Date/Time: 27 September 2023, Wednesday 9.30am to 4.30pm
Venue: One Farrer Hotel
Conversations on Youth (COY) is a biennial symposium that brings together stakeholders for a dialogue on supporting youths-at-risk and youth offenders. It aims to build a preventive support system for our youths. COY is organised under the auspices of the National Committee on Prevention, Rehabilitation and Recidivism (NCPR).
This year's theme explores the dynamic and complex world our youths are growing up in, and the multi-faceted influences on their individuals, family and social environment. NCPR will be sharing on the key recommendations for the three project teams that were formed in 2021 - breaking the cycle of intergenerational offending, preventing substance abuse among youths and preventing youth sexual offending.
The symposium will discuss the challenging circumstances that could increase the likelihood of youths engaging in risky and offending behaviour. It will shed light on research and data that can help stakeholders working with youths to better anticipate these new challenges. Youths matter in our changing world, and you matter in changing their world.
(Programme may be subject to change)
0830 – 0930
Registration (Breakfast will be served from 8am)
Participants are to be seated at least 15 minutes before the event starts.
0930 – 1000
Opening Remarks by NCPR Co-Chairperson
Lunch, Networking & Exhibition
1300 – 1450
Afternoon Tea Break
1520 – 1610
Ask Me Anything Panel Discussion: How I Turned My Life Around
1610 – 1630
Breaking the Cycle of Intergenerational OffendingSynopsis:
This presentation will cover the background of intergenerational offending. It will also provide an overview of current support available to inmates and their families and the NCPR’s recommendations to expand the ecosystem of support.
Assistant Commissioner (AC) Caroline Lim joined the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) in 2001. Throughout her 22-year career, she has served in various capacities in the women’s prison, offender rehabilitation policy and planning, strategic human resources, manpower planning, and training. She also served in the MHA in the areas of joint operations and ops-tech from 2013 to 2016.
She is currently Director, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division, and oversees SPS’s policies, programmes, and partnerships that facilitate the offenders’ throughcare journey from prison to community. Prior to her current posting, AC Caroline Lim was Commander of Cluster A, one of three prison clusters in Singapore, and was responsible for the safe custody and rehabilitation of over 5,000 offenders across five prisons, including the only women’s prison in Singapore.
AC Caroline Lim,
Preventing Substance Abuse amongst YouthsSynopsis:
This presentation will cover current trends on the issue of substance abuse among youths, focusing on drug abuse and vaping, government-level collaborations and community efforts to address the issue, and recommendations to strengthen support for youths.
Mr Sng Chern Hong is Deputy Director, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) (Policy and Administration). He has been in service for more than 20 years and has held various appointments in CNB, including Head of Intelligence Operations and Senior Assistant Director in the Investigation Division. He was later posted to MHA to assume the role of Deputy Director of the Infrastructure Protection Directorate. In September 2012, he returned to CNB and helmed various leadership positions, including in the Enforcement Division, Operations Division and Communications Division. In 2021, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Central Narcotics Bureau (Policy and Administration).
Mr Sng Chern Hong,
Recommendations to Prevent Youth Sexual Offending in Singapore
(You may click here to download the NCPR presentation slides)
Dr Majeed Khader,
Panel Discussion with Presenters and Guest Panellists
Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim
Mr Eric Chua
Senior Parliamentary Secretary,
Ministry of Social and Family Development &
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth &
Co-Chairperson of the NCPR
Dr John Tan
Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association Singapore (CARE Singapore)
(*Participants can register for 1 out of 3 sessions)
Journeying with a Youth Video GamerSynopsis:
This session will introduce the video gaming landscape and delve into the issues associated with video gaming by youths. Participants will be apprised of how stakeholders can work with youths, and journey with them in their video gaming use.
Dr Jiow Hee Jhee,
Dr Jiow Hee Jhee has lectured and trained over 50,000 students, parents, government officials and leaders on new media topics, both locally and internationally. His research investigates the impact of media on the family, cyber wellness, and cybercrime, and he has presented academic papers on parental mediation, video gaming and gamification. Prior to obtaining his PhD, Dr Jiow helped set up Singapore’s first Cyber Wellness Centre in 2006 and was also involved in developing a body of cyber wellness values, ethics and best practices, to promote cyber wellness in schools. Dr Jiow currently serves as a member of the Films Consultative Panel (IMDA) and Media Literacy Council (IMDA), and he leads the BSc (Hons) Digital Communications and Integrated Media programme at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
Youth Safety – Creating a Safe Space OnlineSynopsis:
This presentation will provide an overview of what TikTok is and how TikTok protects youths on their platform. The audience will be introduced to the teams at TikTok that work every day to keep youths safe, from safety by design to moderation and their community guidelines.
