Launched in Jan 2013, the YRF-ISCOS Fairy Godparent Programme, gives children of ex-offenders better family support and a conducive home study environment. Children who need academic assistance are given tuition while those doing well will receive bursary awards. The programme also provides funding to set up proper study corners for children without conducive studying environment. The children are also attached to mentors who provide positive adult role-modelling, emotional support & guidance. There are also various parenting and family workshops as well as family bonding activities for parents and caregivers to attend.
EAS, conducted by Singapore After-Care Association (SACA), targets people who may not have been identified as needing help prior to their release from prison, or those who may have initially opted out of the programmes. The scheme acts as a safety net for those who may have initially opted out of the programmes. The scheme acts as a safety net for those who may have fallen through the cracks; they were not identified or did not qualify for aftercare programmes such as the Case Management Framework Programme or Volunteer Aftercare Programme. Clients who had initially turned down help from the schemes might have a change of heart after encountering unanticipated challenges upon release.
A specialised initiative at Lakeside (Taman Jurong), TJ Haven (TJH) aims to help the incarcerated and their families through financial assistance, family bonding activities, family life education, tuition and enrichment programmes for children.
The prison environment can be frightening and traumatic for children, given the nature of the physical setting and prison staff’s disciplined disposition. Long waits and crowded visiting rooms – with no children activities – may also discourage frequent visits between the children and their incarcerated parents. The Kids-In-Play programme operates two purpose-designed playrooms in Changi Women’s Prison and Prison Link Centre (Changi) to welcome children. The purpose of these playrooms is to let children play and forget temporarily that they are in a prison setting. This alleviates their fear, thus encouraging future visits. The playroom also serves as contact point for targeted clients.
The FOC initiative employs a holistic intervention approach in all its services, adopting five key core components: social (e.g. via group activities), physical (e.g. via birthday voucher distribution) emotional (e.g. via informal counselling), educational (e.g. via academic coaching), and “dollars” (e.g. financial assistance). FOC covers key programmes such as the “Rainbow Programme” to help children cope with the loss of their parents due to incarcerations. Other programmes include “Tuition Plus”, “Family Bonding”, “Family Integration” and financial assistance programme.
The bond between male inmates and their children are often strained because of the forced separation and relational issues, which may have existed prior to their fathers’ incarceration. A specially adapted programme ‘Date with Dad’ allows imprisoned dads the opportunity to participate in their daughter’s rite of passage growing up.