The holistic rehabilitation for children and young persons in the MSF Youth Residential Service comprises 3 areas of focus:
- Holistic Education
- Personal Mastery (Habits, Structures and Self-discipline)
Therapy (in Homes and in Aftercare service)
The therapeutic programmes in the Youth Residential Service reach out to children and young persons at the individual, group and family levels.
Core Therapeutic Programmes
The core programmes encourage children and young persons to rethink the assumptions and outlook in life, and to apply thinking and reasoning skills in decision-making. The programmes empower them to take control of their lives and make the right choices.
The 3 core therapeutic programmes are:
- Motivating Offenders to Rethink Everything
- Reasoning and Re-Acting
- Relationship Building with family and others
Needs-specific Therapeutic Programmes
Needs-specific programmes seek to enable children and young persons to work on their behaviours so that they will stay away from criminal ways.
The programmes are:
- Violence Prevention Programme
- Theft Intervention Programme
- Self Harm Intervention Programme
- Positive Adolescent Sexuality Treatment Programme
- Family Engagement Programme
- Substance Abuse Groupwork
Some children and young persons may require specialised therapy. The Youth Residential Service works with the Clinical and Forensic Psychology to run psychological treatment programmes for them.
Programmes for Parents and Families
These programmes include counseling, workshops and seminars to support parents and other significant influencers in the lives of children and young persons. The programmes equip them with the necessary skills to support rehabilitation of the youth in the long run.
The programmes are:
- Parents Orientation and Induction to the Home’s Programmes
- Family Engagement Activities
- Family Reintegration Programme
Parents are also invited to attend components in the needs specific therapeutic programmes specific to them so that they are aware of how they can contribute to reinforce the rehabilitation efforts out of the Homes.
Youth Mentoring Programme
Each child or young person after leaving the Homes is provided with a mentor from the community for a year. This continued support and care help them to successfully reintegrate into the community, be it in school or for vocation. The mentorship strives to help youths to sustain the progress made and keep them away from crime.
Education in Youth Residential Service helps the youths achieve certification in their studies, prepare them to return to the Ministry of Education (MOE) schools, alternative educational institutions or vocational training institutes. It also prepares some of them for traineeship or employment. From 2013 onwards, MOE-trained teachers have been seconded to Youth Residential Service to conduct classes for the youths taking the academic course.
The MOE Step Curriculum Model (Adapted) guides the design and delivery of teaching to meet the learning needs of youths. The model which is adopted at the Centres of Education within the Homes sets the priorities in the delivery for teaching and learning:
- Restoring Self-belief. The first step is to help youths to rebuild and strengthen their belief, self-esteem and confidence that they can learn.
- Strengthening Foundations for Future Learning. The second step is to consolidate basic literacy and numeracy which lays the foundation for learning of all other disciplines. The 21st Century skills such as communications and computer literacy are also included.
- Leveraging Strengths and Interests. This third step addresses youth strengths and dispositions through providing a range of options, both academic and vocational.
- Broadening Horizon and Exploring Opportunities. In this final step, youths can explore different electives and tasters across the arts, sports, various industries and through community involvement projects.
Youths who will return to the MOE secondary schools, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) or the polytechnics are placed on this track.
These subjects are offered at the Secondary 1 to 4 levels and prepare youths who are on the Normal (Technical), Normal (Academic) and Express (‘O’ level) streams:
- Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
- Humanities (History, Geography, Social Studies)
- Mother Tongue Languages (Chinese, Malay and Tamil)
- Selected electives such as Principles of Accounts.
The Homes also prepare youths for the GCE ‘N’ level [N(T) or N(A)] and ‘O’Level examinations.
Basic literacy, numeracy and primary science are also offered to younger youths of 11 to 12 years old who are preparing for the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).
There are also computer literacy classes.
For youths on the Vocational Track, they can achieve recognised skills certifications in the Homes to prepare them for further vocational training or traineeship in industries.
Besides preparing them for the Work Place Literacy and Numeracy (WPLN) certification, they can choose to achieve these vocational certifications:
- Certificate in Baking (BITC)
- Higher Certificate in Culinary Skills (SHATEC)
- Certificate in Electrical Wiring(ITE)
- Certificate in Textile & Merchandising (TaTc)
- International Computer Driving License (ICDL)
- WSQ in Essential Retail Skills (WDA)
Education of children and young persons in the Homes strives to be holistic and all-round. It embraces the building of character and citizenship through the following:
- Assembly programmes which seeks to inspire youths toward desirable attitudes and values, and imbue them to achieve their aspirations,
- A Character and Citizenship education programme based on MOE R3ICH values; that is, Responsibility, Respect, Resilience, Integrity, Care and Harmony.
- The key National Education (NE) days which include Total Defence Day, Racial Harmony Day and the National Day, are commemorated and celebrated to ensure that juvenile youths are involved in strengthening the nation’s fabric as citizens.
- Community involvement using the Service Learning approach is also planned for youths to expose them to serve and be engaged with the local and where appropriate, overseas communities.
For the all-round development of children and young persons in Juvenile Homes, the Juvenile Homes also plan the following:
- Learning in the arts and sports with courses tiered at basic and mastery levels to provide knowledge and skills acquisition according to youth abilities and strengths.
- Enrichment classes in craft and life skills are offered where relevant.
Desired values, attitudes and habits of mind such as self-awareness, integrity, responsibility, decision-making, teamwork, care and empathy, together with reflection processes, are weaved into these courses and classes for the total rehabilitation of youths.
Habits, Structure and Discipline
As the Youth Residential Service runs residential rehabilitation centres and places of safety for children and young persons, through the routines, processes and programming in the Homes, the Youth Guidance Officers help children and young persons learn the importance of having good and useful habits and structures for successful living. These include basics like getting up on time, being responsible for self and in tasks and duties assigned, having adequate sleep and rest for optimal functioning the following day. They also learn how to live, work and play in harmony with others.
A critical lesson in the youth rehabilitation journey is that of building self-discipline and self-control to reign in their temperament and behaviour. To build good habits, useful structures and self-discipline, Youth Guidance Officers will plan activities and programmes whjch include tasks, individual and group work, team-building programmes and community involvement projects.
The restorative approach and practices are employed to help youths understand consequences in relation to their choices made, attitude and behavior shown. This is balanced with affirmation of good behaviours and strengths when youths demonstrate them. When the youths have built the right habits, structures and self-discipline, they will then be ready for successful learning and living as they reintegrate back to the community.