It will also introduce the tools and features that TikTok has in place to protect the safety of younger community members, and share how TikTok works in collaboration with NGOs and external stakeholders to keep our youths.
The audience will gain greater knowledge of TikTok’s online safety detection, strategy and features, the utilisation of TikTok’s in-app safety features and TikTok’s safety centre resources.
Ms Erlina Chia,
Ms Erlina Chia currently leads TikTok’s Child Safety Team (CST) for Asia Pacific. CST is a global team that ensures the timely detection, removal and reporting of Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA) content. Through close partnerships with Legal, Policy, and Product & Process teams, CST manages global time-sensitive escalations, and CSEA incidents to protect TikTok’s online community.
Prior to joining TikTok, Ms Chia spent 8 years with MSF, Child Protective Service (CPS), and in 2020 was awarded the Exemplary SkillsFuture@Public Service Award for embodying continuous learning and skills upgrading of self and others, in the management of Child Sexual Abuse Cases. She also spent a year in Cambodia as a Casework Fellow (Investigation) with International Justice Mission (IJM), looking into labour trafficking issues.
Strengthening Youth Resilience through Impactful Mentoring ProgrammesSynopsis:
This presentation talks about the various purposes of mentoring. Mentoring can help to strengthen youth development outcomes and support positive mindsets, enabling youths to make better choices on education, career and be more resilient. The approaches tailored to the intended outcome and profile of students for the mentoring programme will also be discussed. Participants will learn that there are different types of mentoring programmes to meet the aspirations of youths.
Mr Chong Leong Fatt,
Mr Chong Leong Fatt has been involved in youth development for about 20 years. Being an educator in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) involved in various aspects of student development, a District Councillor of Central Singapore Community Development Council, a member of the YouthCorp Advisor Committee and a member of the Steering Committee of Alliance for Action (Mentoring), he was exposed to opportunities in policy formulation and involved as a practitioner in youth development work. Together with industry partners and his colleagues, Mr Chong introduced a number of mentoring programmes, in the area of career development, leadership development and life skills enhancement as well as for youths-at-risk and youths with Special Education Needs.
Implementation Science: Bridging Research to Practice
Ms Sylvia Tsai,
Ms Sylvia Tsai is currently an Implementation Specialist at the Clinical and Forensic Psychology Service (CPFS) within MSF. As a trained counselling psychologist, she has more than 10 years of experience in counselling clients of diverse
age groups, backgrounds and presenting problems. She has worked in several areas including forensic psychology, suicide and crisis intervention, as well as programmes for youths-at-risk.
Systemic Collaboration for Impact – The Youth COP ModelSynopsis:
This presentation introduces Youth COP (Community Outreach Patrol), an award-winning social work programme for youth crime prevention. This school-community intervention programme emphasises the tripartite collaboration of the Social Service Agency, the Neighbourhood Police Centre, and the School. Based on sound theoretical frameworks and working closely with stakeholders and systems, Youth COP empowers youths to reverse their negative labels and create new positive identities for sustained positive impact.
Participants in this breakout session can look forward to gaining insights on the Youth COP programme design and the theoretically strong yet creative strategies of Youth COP. Tips and techniques to engage key stakeholders and systems that impact youths-at-risk will also be shared.
Mr Lee Seng Meng,
Mr Lee Seng Meng is the Executive Director of SHINE Children and Youth Services. A registered social worker specialising in youth work, Mr Lee has won numerous accolades. These include the Commissioner of Police’s Individual Commendation Award in 2009 for outstanding work with youths-at-risk, South West District ComCare Social Service Award Winner 2009 and Social Service Institute’s STAR Adult Educator Award in 2014 and 2020 for excellence in teaching.
In recognition of his professional expertise and sector-wide contributions, Mr Lee has been appointed a Social Service Fellow by MSF and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) since 2016. In 2019, Seng Meng was conferred the Outstanding Social Worker Award by the President of the Republic of Singapore.
