Youth at risk

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Definitions and Scope

Target Population: Youth at Risk

Youth in Risk - these are youth offenders, see page on Juvenile Delinquents

Youth at Risk -

Previously, there were many definitions of youth at risk by different agencies and VWOs, but 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]

See also youthreach definition [2]

Not well engaged in school, negative peer influence, frustration and intolerance, poor decision making skills. Not offended (Trybe inputs on definition of youth at risk)

“Those who have been subjected to a combination of interrelated biological, psychological, and social factors that result in a greater likelihood for the development of delinquency, substance abuse, or other related anti-social and self destructive behaviours” - Inter-Ministry Committee on Youth Crime (IMYC), 2002

CARE: Systemic point of view: failure of adult systems to support the formation of youth Broad definition is useful to accommodate a wide spectrum of abuse, but can focus on specific issues

See Sector Report by Just Cause Asia

Client Segments

By Degree of Severity?

1-Disengaged, at risk of dropping out of school

- Attendance: Poor attendance or having to see counsellor, these are labelled as problem by the schools

- Academic performance: Academically under-performing youth, eg those in normal academic and normal technical streams?

2-General Mental Health and Well-being Youth with mental health issues

3-NEET / School drop-outs

4-Beyond parental control

-Beyond parental control or BPC refers to a child or young person who is below the age of 16 years who may be in persistent conflict with his/her parent/s and school or other authorities and who may be displaying at risk behaviours. Usually, there is a breakdown in the relationship and communication between the child/young person and his/her parent/s. It may result in the inability of the parent/s to exercise care and control over the child/young person. In these circumstances, the parent/s can apply to the Youth Court for a BPC order.[3]

5-Juvenile delinquents

Juvenile Delinquents

At risk and in risk: those who have offended, they have been caught, the others haven't been caught, or just not reach the risk yet. Those who have gone through court system, will think differently.

Trybe's segmentation of clients for reference: degrees of seriousness of those who are at risk -time-out program, school identifies and they work on socio-emotional competencies, relationship management etc, esteem, motivation; usually in group setting -YARE: casework and mentoring, more individualised and work with family. [not necessarily mores serious but more open to one to one] -service learning

Size of the Problem

1a- Youths in Singapore who are involved in substance abuse

According to the drug situation report (2016) [4] CNB arrested a total of 3,265 drug abusers in 2016. This was a 2% decrease from the 3,343 drug abusers arrested in 2015. While the number of repeat drug abusers arrested decreased by 6%, from 2,034 in 2015 to 1,917 in 2016, the number of new drug abusers arrested increased by 3%, from 1,309 in 2015 to 1,348 last year. Close to two-thirds of new abusers arrested were youths under 30 years of age.

There are 151 young Singaporeans studying in primary to tertiary public educational institution caught for drug offences in 2016. There are 124 being caught in 2015 and 83 in 2014. With that, we can tell that as the years goes by, there are more and more numbers of youths in Singapore who are involved in substance abuse.

From a survey, it concluded that more young people have liberal attitude towards drugs. The 'Youth Perception Survey' revealed that 58% of young people said that they learnt about drug-related content via social media. The survey also showed that there is a increase in the proportion of young people who perceived cannabis as a popular drug of abuse, with number standing at 35%, up from 17% in 2013. (

 Legalisation abroad contributes to liberal attitudes towards cannabis - the most common drug clients turn to - online buying on social media has made it easy. A Facebook page seen by The Straits Times had sellers openly advertising drugs such as ecstasy and cannabis to a group of over 1,200 members. Media:

The Government's Task Force on Youth and Drugs commissioned a survey in 2015, which found that cannabis abusers came from either middle or high socio-economic households, unlike Ice abusers, who tended to come from lower-income backgrounds. The survey - which polled 700 young people aged between 12 and 29, including more than 200 drug abusers - found that a high proportion of cannabis abusers did well in school and only a small proportion had parents with drug histories.[Media:]

1b- Increase in Youth drug abuse According to CNB, 3,245 drug abusers were arrested last year, a 3 per cent decrease from the year before. The number of repeat drug abusers arrested also went down 7 per cent from 2,034 in 2015 to 1,898 last year.

However, the number of new drug abusers arrested rose 3 per cent to 1,347 from 2015's 1,309. Among the new abusers arrested, close to two-thirds were below 30 years old, according to the latest statistics.

About 41 per cent of the total drug abusers arrested last year were under 30, CNB figures showed.

From this statistics present, we are can see that although there has been a decrease of drug abusers in Singapore, there has been an increase of youth substance abuses cases and majority of those arrested were under 30 years old.

"While there are no accurate statistics available, it is estimated by Dangerous Drugs Board as many as 3.7 millions in the Philippines are dealing with drug addiction just a year 2016, 65 percent of it -is young people. "

Indicate the percentage of youths in Singapore who are involved in substance abuse. It would be good to compare the percentage with those in other countries. Nearly 70 per cent of new drug abusers arrested in 2015 were aged below 30. The average age of drug dependency in South Africa is 12 years old and dropping. However, maybe South Africa should not be compared to Singapore since it's not doing as well as Singpore , thus it is normal to see South Africa having more youth involved in substance abuse. However when we look COMPARE Australia. Australia has seen 12–17 year-olds were drinking alcohol and the proportion abstaining from alcohol significantly increased from 2013 to 2016 (from 72% to 82%). Thus this shows youths in Singapore involved in substance abuse is still lower compared to other countries that are doing as well as Singapore such as Australia. (Perpetua response)

"5-19 years old group has the claim of drug use; more males than females who are drug users and drug rehabilitation centres claim that majority of clients belong to age group of 25-29 years old. According to the SWS survey, 1996- 1.5M youth Filipinos and 1997- grew into 2.1M youth Filipinos are into substance abuse "

-1c Comparing with other countries

All in all, we are able to see that there is a huge difference when we compare the number of youth drug offenders in Singapore against Philippines. It is because of the difference in population in both countries which contributed in such difference in number. However, it can be seen in the statics of both countries which shows that there is a rising numbers of youth who are abusing substance

- 2 Rise in Incidences of Violence related to Underage Drinking

Drinking among the young

The legal drinking age in Singapore is 18 years. However, this time we do not have an accurate estimate of underage drinking in the country, but there is a vague but general sense of unease that it might be fairly pervasive.

The dire consequences of early heavy drinking in the young can happen even before it develops into a disorder. Underaged drinking increased risks of fatal accident, self-harm, violent behaviour, criminality, unprotected sex, teenage pregnancy - and for girls, of being sexually assaulted.

Heavy drinking over time damages the adolescent brain more than the adult brain and makes them less able to curb cravings for alcohol. This may explain why people who begin drinking at an early age are at greater risk of becoming alcoholics.


For alcohol consumption in Singapore, the legal age is 18 years old. Despite having the heavy law enforced in Singapore there’s still the number of underage drinking happening. The WHO study of 2004 has found out that 73.5% of males and 64.5% of the female between age 15 and 19 years old drank alcohol. When underage drinker is intoxicated they are more likely to be involved in the acts of vandalism and other serious crimes that they might commit with their friends.

Underage drinking can cause impulsive act which the number of youth are getting into violent in fights which seem to be on the rise. Which during 2014, there at 322 underage drinkers were arrested for rioting that the percentage jump from 18.8% 2013.

Seeing the statistics of American underage drinking, according to 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the estimated number of Americans between the age of 12 to 20 are reporting so alcohol consumption of underage drinking. Which this represents about nearly 20% of the age group who consume alcohol illegally.


- 3 Rise in Incidences of Violence Related to Drug Abuse

The use of alcohol and drugs can negatively affect all aspects of a person’s life, impact their family, friends and community, and place an enormous burden on American society. One of the most significant areas of risk with the use of alcohol and drugs is the connection between alcohol, drugs and crime.

Alcohol and drugs are implicated in an estimated 80% of offenses leading to incarceration in the United States such as domestic violence, driving while intoxicated, property offenses, drug offenses, and public-order offenses.

Our nation’s prison population has exploded beyond capacity and most inmates are in prison, in large part, because of substance abuse:

• 80% of offender’s abuse drugs or alcohol. • Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted. • Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illegal drugs at arrest. • Each year, more than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. • 95% of all violent crime on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both. • 90% of acquaintance rape and sexual assault on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both.

From the statistics present, we would agree with the statement that there is a rise in incidences of violence related to drug abuse not only in our own country but in other regions as well.



In the article above, it is said that youths lead to abuse towards parents when asking for money to cover for their substance abuse. This is an immoral behaviour that youths have adopted because of their crazy addiction.

Rise in number of new addiction cases Two hospitals here have seen more new addiction cases in recent years. From 2013 to 2014: - New cases of drug addiction rose by nearly 12% from 591 to 661. - New alcohol addiction cases rose from 415 to 433, which is about 4% increase - New gambling addiction cases rose from 418 to 526, which is about 26% increase - The number of inpatient cases (both new and repeat) with alcohol addiction rose 27%, from 259 in 2013, to 329 in 2015. [7]

  • In Singapore*

Singapore has one of the strictest laws on drug related offences which makes Singapore one of the few countries in the world that could dealt effectively with the drug problem. By having a tough legal framework against traffickers and abusers. Singapore will carry out intensive efforts to educate Singaporeans on the dangers of drug abuse — and all these are complemented by comprehensive rehabilitation measures. Such as crimes committed under the influence of drugs will be punish accordingly.

Although Singapore have low percentages of poeple committing drug related offences, there are still a small percentage of poeple who does.

I would be using the article as an clear examples of how drug can influence us and hurt people around us. [8] A 39-year-old man has been arrested for suspected drink-driving, drug-related offences and for injuring three police officers when he resisted arrest. Which shows us that drug abuser does not only harm themselves but also harm others, as the drugs will control over your mind and body. Nonetheless, Singapore Police was able to handle this solution quickly, and have charged that man for his crimes.

4- The Prevalence of Youth Drug Abuse based on Family History Family backgrounds such as income, parenting, and education will affect the likelihood of their children abusing drugs. Children of more affluent families may be at greater risk, of facing anxiety and depression as these children experience more pressure from family such as doing well in school and life. The pressure and isolation from parents resulted them in using drugs.

Growing up in a family that emphasizes getting "high" from legal or illegal substances can cause an adolescent to think drug use is acceptable. Mayo Clinic explains that this unhealthy family influence may be a factor in a youth's initial drug experimentation. Exposure to family members who reach for a substance to cure every pain or ailment can cause a youth to do the same. Youths get many of their values from parents and other adult influences, and often mimic what they see.

Thus, it is important for parents to set a good example and provide good guidance on shaping the lives of our young ones. Children will always look up to their grandparents,parents or even siblings and pay closely attention to their actions and tend to mimic the way they behave. They may feel that it is acceptable for them to do if their parents, siblings or grandparents have done so. This is crucial when it comes to severe matters like drinking, doing drugs or even gambling.

Genetics make up to 50% of risk for alcohol and drug usage. Children are likely to develop the same drug habits as their parents. Certain people are more prone to addiction and it could be run in the family.

- Family, parenting all gives factor to a child's mentality and behaviour. Since family is one of the first and main point of socialization, the type of parenting and guidance will affect the youths attitude. If the children have good role model parents, they will likely to follow their path considering the type f household they have. However, if children grows up in a how where he/she sees their parents doing vices (smoking, alcohol or drugs) they might get the perception that these activities are normal and alright. Although there are some research that addiction in drugs or alcohol can be inherited, huge factors come from the youth's surroundings such as peers and family. Therefore, it is important to have families that are giving correct guidance and making sure that they are displaying the correct behaviour. (e.g. personal experience : growing up in a household where vices is looked down upon too, we have the mentality not to engage in such activities as guidance is taught from young).

Understanding Youths in Singapore


MOE has 10 year drop out rates, less than 1%. We take 10 years of education, not 12 years like other countries. If look at post-secondary, the drop-out rates are higher (need to verify, may be as high as 20%). [but the prolem is nowadays, 10 years of education is still not enough? but there is SkillsFuture for that]

[Knowledge gap: Is there a class difference?...whether affluent families use other resources rather than government or voluntary resources]

The social classes

Emerging group that comes from middle class background (CNB), not majority but there is increaseing gorup.

Youth guidance

CYGO defines at risk as about 300 per year (or rather they have secured funding to serve 300). general conduct, peer related issues, risk of dropping out. Left it to each agency to streamline. CYGO found that there is no clear definition of youth at risk, hoping this initiative will help them clarify this definition.

3,265 young people aged from seven to 19 were arrested in 2015, up from 3,120 in 2014 and 3,031 in 2013 (ST 14 Nov 2016)

[youth court sentenced...then serve in their homes, there are other voluntary homes, those homes take in a wider range] [capacity to serve 120, but right now about 70] [see annual report by probation service].

[a lot more diversionary programs in place...guidance programs and enhanced step-up][there are some that have gone through diversionary program]

Mental health study on youths

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.[9]


-Useful to track 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: The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) in Singapore has launched a free one-stop service, called Help123, for youth cyber wellness issues. Media: -Useful to have size of expressed need (those receiving services and on waitlist)

Additional data on the study of youths in Singapore

-Insert findings of National Youth Survey of NYC, and Youth Statistics

-refer to Singstat

-Useful to have figures or projections for where the youths are distributed for purpose of service planning: eg whether they are in Tampines or Sengkang.

-useful to insert figures for marriage between minors, or one partner is a minor: In 2016, 0.4 male and 1.7 female for every 1000 unmarried citizens aged 15 to 19 are married.


