Setting up Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSAs) was one of the Family Justice Committee’s recommendations to enhance child centricity and provide support for divorcing and divorced families and children.
DSSAs are staffed by social service practitioners equipped with the specialist knowledge and skills in handling divorce issues. They provide services ranging from information and non-legal advice pertaining to divorce, case management, counselling and family dispute management. They also run programmes catering to the unique needs of families facing divorce.
There are four DSSAs, namely:
- Care Corner Centre for Co-Parenting
Blk 62B Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, #02-143, Singapore 312062
- Centre for Family Harmony
Blk 37 Circuit Road, #02-455, Singapore 370037
- HELP Family Service Centre
Blk 570 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, #01-3317, Singapore 560570
- PPIS As-Salaam Family Support Centre
Blk 322 Ubi Ave 1, #01-591, Singapore 400322
*PPIS is currently the only DSSA that caters to divorced/divorcing Muslim couples.
The programmes available at the DSSAs are
- Parenting PACT;
- Children in Between; and,
- Other Support Programmes.
a. Parenting PACT
This programme aims to help divorced parents with minor children understand the impact of divorce on their children, learn cooperative co-parenting strategies and practise self-care. The 2-hour one-time consultation session also offers information about the community support resources available to families post-divorce. It is currently available to parents with children below the age of 14, and will be extended to parents of children aged below 21.
b. Children in Between (CIB)
This is an evidence-based programme developed by child experts. It has two components - one for parents and another for children. The parent component comprises two sessions (2 hours/session) highlighting ways in which children can be caught in the middle of their parents’ emotional conflict.
The child component is a skills-based programme held over 3 sessions (2 hours/session) to equip children with the necessary skills to manage their feelings and develop resilience despite their parents’ divorce. The programme offers age-appropriate activities that cater to the needs of primary and secondary school-going children.
c. Other Support Programmes
There are several other support programmes offered by the DSSAs where divorcing/divorced parents and children can come together in a safe and confidential environment to share their experience and offer mutual support.
The following are programmes offered at PPIS:
PPIS As-Salaam Family Support Centre
- M.A.W.A.R Support Programme for Single Mothers:
This programme provides support to divorced and widowed mothers with dependent children.
- SALAAM Support Programme:
For children/adolescents who experience grief arising from the loss of parents through divorce.