Mr Jason Tan,
Mr Jason Tan is a Senior Social Worker in SHINE Children and Youth Services and the Head of the Youth COP programme.
With a decade and a half of experience in youth work, Jason has gained multiple insights and experiences on working with schools and the community, building deep and lasting partnerships and strengthening collaborative efforts in impacting youths-at-risk. He has led his team of social workers to provide social work intervention for youths in the Youth COP programme, working with schools, the Police, families and various stakeholders for sustained impact. Mr Tan is Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) certified, a certified Gallup Strengths Coach and a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) certified practitioner.
Youth Offenders in Court – Principles and Processes in Youth CourtsSynopsis:
This presentation will cover the applicable principles and considerations the Courts will adopt when dealing with youth offenders charged in the Youth Courts. Participants will gain insight into the procedure and processes when youth offenders are first charged up to the time their cases are disposed of.
The presentation will also cover the various dispositional orders provided for under the legal framework in the Children and Young Persons Act, as well as the available intervention measures that seek to address offending behaviour, risks and needs of youth offenders, and support their rehabilitation, restoration and reintegration back to their families and society.
Mr Eugene Tay,
Mr Eugene Tay is a District Judge and Assistant Registrar of the Family Justice Courts (FJC).
He hears contested divorce and ancillary matters as well as other family-related cases such as applications for maintenance and personal protection orders and cases involving children’s issues.
As a Judge of the Youth Courts in FJC, Mr Tay presides over cases in the Youth Courts including youth offender cases, cases involving youths in need of guidance and cases involving protection of children.
Mr Jasper Yap, 28, Entrepreneur
Ms Nina Zazali, 36, Entrepreneur
At 14 years old, Ms Nina Zazali was admitted into the Singapore Girls’ Home by her mother and went on to have other brushes with the law. Determined to prove to others who had cast doubts on her ability to make good, she eventually broke out of the cycle of offending and of drug addiction. Ms Zazali is now the successful founder of a clothing line called Love, Nina Zazali. She also contributes to the community by raising funds for needy families.
Ms Zazali believes in the power of engagement and shares her personal stories through livestream sessions for her clothing line. She hopes to be a figure of hope and inspiration for those whose loved ones need help turning onto the right path. Having a strong family support system has helped her get to where she is, and she encourages others to continue supporting their loved ones. You may read her story here.
Dr Mohamad Riduan Ishak (Dan), Entrepreneur/Motivational Speaker
Dr Mohamad Riduan Ishak, or better known amongst his peers as Dan, is a successful multihyphenate – businessman, entertainer, professional emcee, motivational speaker, corporate trainer and outdoors educator for Ministry of Education. Most importantly, he is a desistor (i.e. one who has successfully remained offence-free in the community for a longer period) who refused to stay down when he fell. Despite his busy schedule, Dan takes time to volunteer and pursue his passion – music. He looks forward to creating space for meaningful conversations and building empathy with the audience.
|Youth Mental Well-Being|
Title of Exhibition: Beyond the Label (BTL) Mobile Exhibition
TOUCH Community Services runs the BTL Mobile Exhibition, which aims to raise awareness of stigma and advocate greater support for persons with mental health conditions. The exhibition has four main concepts – educational, inspirational, interactive, togetherness.
Educational: Learn how to battle the myths and facts of mental health
Inspirational: Watch real-life stories of people with mental health conditions, and learn about mental health conditions
Interactive: Experience firsthand through virtual reality the perspectives of people with mental health conditions
Togetherness: Paint encouraging messages on pebbles, to form pebble walks islandwide
|Support for Youths-At-Risk|
Title of Exhibition: Pre-Court Diversionary Programmes
This exhibition will provide audiences with an overview of the suite of pre-court diversionary programmes run by Integrated Service Providers (ISPs) and provide an overview of the programmes’ target groups.
Delivered by ISPs, pre-court diversionary programmes are a form of community-based early intervention to divert suitable youths who commit minor offences away from the Court system. The diversionary programmes aim to increase these youths’ motivation for change and equip them with life skills to lead pro-social lives. Modality of intervention is through group and individual counselling, family engagement and collaboration with key social support systems.