Children and Young Persons Act Requirement for all Children and Young Persons Homes to be licensed. All cases of children residing in Homes will be reviewed by a Review Board comprising independent members from the community, to ensure that there are proper care plans in place for children, and also conduct visits to the Homes to ensure that residents have a safe environment (MSF webpage)

Policy Developments

Smaller agencies currently running the programmes will stop receiving new cases from MSF so that the programmes can be centralised at the two integrated service providers' centres in Woodlands and Clementi. Eventually, MSF will roll out such providers all over Singapore (ST 16 Nov 2016)

YARE court order. Therefore youth and parent have to consent to the program, no need to come. Have to sell it to them, dont say 'youth at risk' when they talk to youths?

Desired impact for target group

At risk youth - strengthening of internal resource to overcome adversity, see improvement in decision or coping skills; meaningful engagement - ie they have to enjoy and find fulfillment in attending school, relationship with adult figures and peers. Enjoyment is important (combination of both productive behavior and social relationships)

In risk - Successful re-integration to family and community. remain offence free. taste success in what they are doing, by their own definition... dreams and goals. Walk out not thinking they have served a sentence, but they have done something useful. [There is a community developed]


-Less engaged students - Students Care Service uses psycho-social indicators to measure. School engagement scale. too difficult to chase social workers and school for figures. also do not know how sensitive they are to schools. hard to track (see School Social Work in Students Care Service)

-NEETs- stay in school, finish education, can ask schools for data. (Not sure if schools will give data. Also check Enhanced Step-Up data).

-Juveniles delinquents - goal is no recidivism. Hope it is the last time we see them in Guidance Program. MSF shares recidivism numbers to Students Care Service. Estimate about less than 5-10%.

-- Reaching their potential, meaningful contribution to society [care: KPIs-check improvement indicators like staying in school...Kirkpatrick model; qualify to be student leaders, ready able and willing to take on leadership, eg 1/5 of cohort of a htousand will be able to do that]

Needs of Youth at Risk

[ADD: need to add peer group influence; ADD: Need to discover and achieve their aspirations (possible add to 'meaningfully engaged'; need to develop a sense of positive identitykkk]

Need to avoid crime and delinquency

[Highest form of crime is shop theft and it is after school. ask CARE for research report]

Resources and Limitations

- Enhanced STEP-UP Programme To avoid crime, making sure youths are well engaged and occupied in school works. Youths at risk are also prone to skipping or dropping out of school. The government has school programmes such as the Enhanced STEP-UP Programme which is aimed to prevent youths at risk to drop out of school and is also a support program for those who have dropped out.There are two services provided by the government, service A and service B. Service A helps students improve their attendance and remain in school while service B are targeted at students who are at high risk of dropping out due to their severe absenteeism. Drop-outs are engaged meaningfully to persuade them to return to school [Although we are not sure how effective the method is in getting drop outs to return to school] By keeping the youths busy with school, they are less likely to commit crimes due to lack of time and also influence by peers and teachers. [10]

[Aimed to prevent youths at risk to drop out of school and is also a support program for those who have dropped out. There are two services provided by the government, service A and service B] A is more preventive (about 70%), B is remedial (almost at rate of dropping out) [Service A helps students improve their attendance and remain in school while service B are targeted at students who are at high risk of dropping out due to their severe absenteeism. Drop-outs are engaged meaningfully to persuade them to return to school] ([11]) For both services, it is only eligible for youths under the age of 21 years old. The pros of Service A is it helps the youth in improving their school attendance. As for service B, it helps the youth to readmit back to their school. Thus, both services are actually trying to help youth and ensure that they are in school, learning and coping well. The limitations is that not all youths under the age of 21 is eligible for it. They have to be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

- Counselling Counselling provided by schools in a period of time. To check mental health, situations at home or problems they may face. This will avoid future crimes committed or rebellion.

-School Assembly Talks on Crime Prevention. Organised by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and Singapore Police Force (SPF)(NYGR). For the school assembly talks, the limits and challenges of these events is that it is too generalized. In a sense that mass talks are not as efficient in sending out messages as important as crime prevention. It is not efficient because the students would not be listening there would be too much distractions or they do not find the topic interesting enough. Adding to that, assembly talks can only do so much. It does not guarantee that the students would understand and reflect on what was covered. Therefore it does not prevent delinquency or even youth crime. It is actually a not very effective form of deterrence. School assembly talks are to educate youths on crime prevention measures and the serious consequences of breaching the laws, this is a form of deterrence as youths are educated on the consequences of the crimes.

- YouthCOP In partnership with the Singapore Police Force, lets youths get involved with the community to keep the community safe. Youths are taught about youth crimes and various laws in Singapore. This will educate the youths. However the limits and challenge of YouthCOP is that not everyone is in the program hence not a lot of youth will be educated about crime and it will cost a lot of money.

One way to prevent crime and delinquency would be to conduct crime prevention talks. Crime prevention talks are held during school assemblies to educate youths on crime prevention measures and the serious consequences of breaching the laws. This will allow them to have some knowledge on what will happen if they commit a crime and the consequences they will have to face. Police officers have also been giving out small alarms where u can pull the string if something happens you. For example, i was at Bishan with my friends and this group of officers came up to us giving this small alarm to us. They said that if something happens to us, we can pull the string and a loud alarm will sound. This will alert the people around me and will also prevent crime from happening.

YouthCOP is another way to prevent crime and delinquency. It aims to ensure there develop youth crime-prevention leaders in the community, to serve, protect and care, for the community. This is to ensure that youths will be more cautious with crimes happening around them.

also preventive. Start at sec 1, finish at sec 4. about 3 years. anti crime ambassadors. work with neighborhood police, who come and train some of the group work sessions. eg take youths on a patrol around the neighborhood. Do door to door visits. prevent crime in neighborhood or prevent crime in school? develop skills and competencies in engaging neighbors. Educate them about crime. Use a risk screening tool, but no very successful, for higher risk youths. for their community youths, the risk is lowered, becuase tool is not sensitive enough. [knowledge gap: a more senstitive tool to measure risk level for moderate risk youths]

- The Honorary Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC) School Scheme Implemented by the government aims to help schools and Institute of Technical Education (ITEs) better manage student delinquency by extending police authority to school personnel such as disciplinary teachers and operations managers. With that title, they can advise the school on matters regarding delinquency, counsel the offenders or at risk delinquents, enforce the laws in the schools and also engage with the public and the community regarding youth crimes. {For example, when I was in secondary school, I remember my peers who have already engaged in youth crimes being approached by the operation manager and after receiving counselling from the operation managers, they stopped with their crimes because they had forged a friendship with the operation manager and did not want to disappoint him by committing another crime.}

Help schools and Institute of Technical Education (ITEs) better manage student delinquency by extending police authority to the personnel such as Discipline Masters, Teachers as teacher-cops. [As Honorary Voluntary Special Constabulary (VSC) (School) Officers or teacher-cops, they enforce laws in the school, counsel delinquents, advise on matters relating to delinquency and police procedures and also engage the public and community organizations to address youth crimes] (NYGR). This program it instilled to help deter and prevent crimes. In addition, talks are also held in schools as well to educate students on the measures and consequences of crimes. This way youths are able to be more alert and aware of their behavior.

- Prison Visit Education Programme for Schools (PVEPS) The programme may deter but will not stop the youths from committing crimes permanently as possible reason why they would do crime may be due to peer pressure or personal reasons. Yes, educating them is not wrong but the youths may take it as granted knowing the consequences they have to bear for doing crimes. It may scare them awhile but after they might forget and commit the crime. It may not be as effective as putting them in the prison to experience the pain that a offender have to take because they are just visiting as a visitor to look at the environment and not experiencing it personally to know the seriousness of committing a crime. In addition, the programme may not be as persuasive as the youths being helped by their family instead. Some youths commit crimes because they have been neglected by their family and so, counselling both the youth and his family may be more effective to understand why he would commit crime and that would be easier for family to know what they can do to stop their child from becoming a offender in the future. Ultimately, the only way to change the youths are them willing to help themselves, if they do not, no one else can help either, same goes for the programme.

The challenge of the Prison Visit Education programme for Schools (PVEPS) is that it only works on students who are studying at certain schools. This programme also takes place over a short period of time. They may be educated on the harshness of the prison life but they are still young. They may not truly understand the seriousness of the consequences/punishments of drug abuse. Also, once they’ve graduated, they will no longer be tied to this programme. Hence, it is going to be much harder to monitor and control them so that they will not be offenders. Like the PDC DRC programme, this programme also doesn’t guarantee that the students will not fall into drug abuse.

PVEPS targets students who are considered by their schools as high-risk of committing crime due to their school discipline records. The programme aims to deter potential first-time offenders by exposing them to the harshness of prison life. Launched in 2004, PVEPS is a joint initiative by the Singapore Police Force, Singapore Prison Service and Ministry of Education (NYGR). [They are male students aged between 13-19 years old, who have been identified as at-risk of offending, and who have not been arrested by the police prior to the prison visit and have not visited any prison and any other programmes.]

Need to avoid underage drinking

In Singapore, binge drinking is more common among 18 to 29 year olds—18.7% of men and 12.2% of women. In 2010, the Singapore Mental Health Study found that about 3.5% of our citizens suffered from alcohol abuse at some point in their lives and 0.5% from alcohol addiction (or alcoholism). The WHO study of 2004 found that 73.5% of males and 64.5% of females aged 15 and 19 years of age drank alcohol. Studies show that underage drinkers who start drinking before age 15 years are six times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after age 21 years. Youths should therefore stay alcohol-free and be made aware of the consequences of drinking at an early age.

Violence and Underage Drinking

At Singapore's largest addiction treatment centre, the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS), counsellors saw 433 new cases from April 2014 to March 2015, compared with 415 cases a year earlier. In 2010, there were approximately 189,000 emergency rooms visits by people under age 21 in the U.S for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol. This is because alcohol use directly affects cognitive and physical function. Hazardous alcohol use can reduce self-control and the ability to process incoming information and assess risks and makes them more likely to resort to violence in confrontation. Similarly, reduced physical control and ability to recognize warning signs in potentially dangerous situations can make some drinkers easy targets for perpetrators.

[Refer to size of problem for more stats]

Consequences of Under-aged drinking

Consequences of Underage Drinking [this part needs source and statistics]

-School problems, such as higher absence and poor or failing grades -Social problems, like fighting and lack of participation in youth activities -Legal problems, such as arrest for driving or physically hurting someone while drunk -Physical problems, such as hangovers or illnesses -Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity due to unconsciousness -Disruption of normal growth and sexual development as well as changes in brain development -Physical and sexual assault -Higher risk for suicide and homicide -Alcohol-related car crashes and other unintentional injuries, such as burns, falls, and drowning -Memory problems -Death from alcohol poisoning -Development of physical and emotional dependency on alcohol [12]

Subjective Concerns about Underage Drinking -There are different views on underage drinking with parents supervision. Some people from a Singapore forum known as Reddit Singapore, think that as long as there is parent supervision, there is no problem as the parent can help if any situation arise. Furthermore, drinking wine has proved to be good for health when consumed correctly. For example, my friend's uncle approved of underage drinking with supervision and moderate consumption as it is said to reduce risk of developing and dying from heart disease. A Singaporean parent claim that it does not serves as a problem, so long that the child understands the effects and consequences of drinking in a forum.

- Whereas, others in the forum called Reddit Singapore, disagree in underage drinking with parents supervision. My primary school friend's mother refuses to allow underage drinking for their children in fear that my friend might get addicted and binge on alcohol, even with supervision. Over consumption of alcohol can cause damaging effects to kidney, and even death.Therefore, parents do not allow underage drinking even with supervision.

- Another issue is the age that youth first drinks alcohol. In America, the average age for a girl and boy to consume their first alcohol is 13 and 11 respectively. They begin drinking regularly at an average age of 15.9 years. In Singapore, the average age that youths started drinking is about 12 to 13 years old. It is similar to the result from America. Many youths are starting alcohol on a very young age nowadays. In Straits Times, a senior director for youth services at the Singapore Children's Society, say that the reason this occurs is due to adults constantly drinking in front of youths. This can be a case of influence from families. Families are the primary agents of socialisation. Thus, children will follow their parents' examples.

- Ms Lena Teo, assistant director of counselling at the Children-at-Risk Empowerment Association (Care Singapore), says that the accessibility of alcohol in Singapore is a reason when interviewed by Straits Times. Although the legal age to buy alcohol is 18, youths now have found a way to gain access to alcohol. They will seek help from their peers who are of the legal age, and get alcohol from them. They may even give an excuse, stating that their mother need wine for cooking. There are many places to gain alcohol in Singapore due to the increasing night clubs and shops selling alcohol.

- My secondary school friend thinks that youths who drink are "cool". Many people are drinking alcohol, thus it is seen as a "trend" to drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol makes them feel like an "adult". They want to gain recognition from their peers as a youth, especially if they are not given attention from their families. Thus, they might drink to impress their friends by drinking alcohol as it is "cool".

-Drinking alcohol is not necessary bad but it should not be abused. Children should know the limit of drinking alcohol such as how much will caused them to be drunk. Exposing children to alcohol since young is also good as this cause their tolerance level to be higher and girls will be taken advantage easily by others when drinking alcohol

- Another concern that the people have is the dangers of underage drinking. For example, my parent might think that underage drinking can cause accidents to happen. As the youths are not sober enough, they are more prone to making mistakes. For example, they may cross the road without looking for cars, which can cause a fatal car accident to occur. Others think that it can lead to a mistake such as having sexual intercourse due to the heat of the moment. Hence, parents might fear that their child may make mistakes that cannot be reverse due to drinking. 

