019, commissioned by MSF, Lay Lin and a colleague completed the development of a 5 1/2-day training curriculum in the management of family violence involving vulnerable adults afflicted by mental illness and dementia. She is a current member of the training team with SSI in the management of family violence.

Lay Lin serves as a scientific member in the National Healthcare Group Domain Specific Research Board, the deputy Chair of the IMH Institutional Research Review Board, and peer reviewer with the Singapore Medical Journal.

Lay Lin has previously served with the family service centres at TRANS Bedok and Bukit Timah, where, together with Choy Yin, she gained experience and training in family violence. Lay Lin has also served as a medical social worker with National University Hospital and National Cancer, she specialised in psychosocial oncology and palliative care.

Mr R Jai Prakash
Child Protective Service,
Ministry of Social and Family Development

Jai Prakash is the Director of the Child Protective Service. He joined the Ministry of Social and Family Development in 2002 and has since reviewed policies and legislations related to persons with disabilities, youth at risk, children and families in need and homeless persons. He has represented Singapore at several UN and ASEAN forums to discuss child rights and social welfare issues. He also started the first Social Service Office (SSO) in Singapore to extend financial and employment assistance to low income individuals and families. In the SSO, he pioneered and developed the local planning model of social services.

Jai was seconded to the Ministry of Education (MOE) to spearhead MOE’s communications and engagement strategies driven by data analytics and communications research.

Jai holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University in St Louis in USA and is a recipient of the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 2015.

Mr Lian Ghim Hua
Operations Department,
Singapore Police Force
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police (SAC) Lian Ghim Hua, 40, is currently Director of Operations in the Singapore Police Force. He drives the various aspects of SPF’s operations in support of SPF’s mission to keep Singapore safe & secure. SAC Lian oversees the formulation of plans, policies and strategies in various aspects of SPF’s operations, and these include law & order maintenance, crime control, security and counter terrorism, operational readiness, day-to-day frontline operations and event security planning.

SAC Lian had taken on various appointments in the areas of investigations, planning and operations through his policing career. Prior to his present appointment, SAC Lian served as the 2nd Deputy Director in the Criminal Investigation Department, where he was involved in major crime investigations and development of investigation policies from 2017-2020. From 2014-2017, he served as the Commander of Ang Mo Kio Division, where he led the Division’s efforts in fighting crime.

Ms Cherylene Aw
Centre Director,
Cherylene is the Centre Director of TRANS SAFE Centre, a family violence specialist centre under the parent organisation, TRANS Family Services. Besides leading a multi-disciplinary team consisting of social workers, counsellors and a clinical psychologist, Cherylene is a member of the Adult Protection Team which offers input to complex cases of elder and vulnerable adult abuse. As of February 2020, Cherylene also serves as a member of the Inter-agency Task Force on Family Violence co-chaired by Ministers-of-state, MHA & MSF.

Cherylene has slightly over 10 years of experience as a social worker in both generalist family services and specialised family violence practice settings. Beyond casework and program development, Cherylene is an active proponent of community work, research and policy practice as vehicles of sustainable social change. In 2020, commissioned by MSF, Cherylene and a team of social workers completed the development of a 3-day course curriculum on Management of Elder Abuse, together with SSI. Cherylene is also looking forward to contributing as the Chairperson of the regional Family Violence Working Group for the Bedok division in the upcoming term.

Cherylene holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in USA and was an awardee of the Social Service Talent Development Scheme (NCSS) in 2014.

Keynote Address:

Ms Kate Fitz-Gibbon
Director of Monash Gender
and Family Violence
Prevention Centre,
Associate Professor of Criminology, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts,
Monash University
Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon is Director of the Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and an Associate Professor in Criminology in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University (Victoria, Australia). She also holds affiliated research appointments with the School of Law and Social Justice at University of Liverpool (UK) and the Research Center on Violence at West Virginia University (US). Kate is a leading national and internationally recognised scholar in the field of family violence, criminal justice responses to family violence, and the impact of criminal law reform in Australia and internationally. She has received research funding from the Australian Research Council, Australian Institute of Criminology, Victorian Legal Services Board, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, Family Safety Victoria, and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The findings of her research have been published in high impact criminology and law journals and presented at national and international criminology conferences.

Associate Professor Fitz-Gibbon has advised on homicide law reform and family violence reviews in several Australian and international jurisdictions. In 2016 she was appointed to the Special Minister’s Expert Advisory Committee on Perpetrator Interventions and in 2018 she was appointed to the inaugural Board of Directors of Respect Victoria.


