Safe & Strong Families - Reunification (SSF-R)
Safe and Strong Families (SSF) is a new pilot programme developed & sponsored by the Ministry of Social & Family Development (MSF) that seeks to strengthen family-based care and community support to ensure that more needy & vulnerable children in Singapore can stay with or go back to their families (instead of going into foster care or a Children's Home)
The SSF programme has two services: Safe & Strong Families Preservation (SSF-P) and Safe and Strong Families Reunification (SSF-R) and it aims to help over 400 families and children between 2017 and 2019.
Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home (CSLMCH) was appointed by MSF to run the pilot SSF-R service together with teams from Singapore Children's Society, Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, The Salvation Army and Boy's Town.
The 5 man SSF-R team at CSLMCH started operations in February 2017. Their mission is to reunify children who are currently living in Children's Homes or foster care back into their families in a safe, quick and sustainable way.
The selected children (0 - 21 years old) come from all over Singapore and are referred to us by MSF. The team then has 12 months to reunify these children back into their families. The team members visit the selected families in their homes at least twice a week (depending on their needs) and the reunification work is divided into 2 phases:
Preparation Phase -
During the first 4 - 6 months (when the child is still in a Children's Home or foster care) the SSF-R team works to build a safety network (to ensure the child will be safe) and activate community agencies and resources to help the child's family solve the issues which are preventing the child from going back home (e.g. housing, unemployment, immigration issues, health problems etc).
Stabilisation Phase -
After the child has been discharged from the Children's Home or foster care and reunified with their family, the SSF-R team will then work for the remaining time period to monitor the well being of the child; improve the family functioning (by providing training in parenting skills & communication); and ensure continued support from community agencies and resources so that the reunification is safe, successful & permanent.