- Upon asking my parents and gathering their concerns on the matter, i discovered that most of their concerns were that we might end up ruining our life or suffer from alcohol related diseases. As a parent, they fear that we might get drawn into drinking alcohol and get addicted to it due to peer pressure. The need to "fit in" or "depression" can lead to teens drinking alcohol which has multiple negative side effects, such as liver cancer as stated from, if abused. In addition to this, they also fear that we may end up having jail time, which can affect our abilities to find jobs, just like Favian Kang Kok Boon, cited from

Existing Resources

- Alcoholics Anonymous Singapore

- National Addictions Management Service

- WE CARE Community Services Limited

- Teen Challenge Singapore

- The National Addiction Management Services

- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Gaps and Their Causes

- Mostly all underage drinkers are caused by their peers around them having peer influencing an individual to join them for a drink. Which youth gather together to have a drink and to have fun that helps the youth to feel relax and escape their stress from their school work etc. In addition, it reduces their inhibited that makes an individual feel at ease when socialising with their friends, chatting and having fun while drinking.

- Next, one of the main reasons is a growing tolerance for social drinking. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for adults to drink socially in front of children. Hence, this set of behavior will make children think that it is alright to drink as well. This causes them to model their parents behaviour which causes drinking from a young age.

{My parents are non-alcoholic drinkers but my relatives are like any other typical Singaporean uncles and aunties who loves to consume alcohol even when there is no special occasions like Chinese New Year. As such, I started to learn to drink as there will be many leftover beer cans at home which look tempting to me as I have always wondered what's so nice/interesting about beer that my relative loves to consume them as much as I love coke. I tried it and it somehow got to me that there is nothing nice about it but something about it just make me feel so calmed. This lead me to getting addicted to drinking when I was in secondary 4. I would drink every night at home to calm my mind from all the stress and worries I have to deal with during the day due to the preparation of my major exams, O Levels. After a few months of that routine, I found that I would feel light-headed frequently and would faint out of nowhere even if I had eaten. My parents bought me to the doctor and found out that I have very low blood sugar due to the amount of alcohol in my body.}

- Parent’s neglect of their child’s adolescence period. During the adolescence period, teens tend to be more sensitive when they are not able to receive the attention they needed their parents. They will then try to be problematic and cause trouble for themselves or for parents, usually so that they will get their parents’ attention. Thereupon, parents should pay more attention to their child especially during adolescence, and monitor their child activities at all time. [need reference]

- Furthermore, if a child does not receive the affection and attention they seek from their parents or family, they will turn to their friends as an "alternate" family and seek guidance from them. If the friends they mix with are a bad crowd that participate in deviant activities like underage drinking, the child is more likely to participate in them as well to fit in with the friend group.

{My friend who was 16 at the time had been pressured into underage drinking at her void deck. She was accompanied by two boys that were 18 and felt the need to fit in by drinking with them. Underage drinking is already illegal in itself, but so is drinking in public. She did not care for the consequences as she was too worried about being left out.}


- Also, alcohol is easily accessible. Even convenient stores such as 7-Eleven have alcohol for sale. It is not tough for these youths to get them as they are able to ask their legal-age friends to purchase it for them.

- In addition, it is due to the curiosity. They are interested or have a desire to find out what it feels like to be high or intoxicated causing them to have the first drink. Subsequently, this behaviour when not monitored will lead to alcohol abuse. [need reference]

- Ease of applying for credit cards as means to sustain drinking habit. There are even credit companies that do not require adult consent for those aged 18 to apply. Thus, this will cause youths to spend more money on drinking. [need reference]

-There also has been an increasing number of night spots in Singapore. This outlets may become areas for youths to socialise and there is a likelihood that they will drink. [need reference] Popular media. A lot of shows portray actors and idols drinking. Youths would be compelled to mimic them as well. An avenue to relieve stress. Some teens face problems and emotional struggles in their growing years and they turn to drinking to alleviate their worries, escape reality and make them feel good. Boredom. They seek fulfilment in their lives. Some might turn to turn to drinking and similar youths to fill the emptiness within themselves. Rebellion. Instant gratification. They enjoy immediate stimulants and temporary happiness. Lack of self-confidence. a way to break away from insecurities and enjoy themselves. Misinformation. Wrong information spread to the teen by peers. Hence, they do not know the real consequences of drinking.

Possible Solutions

- Educating the youth allowing them to know the potential risk of underage drinking

- Reduce commercial and social availability of alcohol

- Excise taxes

- Increase age of drinking consumption. For instance, Malaysia intends to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 to prevent prevent underage drinking and limit the accessibility of alcohol to high-risk groups.

- Engage youths in many activities such as sports, events so that they may not turn to drugs or alcohol.

- An emphasis on normative education that reinforces the awareness that most adolescents do not use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs (USA)

- Structured, broad-based skills training, such as goal setting, stress management, communication skills, general social skills, and assertiveness skills (USA)

- Alternative court options for alcohol related misdemeanors for adults should be available and include education, treatment options and drug testing along with a screening process to determine appropriate level of intervention and use of predictive factors to focus treatment (Alaska)

- Parents talk with child if there has been a history of alcoholism in the family — being open with them will encourage them to share their problems with parents

- Parents of child should lead by example. For instance, they should refrain drinking in front of their children or even stop drinking at all.

- Monitor children’s activities during adolescence

- Strengthening family bonding

- The National Addiction Management Services offers advice on all types of addiction problems. This service is located in Buangkok View and can be contacted on 6389 2387 (Singapore)

- Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who support each other in an attempt to quit alcohol. There are meetings in a number of places in Singapore and they can be contacted on 6475 0890. (Singapore)

-There are many Singaporeans who decided to travel further afield in search of help for their addiction. The Drug and Alcohol Rehab Asia is the leading destination for those looking for quality treatment in Asia.

- We Care Centre offers support for anyone affected by addiction in Singapore. They can be contacted on 6471 5346.


Need to avoid drug abuse

According to The Strait Times, a story of Jesscia of her trying on drug. She has tried on weed when she was 15 years old. She has been on weed from 15 years old until she was in polytechnic. When she was in polytechnic, she and her friends would be smoking at the school toilet or nearby park or went to somebody house on a high drug. She has been arrected and caught for drug comsumption and be placed on a year's probation. [15]

The Effects of Drug Abuse [this section needs references]

On teens - Emotional problems. Drug abuse can cause or mask emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. In fact, among teens with major depression, 34.6 percent report using drugs. Unfortunately, drug use can also increase the severity of these emotional problems. For example, teens that use marijuana weekly double their risk of depression and anxiety.

- Behavioral problems. Teens who abuse drugs have an increased risk of social problems, depression, suicidal thoughts and violence. According to a recent survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, teens who abuse drugs are more likely than teens who don’t abuse drugs to engage in delinquent behaviors such as fighting and stealing.

- Addiction and dependence. Studies prove that the younger a person is when they begin using drugs the more likely they are to develop a substance abuse problem and relapse later in life.

- Risky sex. Teens that use drugs are five times more likely to have sex than teens who don’t use drugs. Teens that use drugs are also more likely to have unprotected sex and have sex with a stranger. This leads to higher risks of STDs, teen pregnancy and sexual assault.

- Learning problems. Drug abuse damages short-term and long-term memory and can lead to problems with learning and memory later in life.

- Diseases. Teens who abuse drugs with needles increase their risk of blood-borne diseases like HIV, AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.

- Brain damage. Drug abuse among teens can result in serious mental disorders or permanent, irreversible damage to the brain or nervous system. Brain damage among teens who abuse drugs includes brain shrinkage; impaired learning abilities; amnesia and memory problems; impaired reasoning, perception and intuition; increased or decreased socialization; and changes in sexual desire.

- Car accidents. Teenagers who abuse drugs are more likely to be involved in car accident-related injuries or death. One study showed that 4 to 14 percent of drivers who are injured or die in traffic accidents test positive for THC.

- Lack of emotional and physical control. Youths might start bullying others as a form of reliving their stress as part of the lack of physical control. if they do not have the access of drugs, they would have to do other things to relieve their stress. Adding on, drug abusers are emotionally immature as they are stuck in negative emotions.

reasons why youths take drugs [need reference]

- to change how they feel because they want to feel better or different - socialising with friends, peer pressure or the need to feel part of a group

- relaxation or fun - curiosity, experimentation or wanting to take risks - to escape from psychological or physiological pain

There are many symptoms of drug abuse, but some of the most common signs your teen is abusing drugs are:

- Problems with the law, such as DUI, breaking curfew, stealing, etc. - Problems at school, such as excessive tardiness, poor grades, suspension, etc. - Mood swings - Loss of interest in favorite activities - Drug paraphernalia - Violent behaviour - Withdrawal - Depression - Poor hygiene - Missing money

Subjective Nature of Drug Problem

Religion playing a part in the decision of using drugs - Religion may play a part in people's decision to use drugs - For some religion, some may think that using drugs is a sin and should never be done, however, some others may be okay with the use of drugs. - For people who are very religious, they would refrain from using drugs and will view it as something bad. With this mindset, it may cause them to misunderstand those who use drugs and will automatically think that they are doing something bad. - Religion tends to control people by doing drugs. Religion helps "stabilize" oneself as it helps one control one's desire as Religion provides a guideline or a set of rules for one to follow.Those who are religious tend to follow these rules. However, this is not the case for all teens.

Conflicting views that society holds - When someone uses drugs, one automatically judges that it is "not right" and would look down on these people who use drugs. - Even from the older times, traditionally, it is deemed to be wrong to use drugs and people would judge these drug users and look down on them. These drug users would also be seen as the people who do not contribute to society constructively. - Also, one can be easily influenced by what others around us think. For example, if our friends and family view drug usage as a bad thing, we would not question why they think that way and automatically believe that what they think is right. - With such conflicting views, drug users are deemed to be "criminals" of the society as they are doing something that is against social norms. - Society wants the drug abusers to be rehabilitate into a beneficial citizen, however when one has a history of drug abuse, all opportunities for them are gone, which could let them return to drugs due to being rejected by society.

Subjective Concerns about Drug Use in Singapore

-Concern 1: Influence towards the younger generation According to a research done by, kids are easily influence by adults. Another article by ChannelNewsAsia, it can be seen that many new Yuppies are not afraid using drugs. What is interesting about this 2 articles is that these yuppies will end up being parents who are not afraid of the uses of drugs. Influence of parents may affect the children.

-Concern 2: Future= {I know someone who had a great future ahead of him. However due to influence, he left it all behind. He has been in and out of jail now. Is there a way to change these people? It used to believe this help can be given however, success rates for people to recover are low.}

-Concern 3: More education on drugs {Personally, in my whole 13 plus years in school, I've only attended 2 COMPULSORY seminar for education on Drug Abuse. There should be more. According to Channel News Asia, Yuppies are not as scared of drugs as they were before. Is there a need for students to learn about the dangers more?}

- Different people have different opinions on drug abuse in Singapore. Generally speaking, usage of drugs in Singapore is frowned upon, and getting caught trafficking drugs could result in death penalty, life imprisonment, etc. Singapore implemented so many programmes (as stated above) for adolescents, so as to expose them to the negative effects of drugs and hope that they can stay away from it. So, what do the different people in society think about people who use drugs?

- Government: The Singapore government places utmost importance on fighting against drugs. Also, it is obvious that they really frown upon the idea of drugs in Singapore, making the fight against drugs a "national priority".

- Activists: There are different sides each activists choose to take, but most of them, after digging deeper into the use of drugs in Singapore and its consequences, choose to campaign against the death penalty. In addition, there are many others, who felt that regardless of the crime, death penalty is too harsh, and that it shows how Singapore "shows flagrant disregard for human life." Most agree that while they should be punished, the capital punishment should not be used as one has no right to take the life of another.

- Youths: As much as the government tries to expose our youths to the negative consequences of drugs and educate them not to do drugs, it has been reported that many youths today do not see drugs as a serious issue. They have a liberal attitude towards drugs, and are even open to experimenting with them. The social media platforms they spend time on glamourises the use of drugs, causing these youths to be influenced into taking them just to seem cool.

- Parents: Of course, almost every parent will be against their child taking drugs. Parents want advancement for their children — their well-being to be enhanced — they encourage people to talk about this matter precisely because drugs are a major issue in Singapore. They want their children to be aware of the pitfalls and dangers.

-= Central Narcotics Bureau: [16]

Channels News Asia:

Government on drugs:

Activists on drugs:

Subjective Concerns about Drug Use outside of Singapore

Country 1: United States of America - Have competing views on drug use. - In the older times, the concern was that marijuana is a dangerous drug as it can destroy an individual brain cells. - In recent times, the view on marijuana has change. People now view Marijuana as a type of medicine. This is so as the effects of Marijuana have been seen to not harm humans but to help them. It have been proven to help with illnesses such as Glaucoma, an eye disease.

Country 2: United Kingdom - Concern on the effect of drug abuse. - 46% of the British view that the effect of drug abuse will lead to the decrease of the levels of street crime if the drugs were decriminalized. - On the other hand, 54% said that it would make no difference. This further supports the stand where it won't make a difference as 95% say that they have never committed a criminal act to fund their purchase of drugs. - Thus, one side view the function of drugs to be the cause of the increasing rates of crime and the other view it differently.


- As we all know, Singapore is extremely strict about drug issues. However some other countries like Portugal, Uruguay and Netherlands are more tolerant on drug issues. In fact, Portugal decriminalized drug usage in 2001 and Uruguay was also the first country which legalized the consumption of drugs such as marijuana. Marijuana, or Cannabis, are sold all over coffee shops in Netherlands and pharmacies in Uruguay and they can be bought for personal use. Recreational marijuana is tolerated by the people and even the authorities there as well. Moreover, marijuana is the most misused illegal item in the world as many people claim that they consume it as it is less dangerous as compared to heroin.