Introduced in 2008, the FVDG Appreciation Awards aims to:

  • promote inter-agency recognition of individual and team contributions in the management of family violence cases; and
  • motivate professionals to improve service delivery and to work towards a coordinated response in the management of family violence cases.

Thank you to all who submitted nominations in appreciation of your fellow NFVNS partners. Your actions enabled the recognition of fellow NFVNS partners who made exemplary contributions. Congratulations to all award recipients!

Short Videos/Infographics

This year, agencies are invited to share what they have done to keep families/individuals safe during the COVID-19 crisis through short videos and infographics.

  • What challenges did your agency face?
  • How did you overcome those challenges?
  • What were the outcomes?

Thank you for your submissions. Learn about some of our agencies' initiatives below:

1) Braving the Storm Together

Organisation: Singapore Children's Society

COVID-19 has impacted us in unprecedented ways. During this time, in addition to our direct service work, Singapore Children's Society has developed a range of resources with the well-being of our children and youth in mind. These resources aim to ensure that our young ones continue to stay safe physically and emotionally during this challenging period.



2) MSF Rehabilitation and Protection Group (RPG)’s Public Education Efforts during the COVID-19 Period

Organisation: Ministry of Social and Family Development

The COVID-19 period was a very stressful period for some families, as disrupted routines and staying at home for a prolonged period in close proximity can be very difficult. In some cases, raised tensions can unfortunately even lead to domestic conflicts and family violence. RPG worked closely with the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, Casa Raudha Women Home, the Children’s Aid Society and the Ministry of Home Affairs to co-create practical tips to help families stay safe and resilient at home, and tips on how to seek help for family violence if it occurs. To assure the public that the vulnerable continued to be protected even during the Circuit Breaker period, RPG collaborated with Mediacorp to highlight how professionals from the Adult Protective Service and the Child Protective Service continued to care for clients in the absence of physical visits and check-ins. The Talking Point programme gave a glimpse of the work performed by our officers and community partners.


3) Efforts to increase awareness of domestic violence during COVID-19 Crisis

Organisation: Casa Raudha Ltd.

The COVID-19 tsunami has taken everyone by surprise, especially, during the Circuit Breaker. There was serious concern from the Ministries and NGOs like Casa Raudha over the safety of the victims who were “stuck” at home and experienced escalation of abuse. More so, if there would be a new form of aggressive behavior emerging due to the impact of the COVID-19 that has caused stress in many households. Hence, we further heightened our campaign bringing the awareness closer to the victims and at the same time empowering the community to becoming an upstander during this critical period. Thanks to the wonders of social media and digitalisation, we increased our efforts online and had a total reach of over half a million!


4) GenSafe Workplaces

Organisation: United Women Singapore

Our organisation’s role is to advocate for personnel policies that protect the rights of victims of DVA and prevent them from losing their jobs due to the spill over effect of DVA at the workplace. Economic security is a critical component of safety for victims of violence. The survivor’s ability to maintain her employment can greatly enhance her ability to leave the situation of violence and start her psychological and emotional recovery.


5) How do the Family Justice Courts (FJC) manage family violence cases during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Organisation: Family Justice Courts

The submission details how FJC addresses the concerns of court users who are applying for personal protection orders during COVID-19 pandemic. In particularly, FJC moved the hearings to virtual platforms and took steps to ensure that court users are not left behind, especially for those who are affected by the digital divide. The submission also details the lessons learnt


6) SAFE Bridge Video Series- A Virtual Outreach project by TRANS SAFE Centre

Organisation: TRANS SAFE Centre

Amidst heightened safe distancing measures, TRANS SAFE Centre’s community work initiative (SAFE Bridge) launched a virtual outreach project during the Circuit Breaker, comprising a miniseries of video clips. These clips were produced with the aim of generating greater awareness on Family Violence and what people experiencing or witnessing violence may do to seek help and/or plan for their safety. They were subsequently disseminated to service users as well as community partners and members for further circulation via social media and common communication channels like WhatsApp.

This short video clip captures brief highlights from each episode and also snippets from behind-the-scenes of the video production process. Full videos in 4 languages are available for viewing at:


7) Managing COVID-19 with C.O.V.I.D.

Organisation: Big Love c/o Montfort Care

A graphical illustration of how Big Love continues to face the challenges posed by COVID-19 – by acknowledging them, making the best out of difficult situations and tackling them – reflective of our motto to have great Teamwork, Dare to Be Different, and always Chiong ah!


