The policies, strategies and activities relating to institutional rehabilitation of children and young persons who have committed offences are guided by 5 principles.
Principle 1: Providing Care with the Aim of Reintegration Back into the Family and Society
The Youth Residential Service sets the policy directions and care standards of Homes for children and young persons. The care framework aims to support them at every stage, from the Homes to their re-entry back into their families and the society. Placement in Homes is considered only as a last resort when self-care, family care arrangements and community-based options are unable to help.
Residential care aims to help the person improve his or her behaviour and outlook in life, helping them get back to life with his or her family and in society. The intervention programmes aim to equip the person with the life skills and knowledge to return to their families and society smoothly.
Principle 2: Developing and Fostering a Safe and Supportive Environment for Rehabilitation
Children and young persons are placed in MSF Youth Residential Service as well as Children and Young Persons Homes for various reasons. Some require protection and treatment due to abuse and neglect, or rehabilitation because they are at risk to themselves or others, or have committed offences. These Homes strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for the residents. Besides being a secure physical environment, the Homes provide emotional support.
We continue to support those who have left these Homes. We connect them to partners in the community; help them find ways to live independently and successfully.
Principle 3: Maximizing the Strengths and Potential of Each Person
We aim to offer every person in the care of a Home the chance to maximise his or her potential. The care plan and rehabilitation programmes are designed to be relevant to each individual’s circumstance and to meet his or her needs.
The target set for each child or young person is personalised, depending on his needs and risks. For every child or young person, the desired outcome is different. The desired outcome could be improved emotional health, stronger personal discipline and social responsibility or acquiring life skills.
Principle 4: Strengthening the Family
The family is the basic unit of society. To help children and young persons who are at risk, we also work with their families. We aim to help strengthen relationships within the family which could help them stay out of trouble.
We actively involve the family and help them through their problems. We always strive to return the child or young person to his or her family unless that is not a safe option for him or her.
Principle 5: Fostering Synergistic Partnerships with the Community
The support from the community is key to helping children and young persons return to the community. We work closely with partners such as volunteers, voluntary welfare organizations, schools, employers to develop a network of programmes and services. We ensure that there is a wide variety of programmes and services that cater to the different needs of children and young persons, whether they are in the Homes or on post-care support.
MSF appoints members of the community to various committees that contribute to rehabilitation work. These committees include:
- Review Board for Children and Young Persons Homes under the Children and Young Persons' Act
- Board of Visitors and Discharge Committee for Places of Safety under the Women’s Charter
These Boards ensure that the Homes and other places are supportive environments geared towards the welfare of the residents.
The Review Board and the Discharge Committee look into how each case in the Children and Young Persons Homes is handled. They review the progress and care plans of residents and may recommend some to leave the Homes before completing the period of stay ordered.