- Some drugs such as Marijuana are known to have positive medicinal effects on one that could possibly improve one's health condition. On the other hand, it is a double-edged sword which could have negative effect on one as well. When using Marijuana, chemicals from the drug may travel from your bloodstream to other vital parts of your body. This could result in increased heart rate and slower coordination of actions etc. Marijuana can cause a host of lung problems, particularly chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It can also increase the risk of lung cancer, depression and amotivational syndrome.

Existing Resources and Limitations

-YARE: youth at risk engagement framework Preventing risk of offending [such as peer/family relationship issues, bullying, and addiction to drinking/cyber activities, etc.]. CYGO appointed 10 agencies. But each agency have their own way of running their program, eg sports, or adventure based counselling or C&C. ([17])

[Limits: -It is only limited to youths aged between 12 to 21 years old, ruling out people who are younger than 12 or people who are slightly older than 21 who may be facing the same issues -There are only 10 at-risk traits (there could be more) -Introduced in 2016, the programme lasts for up to only 3 years. -There is no clear description what an 'at risk' youth is. -Programmes offered are mentoring & character developmet through sports and arts. Not every youth at risk might be attracted to the programmes offered as they are limited to two categories.

Challenges: -The 10 agencies have their own way of running the program, so there is no standardized way of carrying out the program, which can result in the aim of the program not reached -It difficult to find all the youths who are at risk of offences (they will miss out some, which results in the youth not receiving the proper counselling needed) -The programme is funded entirely by VWOs-Charities Capability Fund. If the organisation runs in trouble, funding can be cut off. -Some organisations may not have the same competencies, therefore after the assesmemt they have to refer the youths to more appropriate services.]

-Youth crime prevention roadshow and anti-drug campaigns (NYGR).

[It is a campaign that aims to spread awareness of crimes and drug use among youths. The youth crime prevention roadshow educates youths on ways to avoid committing crimes or becoming victims of crimes. It tries to prevent crime by telling youths about the consequences of crime and the effects it will have on their future (such as unemployment, black list). The anti-drug campaigns are events that aim to raise awareness of the dangers of drug abuse.

[Limits: -The events are open to everyone as a preventive measure but those who do drugs/crime are unlikely to go to these events, so they don't receive the message the events are trying to send. -It doesn't directly deal with the issue of crime and drugs among youths. -Anti Drug Talks focus solely on those who are still in the education system, targeting primary, tertiary & international schools as well as tertiary institutions. Youth offenders outside the education system might not attend these talks. -Activities like DanceWorks! focuses on youths aged 25 and below, youth offenders outside the education system might not attend these such activities.

Challenges: -They can't force those who are at risk of crime or drugs to attend the event, so the message doesn't reach them. -A lot of money is being spent on the event instead of dealing with the issue directly. -Those who commit crime or do drugs will probably do it anyway regardless of whether they go the the events. -Since crimes are often irrational decisions, roadshow not likely to have much effect. -Campaigns and events need to be stratigically planned and carried out in order to target the right audience]

-Preventive Drug Education (PDE) DRC Visit Programme. Institutes of Technical Education and VWOs working with youth identify high-risk youth to visit the Drug Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) located within the Changi Prison Complex(NYGR).

[Aims to ensure that students are aware of and understands the consequences of drug abuse and the strict regime that they will undergo if they are incarcerated. During the visits talks are also given by Central Narcotics Bureau and prison officers.] [Not all youths who take drugs come from broken families, there are youths who have loving and well to do families but still resort to drugs as a result. Some youths do not have any family drug abuse and have proper guidance at home. These youths are influenced by peers, people they hang out with on a daily basis. Drug situation is under control in Singapore. However there are more youth abusers coming from middle-class families and who are doing well in school. Therefore this programme aims to help these youths to get back on the right track.]

Some limits of Preventive Drug Education (PDE) DRC Visit Programme is that students sent to witness the Drug Rehabilitation centre (DRC) may not pay attention to what they are witnessing. Firstly because of their peers around them. They may get distracted by their peers and not pay attention harsh realities of drug abuse and life behind bars. They may laugh about it and be influence to react the way their peers arouund them react, some reasons for that could be because they are afraid of being judged if they make the decision to be better in front of their friends and thus the witnessed they have made will not be of a huge impact to them and thus they forget about it in time to come. For the Prison Visit Education Programme for Schools (PVEPS) which is for students who have high discipline records in their school and they are invited to witness the harsh life in prison, similarly to what was mention earlier about the PDE DRC programme, students may not pay attention to what they are witnessing again, probabily because they are afriad to face the reality of what will happen if they commiit a crime. In addition, they might be too young to fully understand and to take the matter seriously and decide to become a better person. In summary, students visiting DRC and taking part in PVEPS may not have the maturity to take the consequences seriously and because they are young, they are prone to peer pressure and thus if they see their peers not paying attention to what they are witnessing, they will not pay attention as well, and this will cause these programmes to be ineffective.

The limitations of the Preventive Drug Education (PDE) DRC Visit Programme is that it is only a visitation where these youths experience the harsh realities of drug abuse and life behind bars for a short while. While it may scare them for the moment, it may not be enough to ensure that they will never take or consume drugs. For instance, one of the ways that they can be lead to drug abuse is through peer pressure. These visits don’t educate and teach them how to deal with peer pressure and other real issues. While talks may also be given on these visits by the Central Narcotics Bureau and Prison Officers, the youths will only take in what they want to take in. There is no guarantee that the talks will stop them from ever doing drugs. These youths need a lot of guidance and reminders and it takes a lot more than visits and talks to do that.

There will always be limitation and challenges to such Drug education programme for students because it may not effective to deter the students from touching drugs in the future. They may understand what is the consequences and see what it is like in the rehabilitation centre but they may not know what it is to suffer from strong addictions and the seriousness of it how it leading to death hence they think it is fine to do drugs as it pleasures them, in a way that takes away their stress.

Also, talks may not be effective as all students may be not be attentive during the talks as they may be distracted by their peers during the talk or using their mobile phones. Such talk will only work if the students are actually listening and also talking to a small group of students at a time, so students can be monitored whether they are listening by the speaker and teachers through stopping them from talking or asking questions for the students to answer to know their understanding of the talk.

Gaps and Their Causes

Doing what we can, but the work done by youth agencies alone cannot be the only work, need family work and structural changes. Youth work focus on competencies and awareness and oppor to build competencies. Family work important.

Trybe: - YARE in midst of being evaluated: schools will help to identify and recommend. in HK the outreach model is high, will knock on doors and talk to parents. But in Singapore, hard to capture those within radar. Schools may not detect all youth at risk or different types of at risk issues. Focus is on visible at risk behaviours, and capturable by schools. How to reach out to youths hanging out at home or in cyberspace. Youth who were past probationers, who refer friend. - Siblings of offenders may also be at risk.

Some drugs not able to detect by urine test.

ADD TO YOUTH WORKER COMPETENCY -The movement by CYGO is to coordinate nationally, prevent silos. YWAS also moving towards that, move towards all encompassing framework, whether paid or volunteer, we want to increase the standard of anyone engaging young persons.(CARE)

-Ecosystem perspective, have ot be able to work with family work, youth centric family work for example.

- Youth crime prevention roadshow and anti-drug campaigns (NYGR): organize annual programmes and set up booths for youths that are seeking help and counselling. Limits and challenges: It is up to the individuals on whether they want to speak out about the crimes that they have committed or their drug addictions. Some of them do not even know that they are addicted to drugs in the first place. Hence, it is difficult to reach out to them and help them. Eventhough friends and family of youth-at-risk do know of the campaigns and roadshows, they may find it difficult to persuade these youths to get help as they might be against it or are unwilling to get help. These roadshows can only be helpful in helping youths to avoid crime to a certain extent as crimes are done as an impulsive act. The anti-drug campaigns may be helpful to a certain extent as well as those that have tried drugs will be aware of the consequences and will decide to get help. However, the roadshows may not convince those who are already the addicted to drugs well as they are not willing to give up on drugs.

Possible Solutions

Get probation youth to refer friends to YARE--a group that have not offended. Especially for youths who have been exposed to drug use. eg reach out to youths who have tried once, but not caught. youth ambassadors cna be used to detetc and refer.

- Keep these youths under close watch and provide them with the necessary support to stop. - Encourage more family involvement as the teens may have lacked parental supervision or did not have a proper parental figure . - To avoid drug abuse, prevention programmes such as workshops and school talks can be properly implemented in youths' everyday life from education like school to household like parenting.

- Using programmes, youths are exposed to different risks that drug abuse can bring. Perception of drugs would then be changed as they are aware of the consequences. When youths are heavily exposed to substances the consequences are bad as they might face the damages to their brain at a young age which will lead to more risks. So preventing it from a young age by raising awareness in schools and at home can help youths to think before turning to drug abuse.

-[Using the universal programme, it addresses risk and protective factors common to all children in a setting such as school or community. Selective programmes would work too as it targets a group of children and teens who have factors that put them at increased risk of drug use. Last but not least it is the Indicated programme as it is designed for youth who have already begun using drugs. Prevention is better than cure.] [18]

-[Communication is a key factor in avoiding drug abuse. Talking to someone and being honest may prevent casual drug use from turning it into drug abuse. Focus on the behavior of the person and not the individual, as drug use is dangerous but it does not mean he/she is a bad person.] [ Parents can also talk to their children about drug abuse, so the youths will know the serious consequences of drug abuse and not start taking drugs. ] [19]

-[Avoiding Temptation and Peer Pressure. If you have friends or family who are pressuring you to consume drugs, avoid them. Make new friends who practice healthier habits, who do well in school and are motivated to work for their goals.] [20]

-[Practice healthier Living Habits. Exercise, eat well or even meditate as these are excellent ways to avoid using drugs and recover from it by substituting dopamine with adrenaline. This makes managing stress and trauma easily manageable.]

- [21] the website also explained the top 10 ways to help youth avoid drug abuse and it stated that parents, public, government all plays apart in helping youths

- How to prevent drug use in teenagers -Foster a close and trusting relationship with your child from an early age, and support and encourage positive behaviour. -Model appropriate behaviour, such as drinking moderately, not smoking and not using illicit drugs. -Establish agreements and guidelines about what is acceptable behaviour around alcohol and drugs. -Encourage a healthy approach to life, including good foods, regular exercise and sports. -Encourage your child to have more than one group of friends. -Allow your child to practise responsibility and develop good decision-making skills from an early age. -Keep yourself informed about drugs and educate your child on the dangers of drug use. Do not exaggerate or make information up. -Have open and honest discussions about drugs References:

[these are effects in general, not on youths, to be moved]

- Serious consequences of abuse can include severe acne, heart disease, liver problems, stroke, infectious diseases, depression, and suicide. Drug combinations. A particularly dangerous and common practice is the combining of two or more drugs.

- Article from National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlights that drug abuse can cost mental health problems such as Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, ADHD and Antisocial personality disorder.

- Cocaine addiction can cause chronic pulmonary conditions that increase the risk of heart attack. Heart disease in itself is common to chronic cocaine users, due to the overexertion of the heart as a result of the drug’s stimulant effects. Cocaine users also experience perforated or deviated septums, strokes and heart attacks (the latter two conditions a result of exceeding high blood pressure and tachycardia overtaxing the heart). Additionally, cocaine can also lead to a heightened risk for cancer and associations have been made between the drug and lung cancer, particularly in freebasing users.

- Benzodiazepines — also known as “benzos” — are sedating drugs given mainly for anxiolytic purposes. Chronic users of benzodiazepines can experience abdominal problems and fatal blood clots. Additionally, the reproductive system becomes affected by benzodiazepine addiction, and can lead to loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction and birth defects in children of addicted and pregnant mothers

- Ketamine, a powerful dissociative narcotic, can also lead to physical and psychological damage after long-term use. With chronic abuse, ketamine addiction can cause a condition known as “Olney’s lesions,” where vacuoles begin to form within the brain, affecting cognition, learning and memory. Ecstasy can cause psychological conditions, such as severe depression, dissociative disorders, and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), a flashback-producing condition that also occurs with LSD use and can persist long after Ecstasy addiction subsides. PCP can cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), seizures and paralysis with chronic use.

- Opiates — a class of potent narcotics spanning from heroin, morphine and codeine to prescription painkillers — can cause a host of long-term physical diseases and conditions. Opiate users, particularly those who inject, are at high risk for hepatitis and HIV transmission from needle-sharing. Collapsed veins can also result from chronic injection of opiates. Heroin use can cause long-term digestive issues, including a form of chronic constipation that is highly dangerous while addiction persists.

- Amphetamines, the drug take an unimaginable toll on the body. Common conditions associated with amphetamines addiction include insomnia, anorexia and eyesight degradation. Amphetamine-addicted individuals also can experience stunted growth, hypertension, frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and hyperactivity. Amphetamines can also cause a condition known as dermatitis, the development of skin disease. Liver and heart disease are also associated with amphetamine addiction.

- Methamphetamine, it can cause a host of physical conditions, ranging from liver damage to lung disease. Meth can irreparably damage the brain’s blood vessels, incite hypertension (high blood pressure), and create an compromised state (making the body more susceptible to diseases, infections and cancers). Methamphetamine abuse can also cause heart disease, stroke occurrence, and severe depression or mania in users.

