Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Tan Chuan-Jin announced two new initiatives for more effective guidance and rehabilitation of at-risk youth.
A $2 million pilot programme - the Youth-At-Risk Engagement (YARE) Framework - will be started in April 2016. Projected to last three years, it aims to serve up to 900 at-risk youths. Under the initiative, standardised assessment tools will be developed and used to better assess the risk level and needs of the youths. The design and curriculum of at-risk youth programmes, including those involving mentoring and character development through sports or arts, will also be strengthened.
To help youth workers in Singapore raise their capability and provide more effective interventions, a National Youth Work Competency (NYWC) Framework will be developed. A joint initiative between the Central Youth Guidance Office and National Council of Social Service, it will set out the specialised competencies required by youth work professionals. With the framework, youth workers and their supervisors will be able to identify and participate in suitable courses to develop their competencies and careers. The initiative is expected to benefit over 200 practitioners in the youth work sector.
The two initiatives were announced at the ACT! Conference for At-Risk Youth attended by 1,000 participants from government agencies, voluntary welfare organisations and schools who are actively involved in helping at-risk-youth. A book titled “The Right Side 2” was also launched at the conference to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR). The book documents the contributions of NYGR partners towards at-risk youths over the last decade and features success stories of young people whose lives have been rebuilt.
The National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR) was formed in 1995. Senior Minister of State Mr Desmond Lee has just succeeded Minister Masagos Zulkifli as NYGR’s chairperson. NYGR comprises agencies with a stake in reducing juvenile delinquency and youth crime. The committee includes representatives from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health, National Council of Social Service, National Youth Council, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Prison Service, Central Narcotics Bureau, National Crime Prevention Council, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the State Courts, the academia as well as the self-help groups.
The Central Youth Guidance Office (CYGO) is an inter-ministry unit comprising officers seconded from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development. It is the secretariat and executive arm of NYGR. As the central co-coordinating agency, CYGO looks into early intervention strategies to prevent at-risk youths from committing crime. It keeps an overview of the programmes and services in order to address the gaps. Its work is part of an integrated approach towards prevention and early intervention.
Fact Sheet on Youth-At-Risk Engagement Framework and National Youth Work Competency (NYWC) Framework