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Volunteer with MSF to Help Youths

Sign-up to be a Volunteer Probation Officer (VPO) or help out at a juvenile home or aftercare service.

Volunteer Probation Officers (VPOs)

Under MSF’s Volunteer Probation Officer Scheme, VPOs assist Probation Officers who are full-time staff of MSF.

By befriending probationers and expanding their network of support, VPOs help to guide and steer young offenders along the straight and constructive path. For many probationers who have succeeded and moved on with their lives after probation, VPOs have provided a much needed positive influence.

There is a wide scope for volunteering under Community Probation Service. Depending on the Volunteer Probation Officers’ (VPO) availability, interest, skills and training, they can be involved in any of the following:

  • Guide and supervise a probationer and counsel the probationer’s family
  • Conduct time restriction checks on probationers
  • Conduct group work for probationers
  • Conduct parenting workshop for parents of probationers
  • Plan and supervise community service projects
  • Identify and network with community resources to support healthy youth development
  • Assist in any other programmes that may be launched in order to complement the above

Probationers put under VPOs are mostly young people, aged 16 to 19 years. They are either in school, ITE Centres, serving full-time National Service or working.

Training for VPOs

Basic and on-going training are provided for VPOs. The orientation training includes:

  • Basic communication and befriending skills
  • Understanding today’s youth and models of intervention (case study method)
  • Jurisdiction of the Youth Court and the Probation Service of MSF

Training is also provided to enhance VPO’s skills in specific areas such as running support groups,  conducting group work on anger management and victim impact awareness.

From time to time, visits and practical attachments to various facilities are also arranged.

The orientation training consists of two online e-learning modules and one classroom training session usually held on Saturday mornings.

What is the commitment to be a VPO?

The minimum requirements are as follows:

a) Casework
As time is needed to build good rapport with the probationer and the family, a VPO needs to commit to at least 4 contacts with the probationer a month.

b) Conducting Time Restriction Checks

Most of the probationers are required to abide by curfew hours between 9.00pm to 6.00am. VPOs help to conduct physical checks on these probationers.

If you are interested in this scope of volunteering, you are required to conduct at least six checks per month. A special allowance is given to cover travelling expenses.

c) Ad Hoc Programmes / Projects
There are on-going programmes / projects for the rehabilitation of probationers. If you wish to be involved in any of these programmes / projects, your commitment is required throughout the duration of the programme.

If you have other personal commitments or are on leave etc., suitable alternative arrangements will be made to accommodate your needs. Your needs are also important to us.

Eligibility Criteria

Sign up to be a VPO if you believe in individual’s capacity for change and are not employed as a Police or Prison Officer. You should be 21 years old and above, have at least GCE ‘N’ level or equivalent (academic / technical) and are able to spend at least four hours per week on voluntary work. Good Interpersonal skills will be an added advantage.

“Benefits” for VPOs

VPOs will get ‘PAMPERed’!

Personal growth
Awards such as Long Service Awards and Outstanding Volunteer Award
Multiple sharing sessions such as case conferencing and dialogue sessions
Perks like opportunities for local and overseas trips for deserving VPOs and allowance for VPOs who conduct curfew checks.
Enrichment training programme to enhance your skills in volunteer work.
Recognition and rewards such as ‘Thank You’ functions and other get-together.

Application to be a VPO

Please log into https://eservice-rpg.msf.gov.sg and sign up as a volunteer with us. 

Screening / Interview Process

Upon receipt of an application, we will process it and contact the applicant to arrange for an interview. Working with offenders is one of the most challenging areas of volunteering. It is important that there be a good match between volunteer aspirations and the scope of volunteering offered by Community Probation Service.

Volunteers in MSF Juvenile Homes and Aftercare Service

The community and volunteers are paramount as our partners and pillars of support in rehabilitating the children and young persons in the Homes and Aftercare Service.

How volunteers can help us?

There are a few areas that volunteers could be involved in our work to rehabilitate and reintegrate these children and young persons into society as socially responsible individuals.

The areas of voluntary work are:

Befriending

What is the role of the volunteer?
The volunteer will provide the friendship, support and guidance to the residents in the Homes and aftercare supervisees to help them grow and develop as responsible individuals.

What are the prerequisites? The volunteer is required to:

  1. contribute at least 2 hours a fortnight;
  2. be mature, positive, supportive and non-prejudicial;
  3. have good interpersonal and communication skills; and
  4. have the belief that youths can change to become socially responsible individuals.

Providing tuition

What is the role of the volunteer?
A tutor will teach, coach and guide the residents in the Homes and aftercare supervisees in their academic subjects. In communicating with them, the volunteer also imparts and shares his knowledge and skills.

What are the prerequisites? The volunteer is required to:

  1. contribute at least 2 hours per week;
  2. have the patience and passion to teach; and
  3. have good interpersonal and communication skills.

Organising Activities

What is the role of the volunteer?

The volunteer will plan, coordinate and conduct activities in the Homes and Aftercare Service. The volunteer will help to organise both indoor and outdoor games such as camps, picnics, educational outings and other social, recreational and cultural activities.

What are the prerequisites?

The volunteer is required to:

  1. contribute at least 4 to 6 hours a month;
  2. be pro-active in planning, organising and coordinating activities especially during the school vacations in June and December;
  3. have good interpersonal and communication skills; and
  4. have the willingness to work with other volunteers and staff.

Conducting Time Restricted Checks

What is the role of the volunteer?

The volunteer will conduct time restriction checks by making random visits to the residence of the aftercare supervisees. A special allowance is given to cover travelling expenses.

What are the prerequisites? The volunteer is required to:

  1. conduct up to 6 checks per month;
  2. make field trips after 10pm; and
  3. be committed and responsible.

Planning/facilitating Ad-hoc Programmes/Projects

What is the role of the volunteer?
Volunteers who are trained in their area of expertise can deliver lectures, talks and training sessions. Volunteers can also share their knowledge and skills with other volunteers and act as resource persons. Volunteers who have vast experience in counselling and/or social work can be para-counsellors to work with the residents and their families.

What is the commitment level?
Depending on the availability of the volunteers, ad-hoc projects can be short-term, medium term and long-term. Short-term projects will normally span a week to six months. Medium term projects will span more than 6 months to less than one year. Longer-term projects will span more than a year.

Eligibility Criteria

We are looking for individuals or groups who

  • are at least 21 years and above;
  • have minimum GCE ‘N’ Level or equivalent or any ITE certificate; and
  • are able to contribute at least 2 hours per week.

What are the training programmes in place?

Training of volunteers is conducted at different stages of their service. The training will take the form of an orientation, basic training and an advanced training.

Application to be a Home and Aftercare volunteer?

Interested individuals and groups can contact the Community Partnerships Officer at 63548072 for an application form.

See Also

Volunteer Probation Officer Scheme 

Started in June 1971, the Volunteer Probation Officer Scheme, formerly called the Community Probation Service seeks to promote volunteer participation and community awareness in the rehabilitation of offenders under MSF’s purview.

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Last Reviewed On Tue, Dec 20, 2016