- Inhalant abuse — the inhalant of household and industrial chemicals colloquially known as “huffing” — can also lead to a host of chronic physical conditions. In addition to instantaneous death caused by Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome, inhalant abuse can lead to tachycardia, heart disease and an array of damage to the vital organs, including diseases of the liver, kidney and lungs. Chronic bronchitis can arise from inhalant abuse, and some inhalant-addicted individuals also encounter tremors and chronic grand mal seizures.

Need for juveniles to be rehabilitated and reintegrated

Need for guidance and mentoring - from youth perspective, it is having proper guidance and adult mentor.

Definition of rehabilitation: it means that they are going to be corrected and learn form their mistakes.

Existing Resources

Restorative coaching, mentoring

Community-Based Rehabilitation -Court-Ordered Options for Offenders -Pre-Court Diversionary Programme (Guidance Programme) for first time offenders

Institutional Rehabilitation -MSF administered Youth Residential Service (Singapore Boys' Home and Singapore Girls' Home) -Aftercare Service after they leave juvenile homes

Gaps and Their Causes

Not equipped to deal with youths with mental health related issues; eg in YARE program, diagnosed with mental health issue...whether youths are responsive to seeing a psychologist. Detection of signs, but not clear what to do. For serious ones, can refer if in court order. after release, not keep up with appointments?

Possible Solutions

equipping youth workers with mental health knowledge.

Need for positive family support and parenting

[Provide references as best as possible. Feel free to evaluate or add on to existing text if you don't have any new points.]

Objective Conditions

Parent depression is the most important risk factor for several types of youth psychopathology, including depression. Whereby Parent depression is more important than family discord, low cohesion, and “affection less control".

There are several parent and family risk factors associated with youth depression. Parental cognition, parental pathology, parenting behaviors of warmth and emotional availability, individual coping with the family environment, and family conflict, etc

Only 32% of the depression treatments tested in clinical trials included parents in any capacity. The overall effectiveness of treatments that work solely with children and adolescents is very similar to that of treatments that include parents as agents of change.

[Not much supervision at home. Captures latchkey to dysfunctional families. Just knowing where your kids are day to day, the higher risk families do not know. [When there is no supervision at home, it is likely that parents do not know where their kids are or what they are doing. It could be that that the parents put their trust in their kids to behave when they are alone, are okay with what their kids are doing as long as they do not get into trouble with the law, or they just do not care. When parents do not take note of what their children are doing, it is possible that a group of them who take advantage of this opportunity and commit deviant acts. Thus, the higher the chance of having a child that does not behave well or is a 'bad apple'.]] [Parents should not only be involved in their children's school activities but also be interested in the activities they do outside of school to know what they like and what their hobbies are. This way, the children will feel more loved in the family.]

[Very little involvement in their schooling, eg when their exams are, whether they do their homework, who their friends are. Sometimes, some children need more love, care and attention from their parents so as to get through the day. For example, when a parent takes not and keeps track of what their child is doing (but not too excessively), the child will feel that their parent really cares for them. For some, they do not receive this kind of attention from their parents, thus they feel like their parents do not care about them, resulting into them seeking what they lack from other people, sometimes, from bad company. Due to this, the child could turn to deviant acts just to fill in the void in them that their parents left.]

[Abuse within the family. Based on the findings from the Ministry of Social and Family Development titled Child Abuse Investigations dated 4 April 2017 at this link, [], the rate of abuse; be it physical, sexual or neglection, has increased over a span on 7 years, starting from 2009. Adding on to that, this leads to the increase of these victims feeling hopeless, unimportant and such. Hence, these people seek what they lack of from other sources; bad company usually]

Children who feel a lack of attention from parent's may even start using drugs and taking alcohol. Without guidance from family, children may not know why it is wrong to abuse drugs and alcohol. Parents who do not set good examples may cause their children to be influenced by them. Such as taking up their parents habit of drinking alcohol at home. Children may secretly take a sip of parents drinks. [Some parents do not really bother or care about what their children do. Hence, if their child is underage and he or she consumes alcohol, the parents do not reprimand them for doing so. Eventually, their children started drinking more frequently and also convince their friends to drink with them.] Puberty, however, is the most widely accepted indicator of the beginning of adolescence. The physical changes associated with puberty are the most obvious indication that adolescence has begun. The 'growth spurt' and maturation and consequent reproductive and social maturity, can be an reminder to parents that their child is growing up.

Low-income families, both parents spend their whole time working, or someone incarcerated. Blended families and single parent families...but typically lower income as well. Maybe even four room. rarely five room flat dwellers will have these issues. Blended family - problem because of previous problems, eg biological parents incarcerated. typically a host of problems. when marriage breaks down, whether rich or poor, it affects the child. But doubly hard if you are from low-income family. eg remarry because of incarceration. sometimes have live in boyfrineds or grilfriends. unstable family context for child. {Since drinking can make people forget their problems and troubles temporarily, many children turn to alcohol under sch conditions. They think that at least when they are outside of their house, there are still people who can accompany them to drink and make them happy and stress-free.}

Children who face negative family support and parenting will feel neglected and start turning to rebellious acts to vent their frustration/anger of being neglected by their parents. They will start hanging out with the wrong company, join gangs which gives them a sense of belonging and for once, they are not neglected. They will also pick up bad habits like smoking and drinking in order to be apart of what their peers are doing. {Under Hirchi's control theory, strong social attachments encourage conformity. Hence, children who have weak relationships with their family members have more time to conduct deviant acts. For instance, most of my friends who do not have a good family background have a habit of drinking, smoking and clubbing.]

Parents who have high expectation towards their children give tons of pressure for their children such as forcing their children to study daily without giving any emotional support or understanding towards their children. This results the children to find alternative routes such as drug or alcohol to release their stress with peers who suffer similar conditions like them.

Positive family support and parenting is important because it allows one to open up to their family members. If one cannot open up to their family members about their problems, one will turn to other alternatives such as drugs and alcohol because they believe that the things will let them forget their problems even if it is just for awhile. They will feel neglected and feel like nobody loves them, hence leading to them trying to fill that emptiness.


For many young people today, traditional patterns guiding the relationships and transitions between family, school and work are being challenged. Social relations that ensure a smooth process of socialization are collapsing; lifestyle trajectories are becoming more varied and less predictable. The restructuring of the labour market,the extension of the maturity gap (the period of dependence of young adults on the family) and, arguably, the more limited opportunities to become an independent adult are all changes influencing relationships with family and friends, educational opportunities and choices, labour market participation, leisure activities and lifestyles. It is not only developed countries that are facing this situation; in developing countries as well there are new pressures on young people undergoing the transition from childhood to independence. Rapid population growth, the unavailability of housing and support services, poverty, unemployment and underemployment among youth, the decline in the authority of local communities, overcrowding in poor urban areas, the disintegration of the family, and ineffective educational systems are some of the pressures young people must deal with.

Youth nowadays, regardless of gender, social origin or country of residence, are subject to individual risks but are also being presented with new individual opportunities—some beneficial and some potentially harmful. Quite often, advantages are being taken of illegal opportunities as young people commit various offences, become addicted to drugs, and use violence against their peers.

Statistical data indicate that in virtually all parts of the world, with the exception of the United States, rates of youth crime rose in the 1990s. In Western Europe, one of the few regions for which data are available, arrests of juvenile delinquents and under-age offenders increased by an average of around 50 percent between the mid-1980s and the late 1990s. The countries in transition have also witnessed a dramatic rise in delinquency rates; since 1995, juvenile crime levels in many countries in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States have increased by more than 30 percent. Many of the criminal offences are related to drug abuse and excessive alcohol use.

Subjective Concerns

Not everyone agrees on what is the "right" family model to raise good youth. For instance, upbringing that is too strict may bring about unintended consequences too. [The term "right family model" is subjective because different families adopt different ways and they all vary. Some families do not face many problems thus not much effort is needed to uphold the family. In other cases, a lot of effort is needed because either the child is problematic or the parents are having issues on their own. Needless to say, each family is different and not all can agree and settle with a specific model so as to ensure the family to be stable. There are many different roles in the family. The parents are to be the breadwinners and support the family. In some cases, it if the father figure. In other cases, it is the mother. A parent should regard themselves as friend of their child's. With this, it will develop a sense of trust and an open relationship; the child can just open up to their parent about anything and not feel ashamed about it. However, there is a limit as to being a child's friend. Parents should still instill the idea that they are of authority in the family.The children should not step over their heads should the parents be too nice and kind. The parent should still show their kids that though they are like a friend to them, the kids should still respect them as a parent and not just a friend. If kids were to step over their parents heads, they might take advantage of this opportunity and make use of them and/or their possessions, disrespect them, lie to them, disobey them, and such. This is just the basics of it, some families need not put in too much effort, while others need to work harder and put in more effort. The term "spare the rod, spoil the child" should only be taken into consideration under specific circumstances. For example, if it is the first time a child has made a mistake and they seem really apologetic about it, spare the rod and not punish them. Instead, educate them on why it is wrong. But if they repeat their offences even after being told that it is wrong, make use of the rod and discipline them. By doing so, it is the harder way of making the child learn that what he or she has done is wrong and is not to be tolerated.] {It just so happen that the example given for the term "spare the rod, spoil the child" is what my parents has done. Whenever my siblings or myself made a mistake, my parents usually would made it clear that it is a mistake and I should never do it. However, if I actually repeated my mistake again, my parents will not hesitate to cane me so that I will learn my mistake and not do it again} The growth of a child into an adolescent, particularly the first child in a family, is seen as a transition point in a family's development. Changes around this time includes a difference in their emotional attachment between parents and adolescents. As peers become a bigger part of their life, self-reliance increases, and conflict may occur as the young person crosses the boundaries.Thus, they might end up with the wrong company because of bad parenting as they didn’t control their kids.

- Similarly, most of us disagree that a dysfunctional or a broken family can raise up youths that have good behaviour and attitude. I think it is mostly based on one’s mindset and the values that was taught by their family since they were born. It is true that a broken marriage will affect the children but if the child have the correct mindset from young, they will understand that his/her parents have to separate based on personal issues. For instance, in this case, when this girl was a teen and her parents separated. They can’t even afford to rent a room for her child and herself, she was also sick that time and her daughter have to fend herself in studying, lodging and meals. It was the most difficult times the child can have in her life of having to take care of herself and worrying about her mother conditions. The separation between her parents affects her so much that she was supposed to be staying at home studying, going out with friends but now she have to do everything by herself without the father figure in her life. She skipped school, failed many modules and was almost expel from Nafa school and asked to pay back the scholarship money. As what I can see, this affects her mindset towards life without having a proper family. Despite having so many problems in front of her (17 years old) she continue to work hard because of her mother's medical bills and the support of her secondary school art teacher. In the end, she managed to graduate from Nafa art school and became an art teacher in peirce school. From this, I can see that even if a child came from a broken family, they can still strive hard and achieve better as compared to other children from a happy family. It is all based on their mindset and their ability to continue to work hard for their life and not doing anything that is illegal. This 17 years old girl did have bad company friends but she did not follow what they do because she knew what is wrong and what is right so prior teaching when they are young are very important as it sets their mindset right before they come into contact with the society. (

Family dynamics in Singapore are shifting, families are getting smaller. With smaller families, parents are likely to provide greater resources and support to their children and shower their children with love and attention. Some parents may even splurge on their children to help them succeed in life. Children grow more dependent on their parents that they are not able to deal with tough situations. Parents unhealthily give in to their children [An example is when a child wants to buy a toy, but he already has lots of toys at home, these parents are always giving in to their children which eventually will lead the children to think that they are entitled to what their parents provide for them and when these children do not get what they want, they throw tantrum, and as they grow older, they might neglect their parents and turn into other unhealthy methods of getting what they want when their parents no longer give in to them.]

- example of use of law to protect children in divorce? All good?

-Besides school guidance, it is important to have good role models for parents. Parents are the first immediate form of socialization. Youths and children have to be guided, disciplined and taught the right things. Such as being positive, hanging out with the right peers, being a good student that follows school rules and laws. Family is a really important factor for a child's behavior and attitude. If the children are brought up to be well-disciplined and obedient, they will not end up doing drugs or alcohol.