Targeted interventions provided by ISPs coupled with an emphasis on leveraging the community to support rehabilitation, has brought about consistently high programme completion and low recidivism rate of the referred youths.
|3||Support for Youths-At-Risk|
Title of Exhibition: Project Bridge – Vocational and Soft Skills Programme
The Vocational and Soft Skills Programme (VaSSP) was spearheaded by YMCA Project Bridge in July 2011. It aims to equip out-of-school youths and youths-at-risk between 14 to 21 years old with specific vocational skills that they can put to use in a job immediately. Under the programme, youths will attend vocational training conducted by established industry partners and receive guidance and support from dedicated social workers.
Title of Exhibition: I Can ACT against Scams
This exhibition will feature advisories and public education on scams targeting youths (the do’s and don’ts) so that educators and parents would be aware of the modus operandi used by scammers and would be able to provide better guidance to youths.
Members of the public can ACT to better protect themselves and their loved ones from scams by adopting 3 key actions (Add, Check, Tell):
ADD Scamshield App and security features (e.g. enable two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication for banks, social media, Singpass accounts)
CHECK for scam signs and with official sources (e.g. visit www.scamalert.sg or call the anti-scam hotline at 1800-722-6688)
TELL authorities, family and friends about scams
|5||Cyber Wellness||Title of Exhibition: WE CARE Community Services|
WE CARE Community Services Limited is the first non-denominational outpatient addiction treatment centre in Singapore. WE CARE offers counselling and programmes for all forms of addictions including drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, eating disorders, internet and gaming.
WE CARE also runs a community-based drop-in centre for recovering individuals to connect with other recovering persons. Within this safe and non-judgemental environment, WE CARE’s clients are able to work on their recovery.
WE CARE’s Centre is staffed with professional counsellors who provide one-to-one, family and group counselling. Besides in-house wellness programmes, the centre also facilitates addiction-related programmes to community agencies and halfway houses. As part of their outreach efforts, WE CARE conducts awareness and community education talks to the public and agencies. WE CARE also runs family workshops and education on how best to support loved ones affected by addiction. Crisis intervention is another important component of WE CARE’s services.
WE CARE also organise activities such as art classes, IT training, language coaching and sports, so clients can occupy themselves with healthy pursuits. Skills like money management and Microsoft Office are also taught to help clients prepare for integration back into the community.
|6||Community/ Outreach Programmes for Street-involved Youths||Title of Exhibition: Youth Community Outreach Patrol (COP)|
Youth COP is an award-winning social work programme by SHINE Children & Youth Services. The goal of the programme is reducing youth crime and juvenile delinquency prevention. Started in 2007, this school-community collaborative programme emphasises the tripartite working relationship which involves a social service agency, a local secondary school and a Neighbourhood Police Centre.
Based on sound theoretical frameworks and the collaborative efforts and resources of the different constituent partners, Youth COP sets itself apart from other existing programmes by viewing youths-at-risk as assets instead of liabilities to the community.
The exhibit aims to share the impactful processes and strategies that facilitate early intervention for youths-at-risk, using a strengths and youth-developmental approach in re-labelling negative labels.
|7||Community/ Outreach Programmes for Street-involved Youths||Title of Exhibition: Youth GO! Programme|
Youth GO! Programme (YGP) is a street outreach programme that reaches out to youths aged 12 to 21 in the community, who may be at-risk and/or have developmental needs, to provide support to them to attain a positive development trajectory.
In partnership with MSF, Care Corner Singapore and Fei Yue Community Services are the social service agencies appointed to operate this programme nationwide.
Youth GO! workers conduct street outreach, proactively reaching out to young persons to provide support for their varying needs. This encompasses providing intervention and case management, one-to-one casework and guidance to help youth clients reach education or employment goals. Engagement programmes are also conducted to provide meaningful engagement to support youth clients’ positive development.
|8||Mentoring||Title of Exhibition: Mentoring SG|
Mentoring SG aims to strengthen mentoring efforts and make mentoring accessible to all youths in Singapore. It is a platform to galvanise different players and stakeholders in the mentoring space to take collaborative action to strengthen youth development outcomes via positive identity formation and enabling youths to make better informed choices in education, career and life transitions.
At this exhibition, Mentoring SG will share its partners’ mentoring programmes that could supplement potential mentees’ growth and developmental journeys possibly after completion of their programme participation in relation to prevention, rehabilitation, and recidivism.