8) Project Stories

Organisation: AMKFSC Community Services Ltd

Project Stories is an initiative by AMKFSC Community Services Ltd to ensure regular sighting of vulnerable persons within the community, the clients are engaged in sessions or home visits through activities conducted by our SWAs. Despite circuit breaker and COVID-19, Project Stories continue to carry out the regular sightings by moving online to WhatsApp calls and zoom platforms.



9) Brotherhood - A Groupwork Intervention For Men Who Batter

Organisation: THK Family Service Centre @ Bedok North

Globally and in Singapore, there has been a rise in reported family violence cases during the current pandemic especially during lockdown. Video shows how the team transit from traditional face to face groupwork to online platform in tackling family violence where face to face was not possible.

You will hear the men’s improvement in the following areas and their testimonies of their groupwork experiences of how it has helped their families as well.
  1. Gain INSIGHT towards what drive Men’s aggression
  2. Take ownership of RESPONSIBLITY towards violent acts
  4. HEALING relationship within and with their love ones



10) Child Protective Service (CPS) Ops Centre

Organisation: Ministry of Social and Family Development

The Child Protective Service from the Ministry of Social and Family Development set up an Ops Centre in April 2020 in response to Circuit Breaker measures that were introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19. These measures reduced the visibility of children and young persons in the community due to school closures and restrictions in accessing support. To ensure their wellbeing, the Ops Centre coordinated a Safety Monitoring exercise to conduct regular check-ins for 700 CYPs through videos calls. Volunteers were mobilised to conduct safety checks and provide support to parents. The exercise was concluded when schools were fully re-opened.


11) Leveraging on Technology During Covid-19 to Enhance Safety for Children and Young Persons

Organisation: Ministry of Social and Family Development

Circuit Breaker safety measures during Covid-19 impacted current processes of sighting children and young persons (CYPs) to ensure their safety. School closures and restrictions on face-to-face sessions by professionals reduced CYPs’ visibility in the community. To circumvent this, Child Protective Service from the Ministry of Social and Family Development tapped on video calls as a means to check in on CYPs and support caregivers. Guidelines based on risk tiers were also formulated for officers/volunteers when engaging CYPs and their families. This EDM explains the tiering system based on risk and the corresponding frequency of video calls to be conducted.


12) Child Protective Service (CPS) Therapeutic E-Tools during COVID-19

Organisation: Ministry of Social and Family Development

The COVID-19 situation stimulated Child Protective Service (CPS) to rethink and do their work in an adaptive and innovative way. CPS’s suite of Therapeutic E-Tools was developed speedily to respond to contact restriction measures and the Circuit Breaker. The E-Tools are in two categories:
  1. Behavioural Nudges – images and texts to motivate parents to stay calm, take positive actions and seek support from their safety network.
  2. Therapeutic Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) – electronic tools with elaborations to guide CPOs to conduct effective online sessions and safety checks on children and their families over video calls.


13) APS Be Connected (ABC) Hour

Organisation: Ministry of Social and Family Development

During the work from home period, the APS Innovation Committee took a deliberate approach to meet the felt need of staff who might have felt, anxious, isolated and disconnected. The ABC (APS Be Connected) Hour was born to find innovative ways to boost staff morale and foster staff connectedness. The Committee organised fortnightly team bonding activities and games such as ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’ and ‘Treasure Hunt’ using innovative ways and multiple platforms such as Skype, powerpoint, audio and visual aids.

We also encouraged staff bonding through the WorkPlace and WhatsApp platforms. During the ‘I Love My Colleagues Month’, games such as ‘Angels & Mortal’ encouraged staff to be innovative in thinking of ways to show their love and appreciation to their colleagues with the Innovation Committee serving as facilitators.

Evaluation from the ABC Hour shows that 9 in 10 staff felt positive and energised after attending ABC Hour. 9 in 10 staff also felt that ABC Hour helped them connect with colleagues. The initiatives under the ABC Hour helped to boost staff bonding and morale, strengthening the culture of care and appreciation and the culture of innovation in APS.


14) Pandemic and the Social Phenomenon

Organisation: Viriya Community Services

The pandemic has given families more time to be together. Nevertheless, it has forced families to relearn how to stay together in face of uncertainties. Stresses, anxiety, conflict and aggression were prevalent in the period of CB. How does one FSC that resides in a region with high needs adapt to this new challenge to make sure the families are looked out for so that conflict and aggression is being managed?