Negative family support and parenting can bring forth many unforeseen negative action a children can do. In my perspective, negative family support and parenting mean that parents failed to show concern on their children’s everyday lives. Parents failing to show concern will never know what the morals and values the children adopt. This lead to children doing crimes because of the lack of supervision from the parents as they have no guidance to know what is right or wrong. This can be seen in crime cases in overseas. Children as young as an age of eleven intrude a home with a gun. Another case would be a student at an age of fifteen actually scheme a plan to kidnap her follow classmate to beat her up with a crowbar. [22]

Existing Resources and Challenges

Youth Depression in the Family Context: Familial Risk Factors and Models of Treatment (

MSF's FamilyMatters!@School equips parents and young adults with skills to nurture positive family relationships. We work closely with schools, parent support groups and parent volunteers so that parents can easily get access to family life programmes that help them better connect with their children. Also, MSF's FamilyMatters@school collaborate with local universities to help young adults to improve their social & relationship skills. With MSF's FamilyMatters@school, it will help families to achieve better cohesion with their loved ones as well as providing them a pillar of support when they are feeling down. (MSF website)

BeaconWorks Programme is a voluntary 6-months programme for parents and children experiencing strained relationships who wish to solve their issues. It is also an alternative programme for parents to avoid filing a Beyond Parental Control Order against their child with the Children Care Court. (NYGR)

Youths-Hanging-Out-Late letters notifying parents, by the Singapore Police Force (NYGR). [If children are found loitering outdoors late at night or are engaging in dangerous activities, the Singapore Police Force will write letters to their parents so that they are aware of it. Youth-Hanging-out-Late strives and wants to help parents to educate and guide their children with the help of the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore authorities.] The limits faced by Youths-Hanging-Out-Late letters (NYGR) are that first of all, they are just letters to inform the parents of what their kids are doing outside and what happens after that is none of their concern. The letters sent out are just warnings to inform the parents of what their kids are doing outside, but it provides no other help method which would help curb the child’s behaviour, and it only leaves the job up to the parents, with minimal effort taken to help. Even though this method was meant for the welfare of the child, however, it was not well thought through as sending letters is only telling the parents of the child’s whereabouts, however this method ignores the fact that the parents has already lost control of their child, and therefore just helping them from the sides is not going to help with educating the child to get back onto the right track. Similarly, the challenges faced is that there may not be enough time and manpower to help the child before he/she gets into more serious trouble. There are quite a few number of teenagers in Singapore who are engaging in late night activities outside of their home, and therefore having to help all of them is significantly not possible as it’s not possible to help every single parent to educate their child, and if they do, it might take a long time for them tor each out to them, in which the case could have already been more serious than it originally is. “That was how a seven-year-old girl had her first drink. The mother was drinking wine and left it unfinished on the table, the girl just went up and took a sip," she said” also shows that even though the programme was set up to help the children, it is also limited in teaching the parent’s what are the dos and do nots and what to look out for so that their children’s condition would not get worse. This programme is thus limited in the fact that it only focuses on the children having problems, without considering that the parent may have also been a part of what the children have been on now. [We do not really know the fact whether the parents lost control of their child, it is jumping straight to the conclusion without having any evidence. Their child may just be celebrating birthday with their friends at the playground and having a stayover, this doesn't mean that the parent has lost control of their child.]

The program was initiated to prevent youth from becoming easy prey for trouble makers. [This program also helps to reduce the number deviant acts of rebellion and retreatism among the youths in Singapore. It is a norm for youths to be influenced by their friends to be deviant; be it in a good way or a bad way. As such youths that are involved or hang out with a bad company, they may be influenced or forced to do bad things, especially if they are loitering outdoors late at night. Some examples is that the youths may follow their friends to drink, gamble, smoke and other more illegal activities even though they are still young.] They might also enagage in crime or being recruited into gangs. It is common for youth to meet bad companies when hanging out late at night. Overtime, this result in them enagaging in crimes such as underage drinking as well as drugs abuse. Many a time, the company they met at night are older and of legal age to buy alchohol. It is easy for the youth to obtain alchohol and get influence in to trying them. Overtime, it can lead to addiction such as stated in the article titled "Social workers sound alert on young drinkers" by Danson Cheong dated 1st March 2015 at this link [23], Ben have not had a drink in two weeks, he could not afford alchohol and cannot control himself anymore so he went and stole a bottle of black current vokka. This resulted in him being caught. {When I was 16 years old, i was invited by my seniors to go over to their house playground to relax and have fun. When i reach there, i was given a pack of cigarettes and 1 can of Tiger beer. I did not know why they suddenly gave me all these things. I was confused and stunned and did not know what to do. Before i could react, i was pushed against the wall by one of the guys and was pressured by them to ask me to join their gang. I tried resisting and refuses their offer but nothing helps. The next moment, the police step in and question us what are we doing. The police scolded and chased us home and the next day i receive a letter from the police station saying about me hanging out doing suspicious activities. I was glad that i did not manage to join the gang and that i have learn a lesson that i should stay away from bad people.}

Therefore, the police force think there is a need to issue a letter to notify parent to keep their children indoor. Youth Hanging Out Late (YHOL) letters have been sent by the police since 2006 to the parents of youth found loitering in public areas or are exposed to “at risk” situations late at night. SPF also sends such letters to the youth’s school principals as well as the Commanding Officers of the Neighbourhood Police Centres (NPCs) where the youth’s educational institutions are located. [24]Setting a curfew for the youth is proposed. This idea of setting a curfew for youth is rather controversial and The proposal is met with different polarizing response. One such example as quoted from an article titled “Time to impose curfew on young” dated 19 November 2010 in the link [25], madam Jasmine Tan, a mother of two teenage boy find that setting a curfew for youth under age of 17 years old not a bad idea as they are still young and there is no reason for them to stay out so late. In addition to that, she thinks that it is a good way to prevent them from hanging out with bad companies. On the other hand, as quoted from the same article Child psychiatrist Dr Brian Yeo from Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre said that having a curfew is a good idea however in theory, it is difficult to enforce in reality. [However, an article/academic research paper titled "Be More Understanding of Teen's Late-Night Habit" by Vickineswarie Jagadharan (Ms) dated 24OCt 2017 at this link [26], says that teens are occupied late at night outdoor with studies and homework, reading, listening to music, chatting with friends, gaming or updating social media. Freedom is important to teens. They want personal space and time, as well as the ability to make their own choices. Hence, even if the police is issueing the letter, he/she should check with what the youngster are doing first. For example: if they are doing school projects, there is no reason for the police to issue a letter as they should be understanding and that it is for the good of the youth. If a parent receives a letter from the police, misunderstanding may occur as the parents may straight away think that their kids have done something wrong and a fight may occur.]

The challenges faced when making this programmes mandatory for parents to attend are firstly, the parents may not be interested to learn about helping their child solve their problems, and therefore this method is not helpful as they do not have the motivation to carry out what they had learnt into real life, thus possible wasting many people’s times. [Is it true that parents are not interested? Maybe they have work on hand or they have to take care of their baby? There can be many reasons] “Another challenge is that this intervention method would not suit everybody, so by targeting just parents, this method alone would not work. Different teenagers have different mindsets, while some may listen to their parents and stop for their sake, in which this intervention method could possibly work, but others have different methods, for example 1 to 1 counselling, where they feel more comfortable sharing to only 1 person for help, and others who would just listen to their friends. This intervention is a good method to help the child, but the limitation and challenges faced are that it may not be the best way for everyone, and using it no the wrong child may result in a waste of both parties time, including the parent’s time as well. Additionally, the parents not having control over their child would also make this programme pointless as shown through the article written by Danson Cheong of 'Social workers sound alert on young drinkers' [27] which shows that what the teenagers are afraid of are not their parents but instead, it’s the law as quoting from Danson Cheong that “Many of them only get help for their drinking habits when the law catches up to them for other offences.” This shows that even if parents had to go for such programmes, it would be pointless if they can’t carry it out, and thus showing the challenges of this intervention method.

Some of the diversionary program - parent is mandated to attend parental workshops. A lot depend on openness of parent. Ability to apply in real world context...other stresses, eg financial and employment. Kidstart program (MSF

[a study to show that most youths in hostels have troubled families...parenting tends to be root of a child's problems...need to rehabilitate parents as well as youth]

Pre-court diversionary program 

These programs serve as a form of retribution and rehabilitation for the youth. Through these program, they will learn that it is not right to engage in the crime they are doing. This will also integrate them back in to the society by teaching them the right values. Hopefully, this program also serve as enough deterrence as if they were to commit a crime again (second offends), they will face court prosecution.

Some of the program offered are Guidance Program, Streetwise Program and Youth Enhanced Supervision (YES) Scheme. This program is currently oversee by the Probation Services Branch, Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). The youth will be guided by a social worker. This program will last for six month which includes individual, group-based and family sessions. The program aim to help the youth make the right choices and lead a crime-free lifestyle. This program is only available for first time offenders and they will just incur a warning after attending the program [28]

However, at the moment, this programs are not mandatory. This is a voluntary program for both the youth as well as the family. The program should be made mandatory as socialization of family members plays a huge role in the child’s behavior. Children spend a large amount of time with their parent and learn different things from them. It will be good if parent go through this program to learn how they should behave and how it affects their children. In addition to that, through this program, it allows family to bond with their children as they might feel that they are there for them. Having a bond with family members can help in the prevention of children committing crimes as they now have a purpose and is afraid of disappointing their family. Some parent also keeps labeling their children as a criminal after they commit a crime. This not only show to them that they are not being accepted and might result to them feeling alienated thus resulting in committing the same crime again. For example, as a drug abuser, if they were to be continuously refer to as a drug user, they will most probably do drugs again. Therefore, it is very important that the family learn how to react and handle their children through this program.

In conclusion, this program should be made mandatory as both youth and family should learn to handle these things together. No amount of effort would work if only either one party Is putting an effort to change. Ultimately, it might result in a relapse of past crimes.

Guidance program

is a six-month pre-Court diversionary programme that focusses on counselling and rehabilitation with the active involvement of parents. It seeks to help the youth develop prosocial mindsets and empathy for others.

Streetwise program

Streetwise Programme (SWP) is a voluntary early intervention programme for youths who are in gangs but are willing to leave the gangs. The programme helps such youths make a fresh start in life through a series of individual counselling, group work and family counselling sessions focussed on gang intervention and building the youths’ self-efficacy.

In 2007 to 2013, it shows a total of 121 youth between ages of 12 – 19 years old signing up for the street wise program. This shows how much it should be made mandatory for parent to attend this program with their child as well. They should be present at all counselling and sharing. This also shows the need for the police force to send Youth-Hanging-Out-Late letter to parent of children that were caught hanging out late as well as the need for curfew. [29]

Gaps and Their Causes

Those parents that turn up for parent training programmes are not those who need it most. Such programmes reach out to the converted, but you need to reach out to those who do not come. Need to draw in those who may not be keen, recruit with the mind that they will be committed to their child for a period of time.

Such families are picked up by FSCs, but unclear if the youths receive some support. Possibly lack of cooridnation or integrtaion with FSC and SCS an isisue.

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

- Parents do not have full control of their children's behaviour. School and peers would have impact their children's way of thinking. What happens outside of their home can differ from home. E.g. peer pressure (theft).

- Parents with problems of their own that they can't solve, they will be less likely to focus on their children. These youths and their family situations (e.g. financial problem, gambling and vices) might cause children to rebel or commit the same doings.

KidSTART program

KidSTART is a program for children under the age of 6 years old that requires special needs and attention in various areas of their daily life. After doing a survey when admitted, both child and parent will be recommended for services that fit their unique needs. These services can either be given to the individual, family or group settings. In the following, I will be talking more about a KidSTART programme that I chanced upon on the internet that rehabilitate parents along with their troubled youths.

KidSTART Mental Health Clinic (operated by Rady Children’s Chadwick Center for Children & Families) and KidSTART Center (operated by Rady Children’s Developmental Services), are integrated to allow mental health and developmental specialists to assess their needs, helping them in the development of collaborative treatment plans, unique interventions and the long-term care coordination for both the affected child and family. All KidSTART programmes have a common goal which is to restore, sustain and enhance the health and developmental potential of children through excellence in care, education, research and advocacy.

Possible Solutions

Making sure that mentoring should be the pillars of youth work. Cannot say mentoring is optional, have to do this. Sociological theories say the impact of one caring adult is very important. Therefore, a certain proportion of our youths will need to avail themselves to such ‘surrogate parents’. If we can secure available and well trained caring concerned mentors as part of our ecosystem. Go for a few months, be there, be their friend. (check: CYGO did a pilot 5-6 years ago. Because MCYS split…so not sure where it is now).

Have counselling between parent and child and voice out the disagreements and what's bottling inside them to why they're doing deviant acts.

The answer is already certain the parents isn't giving enough love/ attention/ sense of belonging but in order for the parents to realise where they went wrong, they have to hear it from their children, not Simeone else to change.

With this, they'll understand the disagreements between one another, not just the parent but the child too.

Thus, making the bond stronger.

Additional information are at:

Need to complete education

[complete or thrive?][Whatever path they take, they need to feel proud of it, positive in life]

Youth workers have said keeping troubled youth engaged in school remains a worrying issue because of social problems such as broken families and Internet addiction.(Today 17 Feb 2015)

MOE statistics show that less than 1 per cent of each Primary One cohort in the last five years has failed to complete secondary school. -ITE does not share drop-out rates. But can make estimate.

-Anecdotal: At very minimum must complete their school. Bonus if they do well. The longer they stay in school, the better. More sheltered environment than if they go out to work. then less likely to progress up in career. in other countries, less of a paper chase (SCS).

- Education helps keep a child occupied and less likely to be involved in such vices (drugs and alcohol). It educates them as well us teach them the 'norms', 'what good conduct is' and the right behaviour.

Existing Resources

MSF's Enhanced STEP-UP [30] [Will this be scaled down after ISP?]

MOE's School Social Work - known as student welfare officers, they will help facilitate the use of community resources to provide holistic support for students and their families. Example, in certain cases, such as marital discord, the complex and difficult family circumstances of some students go beyond what the form teachers and school counsellor can typically advise or handle. As a representative from the school, student welfare officers sometimes find that the students’ families are more responsive and cooperative as we work together on the common goal to maximise the child’s potential(Today 17 Feb 2015)

-NCSS doing something also (to check)

Students Care Service Scholarships and Bursaries

Gaps and Their Causes

If intervention only comes in at the Enhances Step-up pahse, the success will not be very high. more early intevrnetion or developmental work. Not easy for agencies after referral, the youth already not going to school...really tough work.

On School Social Work - students may be more comfortable sharing their feelings with youth workers who are not part of the school (Palvindran Jayram, an acting team leader with the Lutheran Community Care Services) (Today 17 Feb 2015)

In 2012, a National Institute of Education study involving 3,000 youth revealed that youth gamers spent about 20 hours a week on gaming and about 10 per cent of them displayed symptoms of obsessive video gaming.(Today 17 Feb 2015)

-Anecdotal, SCS: ITE students don't stay in school because they are working part time, they have financial needs, may be form single parent families. they work to earn the pocket money that they need. Some find ITE work tough. Higher NITEC more theoretical, so harder to cope. even if have tuition, wont be able to afford it. Also get into a course they may not like, even ITE has grades requirements. Dumping ground is facilities management, or megatronics. F&B are popular. kids enjoy hands on. Girls like beauty and hair, but hard to get in. Accounting and nursing not easy to get in, more financial support for nursing. Check educational stats digest by MOE.

