The Children's Home
Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home (CSLMCH) provides temporary shelter, care, and protection to boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 21 years old who come from needy and disadvantaged families in Singapore. Our Home is one of the biggest children's homes in Singapore.
There are usually 70 - 90 boys and girls living in the Children's Home and every year, 20 - 30 children are admitted or discharged back into their families or community.
Our children come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds and different regions of Singapore. They are not orphans. The majority are from low income, broken, dysfunctional or abusive families whose parents cannot, will not or should not care for them. Broken families are usually single parents who are imprisoned or facing severe financial difficulties or health issues. Dysfunctional families are usually parents who have mental health issues, addictions or who have abandoned their children. Abusive families have seriously neglected or emotionally, sexually or physically abused their children (or failed to protect them) so their children have been removed by the courts and placed in our Home for their own protection. Some of our children also have special needs (ADHD, low IQ) and their parents cannot manage them.
The children are referred to us by community partners like the Family Service Centers, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) or the Court (either on Compassionate Grounds, MSF Referred or by Court Order). We do not admit children directly and the decision to admit a child is always taken carefully. We only accept children between 5 & 16 years old and only when there are no other family members or foster parents able to care for them.
Some children stay in the Home for a couple of months, the majority (80%) stay for 6 months to 5 years and some remain in the Home for their entire childhood. It all depends on their family situation.
The Children's Home
Our mission is to provide loving, Christian nurture to needy and disadvantaged children of all races and religions so as to prepare them to be happy and responsible members of their family and community. The main Residential Home works to achieve this in 3 ways:
We provide the children with shelter, care and protection. The Children's Home has a playground, a kitchen, a dining hall, a chapel, a large multipurpose hall and six houses where the children sleep (3 for the girls & 3 for the boys). The children live in the Home but they go to their former schools during the week. Our residential care and support staff ensure that they are protected, cared for and provided with everything they need 24 hours a day in the Home.
We try to heal and develop the children. Many of the children are angry, ashamed, traumatised or dysfunctional due to their past experiences or family backgrounds. Some are so hurt, that they cannot self-regulate or understand their emotions. Our staff therefore practice Trauma Informed Care (a care structure that recognises & seeks to heal children suffering from trauma); the most traumatised children are given professional counselling and therapy; our education manager monitors the academic progress of the children and recommends extra tuition when needed; our chaplain counsels and teaches the children about Jesus and Christian values; and our partners, sponsors and volunteers provide support, friendship and enrichment programmes to inspire the children and develop their interests, talents and self-confidence.
We try to reunite the children back into their families as soon and safely as possible. Most of the boys and girls want to go back to their parents and CSLMCH believes that children are always better off living with their families than in a Children's Home. So our social workers help their families to solve their problems and encourage them to see their children as often as possible. And when the parents (or other family members) are able to care for them again, the children are discharged from the Children's Home and monitored for 2 years afterwards to ensure that the reunification process is safe and successful. Children who cannot be reunited with their families can stay in the Children's Home until they are 21 years old and have finished school, started working or gone into National Service or they can be put up for fostering.