Youth at risk

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Definition and Scope

Previously, there were many definitions of youth at risk by different agencies and VWOs, but the MSF is trying to standardise this through an overarching youth-at-risk engagement framework launched in April 2016. It covers youths who may have pre-delinquency traits, prior drug experiences, incarcerated parents and/or anti-social or unhealthy presenting behaviours such as risky sexual behaviours, delinquency, violence, etc. [1]


Extent of Youth at risk problem in Singapore

The problem of Youth at risk in Singapore is a relatively less severe one compared to issues such as mental health which are more prevalent or pervasive. According to the latest mental health study, one in ten people in Singapore will be stricken by mental illness in their lifetime. In contrast, the drop out rate for primary and secondary schools was less than 1% in 2014. The latest youth at risk programme launched by MSF aims to serve about 900 at-risk youth over the next three years.[2]

Despite this, emerging problems among youth include various types of addiction (gaming, social media, tech addiction) and cyber bullying that may require youth workers to reach out to them in different ways.


Causes

Dual-income families, parents lack time to spend with children

Parents not equipped with the skills and resources to raise children well

Cyber risk - children are exposed to the internet at a young age, insufficiently equipped to discern online content


Existing Programmes

Youth GO! Programme[3] by MSF

Reach Youth[4] by Reach Community Services Society

Care Singapore[5]


Needs and Gaps