Enhanced step up and school social work also just part of the parcel. focus is on youth. but need focus on family. check literature on school drop outs. in US, predictors could be like retain many times. or parental education, SES etc. so these are very hard for VWO to intervene, how to intervene if parents low income and don't value education.

"When they intervene, it is mainly psycho-social because they cannot intervene in the structure" while psycho-social factors is one thing, low self esteem, low motivation. But if you look at the Maslow hierarchy, if basic needs are not met, can't intervene at one level up. (SCS: Liz)

-Schools are better at building teacher – student relationship. MOE recognises this, besides the desired outcome of education, also start to cater to socio-emotional needs: enhanced career officer, school counsellors…etc but fall short of wrap around school-student-family support. Cannot go full swing because MSF will never set up satellite FSCs in school. These FTSCs and school social workers are doing it alone. VWOs have advantage of doing it with the full support of an organisation. (CARE).

Possible Solutions

Pay the parents to send the kids to school. Some developing country tried this.

Community warp around the school: -Unless community adopt the school. Search Institute (Minneapolis)-health communities, healthy schools. Developmental Assets. Community wrap around the school. 'Holographic fidelity': My whole community knows that we are youth-centric and youth friendly. Protective factor-if youth no behaving well, they take it upon themselves. “The community gets the youth it deserves.”

- Conduct a compulsory counselling session for children at least once every 6 months. To keep check on youths situations, their mental health, problems in order to prevent bad conduct.

Need to be meaningfully engaged and supervised for social and moral development

Subjective Concerns about Youth Morals and how it would lead to Deviant actvities

Youth Morals Firstly, generally youth morals come from their environment. Youth are affected through ‘Walk The Talk’. For example, children who are exposed to alcohol at a young age would most likely become alcoholics. ( Secondly, every primary and secondary school student in SG goes through moral education. However, not all youths turn out to have the ‘right’ morals. Youth still have various opposing stands that they believe in. The number of youths being administered into the MSF Youth Residential Homes are decreasing, from 322 in 2014 to 302 in 2015. (file:///C:/Users/17025403/Downloads/Brief%20Social%20Stats%202016.pdf) This shows that more youths morals are becoming acceptable in society. Less youths are causing trouble. Also, an increasing number of youths today are becoming more open minded. Some might feel that this is a good phenomenon as youth become more ‘cultural relativism’. However, some might feel that youths are becoming too open. (increase in LGBT trends across the world)

Youth Morals and Act of Deviance The environment where the youth is brought up is really important. When youths are brought up with people who seems to be happy when doing things like alcohol and drugs, the youths would then think “If it makes everyone happy, then it must be right.”. This would then lead the youths to doing deviant activities as for them, it seems normal to do it for them.

As the youths today are getting more open minded on the things happening in the world such as LGBT and feminism etc. The number of negative deviant acts toward this issue has decreased as youths are starting to accept it. Instead, more positive deviant acts are done such as having more organisations that supports those issues and having events held to show some love for the people.

In Europe, the population is aging and is affecting the structure of the function of the society. This has a considerable impact on the staffs of institutions responsible for prevention and control of youth deviance and violence. In this recent years, police-record crime rates in many European countries, for youths and juvenile violence has been rising. Existing approaches to prevent and control youth deviance and violence: They have local studies to help them analyse local and regional conditions of you deviance and violence and how to prevent and control it. They do school surveys as a way to gage and get information on the conditions and further background factors of deviance and violence. (Usually asking about family, friends, use of drugs, lifestyle etc). Local interviews also used as a study to provide more perspective, direct from the youth, about the problems in juvenile deviance and how to reduce the crime and violence. Interviews also address the multiple-professional and multi-agency samples. (e.g. Police, juvenile social workers etc). This interviews are more focused on what prevention tactic is working or not working. And in the near future, a new expert perspective will be applied to the prevention and control of the deviance and violence of youth. They will conduct a two-wave national Delphi survey and a third multinational round anticipated demographic and social changes of the decade to come were taken into account. The main focus of the international Delphi round on future challenges will change perspectives for the exchange of good practice between European countries.

Examples in Singapore - Youths in Singapore are shunning away from religion. Today, most are doing so to uphold credibility as a moral voice. One example,having been believing in Buddhism and Christianity for most of her life, Hannah Kok 23, no longer believes in divinity. As a believer of none, she transformed into an atheist. Stating that she feels all forms of God exists. Such a deviant trend, amongst youths changes their modern perspectives. As the youths become increasingly liberal, less conservative, more are prone to slant towards scientific thinking or rational logic than reliance on pure faith. Some are daring even to speak up on taboo topics which are not discussed as openly in the past like on religion or sex. Being a non-believer, can thus turn someone into a deviant as they shy away from traditional morals or beliefs which no longer constraints one. Where by religion loses its original functional objective that could serve as a moral compass to guiding them on their thoughts or actions.


Comparing local Singaporean youths to their overseas Southeast Asian counterparts. While religion may be one factor that affect youths today, so does their creativity and willingness in expressiveness towards political views through street art. Malaysia youth activist, Fahmi Reza, created his street artworks on PM Najib such that it had caused a large ripple effect to the political environment. He was bold and not fearful of any sedition charges that was receiving global attention from the media. Thus shows a similar trend which in social deviance is brought about where by youths today are becoming more liberal and less consequential in their schools of thought that may affect a society politically or socially or economically. Therefore show that southeast asia youth culture is permeating towards supporting a sense of freedom in thought, freedom of expression, or freedom of belief in religion or politics.


- People especially youths do not clean up after themselves/ littering

Complacency is the likely reason for Singapore's litter woes. The youths today have a mindset that “there is always someone, somewhere, to pick up after them”, and hence they care less when littering. They always think there is someone picking up after them such as the Cleaners, Road Sweepers etc.

Although Youth’s nowadays also have the same perception about littering such that everyone knows flicking a cigarette butt onto the floor or throwing a used tissue of the window is littering. However, the youths still litter out of convenience and they don’t care because they don’t get caught.Which is also apparent when many more youths in Singapore pick up smoking and there will be additional litter such as cigarette buds. This is weird because in singapore, there are almost bins everywhere in every corner. This is hence a huge question towards youth’s beliefs and how it led to deviance such as littering.


Expert Perspectives There are psychologists who look into youth violence observe that their actions are very impulsive, spur-of-the-moment types that are caused by alcohol or peer pressure. The intensity of the actions are differentiated by the gender of the youths. For example, a clinical psychologist Carol Balhetchet says boys express themselves more through hitting people, allowing them to "activate their frustrations", while girls on the other hand are more likely to engage in a more emotional form of violence. They might go online, start rumours about each other, which eventually targets emotions and causes disputes.

Dr Balhetchet also says that these youths pick up such violent habits from their domestic household. He mentions that “If they experienced violence when they were younger and don't voice it out, it becomes like a balloon that one day will pop when it gets too much." Thus, supporting the fact that these kids become traumatised so much so that they want to vent their frustration to others, and because they think it is normal to inflict harm on others since they grew up in an abusive environment. But there are many treatment centres, homes and organisations catered to these teens. Some of them would be: AG home, AWARE singapore, etc.

Alcohol: Teenagers consuming alcohol in Singapore are on the rise as well. The age group is getting younger and younger, that teens of 12 to 13 years are consuming it instead of the global average of 15 to 16 years old. The impact is very harmful because the earlier one starts to drink, the more likely one will abuse alcohol due to its effects on the developing brain. Their cognitive effects will be worsened that will affect their learning and memory skills. Based on my knowledge, though there’s a policy that people below 18 are not allowed to buy alcohol from stores, these underaged youths are able to consume them from their older friends or relatives. Thus, this is how they are influenced heavily and are able to get their supply. The reasons why they consume alcohol are because they want to get relief from their problems, they also see that it is a relief based on watching movies, and it is a form of fun social gathering with their friends. But researchers argue that the usage of such drug should be closely monitored to prevent an overdose which could result in chest pains and even death. Hence, contingency management, which uses low cost incentives such as vouchers and prizes as immediate rewards when drug-free urine samples are produced, is a safer approach.

But there are rehabilitation centres and other measures to treat these teenagers with alcoholic habits. For example, Teen Challenge Singapore rehabilitates alcohol addicts. While there is behavioural therapy focuses on social and familial relations, incorporating counselling and highlighting alcohol’s role in the addict’s impaired functioning in social settings. Motivational Enhancement Therapy, meanwhile, helps to motivate a client to see the bigger picture that the family would get upset if he persists in alcohol abuse, and at the same time strengthen his beliefs in engaging treatment. Medicine such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and therapeutic treatment can also be combined to treat addiction. TCM uses acupuncture to balance the body's elements and helps to calm the nervous system, which in turn weakens the cravings for alcohol. Meditation gives a person inner calm and contentedness, thus removing the association between an addict and his desire to drink.

Smoking: Smoking has been on a rise as well. Smoking is a popular activity for many people who continue to enjoy it even though they are well aware of the health risks. The main reason for this is nicotine addiction. Tobacco contains nicotine - a stimulant which affects both the mind and the body. It increases heart rate and breathing and causes a surge of adrenaline which gives that ‘buzz’ that smokers enjoy.Teens as young as 12 would start smoking as it causes the smoker to feel relaxed as well as stimulated which is due to the production of a chemical called Dopamine. Dopamine is released into the blood stream which causes feelings of pleasure and well being. Youths are attracted to smoking as they see it is a sign of being an adult or an action that is cool and would drive attention to themselves. This is the main reason why Youths are influenced to smoke as there is a high chance that their close group of friends have started smoking already.They would start as well because they would still want to fit in to their group of friends and not be left out.

There are different ways where youths can be engaged in social and moral development. [meaningfully engaged different from social and moral development...might be two separate need statements; should we include 'moral' in the statement] [possible specify and clarify the areas within this need, eg need to be connected to prosocial peer groups]

Some Facts and Observations about Impact of Peer Influence and Neglected Youth/Children

Peer influence is when you choose to do something you wouldn’t otherwise do, because you want to feel accepted and valued by your friends. It isn’t just or always about doing something against your will.

Negative peer influences may result in the following conditions:

- Academics may be affected. In peer groups, it is important that one is accepted into their peer group.This means that their peer group’s approval gets placed above that of their parents and teachers. This in turn has a direct effect on their academics. Sometimes their academics are affected because despite being capable of performing well, they choose not to because in the eyes of their peers it makes them look ‘uncool’. Sometimes their academics are affected because in an effort to fit in with their peer group, they place more emphasis on being social rather than working on their academics. Hanging out outside with one's peer group may affect academics as playing outside with friends means one will neglect his/her studies and have not enough time for it [Adapted from]

- Adopt dangerous habits and defiant act just to 'fit in' and be accepted in a particular circle of friends. Negative peer influence will pressure one to adopt bad habits like smoking, consuming alcohol especially below the legal age. It may also lead to joining gangs and also adopting the habit of abusing drugs. Despite knowing that these habits are bad, they choose to adopt as it signifies as an acceptance in the peer group they are in.[Adapted from]

- One's individuality may be loss. Negative peer pressure will cause one to follow whatever their peers do, against their own will, as one will think that whatever they do is right. Thus, loss the sense of knowing what is right and wrong. This will then lead to the bandwagon fallacy. [Adapted from ]

- Defying parents and distancing oneself from the family. Negative peer influence will pressure one to pick up bad habits and attitudes. Aside from the ones mentioned above, such as smoking, negative peer influence will cause one to spend more time with their peers, so as to feel more accepted and welcomed in the circle of friends. When this happens, it will cause one to defy their parents and going out later than the curfew given. [Adapted from ]

- Throwing away ones morals. For example, sex. Some teenagers decide to have sexual relationships because their friends think sex is cool. Others feel pressured by the person they are dating. Still others find it easier to give in and have sex than to try to explain why not. It is common in today's society to view sex as something very normal as 'everyone is doing it', which leads to peers influencing others to try it if not they will feel like they are 'losing out'. [Adapted from]

- Increase the rate of teens committing to crime. Negative peer influence might cost one to not act in their own accord and to take part of illegal/ unhealthy act such as shoplifting, consumption of drugs, smoking etc. All of this acts were committed just because teens do not wanted to be left out just because they reject to their peer's request. [ Adapted from ]

Subjective Nature of Youth "Morals" -Need to focus on emerging issues: sexual grooming, virtual marriages and sexting; is too much cosplay or virtual reality a concern? [How can youth workers keep updated on these trends, which are changing very fast?]

Existing Resources and Challenges

Youth’s Intervention for social and moral development Youth’s intervention such as Student Cares Centre and MSF’s Youth Goals have similar objective of not only provide care and supervision but meaningfully engaged either in their studies or work, stay crime-free and help them development in various dimensions – physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral development, as well as a place to rest after school hours.


Students Care Centres (SCCs) that are licensed and regulated by MSF, for school-going children aged 7-14 (primary 1 to secondary 2). Every primary school will have one SCC to look after latchkey students with subsidies, means-tested. SCCs provide a conducive environment for the children’s holistic development in various dimensions – physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral development, as well as a place to rest after school hours. They are open on 7.30am or earlier to 6.30pm or later on the weekdays and 7.30am or earlier to 1.30pm or later on Saturday. The purpose of these SCCs provides a way for caring for students who have parents working late and also to provide care that the parents or school cannot give due to their busy schedule such as their homework and organizing activities for the students. They intend to help by allowing students to have someone to depend on when it comes to their academics and well-being and prevent them from negative influences. [Adapted from]

MSF's Youth GO! Programme (YGP) - a youth outreach programme which is modelled after well-established street outreach services overseas such as Hong Kong's. Care Corner appointed for the North East and Fei Yue for the North West and South West districts respectively. The key objectives are to support at-risk youth, aged 12 to 21, so that they will be meaningfully engaged either in their studies or work, stay crime-free and able to solve problems and be resilient individuals..[31]

Gaps and Their Causes- how to reach out to youths better

Youth workers do not do very much at the drop in centres. kids who like to do homework. Should run it, becuase where else will they go? So if they hav CCAs, they dont need to come. The kids that nobody wants. Or the kids who end up in CCAs that they dont like. CCAs have entry requirments. eg auditions, sports. uniform groups are dumping ground, or AV club will absorb. community service clubs, different shcools have different niche. Drop in centres design based on needs of youths? Structured programme, eg monday is football, tuesday is...based on interest of the workers, eg if they like baking. In the holidays, the drop in centres, there are more activities.

AFTER SCHOOL ENGAGEMENT -teachers do it just like another academic programme…therefore need for youth engagement and specialists who know how to do this; when teachers run it, ends up to be ‘homework supervision’. -instead, good activities could be: engagement centres, interest space, service learning.

LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Leadership opportunities should be open to youth at risk as well, and not just the creme de la creme. 'Premium products' need not be limited for only elite youth. Certain youth at risk have the potential to be leaders, and such leadership programmes should be open to them, but tweaked to accommodate the support they require given difficult personal circumstance because the factors that placed them at risk may still be present. If you do not groom them, the youth at risk with leadership potential, then the gangs will take them. Not good enough that they don’t get into a life of crime. More can be done (Care). If the youths at risk were not even given an equal opportunity to help nurture and grow their potential, they may continue down the wrong path. Giving them the chance to show their inner potential is in a way also in a way giving them the support they need when they are struggling with their own personal problems in their lives. It shows that the people around them still care about them and if they change, they can still succeed and do well in life.

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT They can be more involved in the youth's life, making the effort to keep up with what they are doing and also listen to problems they have in their lives without scolding them before hearing them out. Make an effort to create a day (eg: sunday) where everyone goes out and spend quality time together, this is to let these youth at risk know that family is always there for them, reducing the chance of them being deviant.

Limits and Challenges of Interventions Challenges of the Student Care Centres would be there would be a lack of communication between the parents and the child. Since they are busy in their schedules, they may not be able to participate in the Centre’s programmes that are organised for them and hence it may affect their relationship for some parents who are too busy to care about their children’s social and school life.Hence, SCCs have implemented programmes that involves their parents to communicate with them regularly and build a mutual understanding for their students as seen in the guidelines from the Ministry of Social and Family Development website. [32]

Challenges of Youth Go! Programme would be that some youths may have negative ideas regarding service-learning that may result from community service being mandatory or negative past experience with community service, they are less likely to engage in adequate service and in self-reflection and learning associated with community service. [33]

Comparison between both interventions Youth Go! Programme focuses more on the youth, to keep them meaningfully engaged in their work or studies, stay crime-free, be able to solve problems and also be resilient individuals. Student Care Centre’s program would be to help the parents communicate better with the youth and build a mutual understanding with each other. However, Youth Go! Programme focuses more on having youths teaching other youths values and morals as compared to Student Care Centres as the Student Care Centres mainly watch over the youths while they are there rather than teaching them values and morals. [34]

Conclusion To conclude, both Youth Go! Programme and the Student Care Centres focuses on helping youths stay crime-free and also to keep them engaged in their studies or work. Student Care Centre’s programs focuses more on getting the parents to interact with the youths more, while Youth Go! Programme focuses more on getting the youths together and interact. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both interventions are there to help youths stay crime-free.

Possible Solutions 1) Different ways where youths can be engaged in social development Parents taking initiative to support. This will allow them to be more open with their parents and they will be more likely to seek help from their parents instead of friends especially the ones that might not be the best influences.

2) Mixing around with people who are good influences;not deviant or engaged in deviant activities. This is because sometimes, youths are more likely to receive feedback/support from their friends rather than family members and therefore a good friend support circle is important in engaging in social development. Youths can take part in Curriculum Activities. This is because, while joining a CCA, not only do they learn a new skill, they will meet a new set of friends too. Therefore, if they find out what they did wrong to their classmates, they would remember ad not do the same thing with their CCA mates.

3) Teachers or members of the school committee play a part as well. A strong support system in school is as important as a strong family support system as youths spend half of their day (or more) in school and if the support/care is not there, there is a high chance that they might become deviant.]

4) Connecting to Others in Need - Kids/ Youth who develop a passion to serve can usually point to a critical experience that became transformative for them. Like Eden Eskaros, the experience frequently involves face-to-face interaction with people who are different from them, and most often, with people who are in need. 5)Shifting Their Perspectives - Through reflection, talking with others, and linking their values to the issues that impact them, young people experience a shift in perspective. They begin to see how issues are connected to each other, and they become interested in understanding the root causes of societal problems.[35]

Youth would tend to be deviant when they get restricted to do things that they want. For instance, when a parent expects their child to go home right away after school instead of hanging out with their group of friends. The child would find a way to come up with excuses just so he/she could join the friends to hang out. At the same time, parents would have to consider that it could be due to the different generations. Besides, youths these days are way too exposed with the environment, I would second that. To youths, things that are considered 'wrong' to their parents would be seen as 'decently right' nowadays, taking the LGBT as an example. Simply put, the act(s) of deviance happens out of curiosity.

6) Having a study group session - In this way, youths can gather together during their free time to study. They can help one another if there are areas they need to clarify. They also could motivate each other to study so they would not get distracted by other things, it would motivate them to continue going to school and not having the idea of dropping out of school.

7) Youths could also get a part-time job. It would expand their social life and broaden their perspective in life. They can have better time management; could also learn new knowledge and skills in their workplace. It would prepare them for their full time jobs in the future.

8)Getting youths to believe in religion. When they start to believe in a certain religion, some things would become clear to them that it is not right to do it and will discourage their unacceptable behavior in society and become a better person.

Need for youth workers to be adequately equipped to engage youths

[ADD CAPABILITY BUILDING NEED: need funding and resources for upstream work for VWOs]

Existing Resources

Development framework for Youth Workers (DYW) by CYGO

Social Media Resource Kit by CYGO

Students Care Service training & consultancy; guides -most are supervision services, for agencies who dont have enough supervision. for clinical social work supervision. if have crisis or suicide case, what protocol. the places that buy supervisioon are those that work with youth.

SSI has lots of training for youth workers

Youth workers skills need to change as youth's needs are changing. but skills not particularly lakcing, eg outreach...lacking resources but not skills. being updated with youth trends. be ahead of what youth are interested in. if just go down to schools to engage youths, developemntal or preventive programs dont need, but have social workers have oversight for higher risk cases or remedial cases.

only VWOs have access to schools, not informal groups eg church.

Gaps and Their Causes

-Peace's study: whether there is enough supervision for social workers for youth. lack of quality supervision for social worker may lead to retention issues.

-a lot of learning on the job, from peers, and learning from the youths...hearing from the youths themselves, on how they would like to be engaged.

-useful to understand the developmental stages of youth, eg psychological background. Others may not have that knowledge but enagge with them well.

-Not enough Malay Muslim Organisations engaged in youth work? Mendaki works with youths only through agencies and partners; AMP also move out of it. Maybe because too difficult, very hard work. For CARE, 40-45% clientele are Malay Muslims, therefore CARE has made a conscious decision to employ Malay Muslim youth workers, and Malaysians who are trilingual.

Possible Solutions

-sharing program, get youths to give intel on how to engage youth.

Need for holistic information on youth at risk

Existing Resources

Youth information System (YIS) shares information on Singapore's youth-at-risk among MOE, MHA and MSF (YIS.)

Gaps and Their Causes

ESU meets ESU, YARE meets YARE...but not all agencies run these programs. CYGO only gather for specific purposes, eg metoring initiatve.

Resource gap: E.g. Boystown staff drive a van to pick up delinquents who stay out late. but no everyone can do that. they go to hotpots for youth and pick them up. resources to reach out to the streets are lacking...but the instituinalised resources. ESU B is outreach, so hard to do. outreach work for higher risk youth hard to do, not low risk ones, easy to do.

Home visits, knocking on doors for hard to reach youths. with no clear sense of success. hard to convince people to pay for it.

as they long as they stay in school, easy to find the, if drop out, hard to find them. But need to engage them in school. a lot of programmes focus on bonding with classmates and peers. friendship and peer culture, fit in.

Possible Solutions

Resource Directory

Landscape of Youth At Risk Services See CYGO Slide no. 10 for Landscape of Services

About 10 key organisations here will take over the state's existing programmes to guide and rehabilitate young people under 21 who get into trouble. main youth programmes to be centralised through these organisations - called Integrated Service Providers (ISPs) hopefully making the quality consistent. The three programmes the ISPs will run are "Guidance", "Enhanced Step-Up", and "Triage". They are currently run by charities and youth organisations that target teens who have committed petty offences for the first time, those who have dropped out of school and young offenders. (ST 14 Nov 2016)

ISP Programmes ST 16 Nov 2016 • The Triage which stations social workers at police division headquarters to assess the risks and needs of youth offenders. Social workers located at police stations to decide if need GPs.

• The Guidance Programme to divert first-time offenders who have committed minor offences from the court system and towards counselling and rehabilitation.

• The Enhanced Step-Up programme which works with those likely to drop out of school.


National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation


Chairman - Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Desmond Lee (ST 4 Nov 2015)

Whole-of-Government committee on youth delinquency and crime. It has representation from agencies with a stake in reducing youth delinquency: Education, community and social services, health, police, prisons, Central Narcotics Branch, National Youth Council, Attorney-General, the Courts. There are also representatives also from the academia and ethnic self-help groups. Set up in 1995 to coordinate efforts between government agencies, the courts and community groups to reduce juvenile delinquency.

Central Youth Guidance Office


Executive arm and Secretariat of the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR). Sets policies and strategies across the entire (youth) offending spectrum.

Youth GO! Programme [36] by MSF

National Youth Council

NCSS Children and Youth Team

VWOs with Youth Programmes

Lakeside FSC

-strong children and youth programme, youth wing -ACE football -repurtation for youth work


youth work

Fei Yue

Beyond Social Services

ADD Malay agencies

check self help groups, jamiyah home

Specialist Youth Agencies

Beautiful People

Beautiful People began as a mentorship programme for at-risk teenage girls under Beyond Social Services, an organisation that works with disadvantaged youth. now supports 100 girls and women each year through their programmes, up from around 10 a year when it first started in 2006.founder, Ms Melissa Kwee Free for Good, a programme that helps female inmates reintegrate into society upon their release. Heroes' Journey, a mentorship programme for teenage boys, its first for males. Mentorship programmes for teenagers run officially for a year at Beautiful People's partner homes such as Gracehaven and Pertapis Centre for Women and Girls. ST 26 May 2016 [37]

Boys' Town

Executive Director - Irene Loi

"Boys' Town will not be tendering to be an ISP, as it prefers to retain its niche of reaching out to young people in the streets."We prefer to focus on what we have been doing all along," (Irene Loi, in ST 14 Nov 2016)

Youthreach - remind Trybe to link up

Care Corner


Crossroad youth centre and teck ghee youth centre - trybe can refer.

Children-At-Risk Empowerment (Care) Association

Executive Director - Dr John Tan

Schools Social Work, Counselling & Case Work, Outreach & Youth Mentoring, Sports Partnership, Parents & Teacher Training


Reach Youth (Reach Youth site) by Reach Community Services Society (Reach corporate site)

Life coaching, counseling, sports, tuition, bursary.

Singapore Children's Society

Students Care Service

Integrated Service Provider

School based social work, centre-based and community-based services.

For Primary & Secondary Schools: -School Social Work for Youth & Children (SYNC) -The Scaffold Programme (TSP) -Youth Community on Patrol (COP) -After School Engagement Programmes (ASE) -Enhanced Step-Up -Training & Consultation for Teachers & Parents

For ITE Colleges: -Strengths & Spurs -Buddy ‘IN (for ITE Colleges & Special Education Schools)

3 Centres: Clementi, Hougang & Yishun. Educational Psychology Assessment Training & Research arm are in Tiong Bahru.

-NT & NA - academically under-performing -Guidance Program - diversionary program, 6 months. if not breach them, then they go to court. MSF protocol. first time offenders. -school identify them as low attendance rate, behavioral problems. go counselling or engage to run group work sessions. (usually for NT & NA) -Youth COP has mixed needs, modelling. cannot run a program that is all high risk. also run problem of puttin bad eggs together. -Drop-in centres: Clementi & Hougang, or in school. social worker there. community youths - from neighborhood schools. no positive activities to engage in after school. -true football. -those in school who have higher count of detention, versus just nothing to do. -Students Care Service also runs educational psychology program for youths, use pre-post test. mainly for learning difficulties. sometimes anxiety-related disorders, e.g. selective mutism, where psychologist will do intervention.


TOUCH Youth is a division of Touch Community Services


Youth Guidance Outreach Service (YGOS)

[ask trybe to refer]


Joint youth outreach project by Boy's Town and Catholic Welfare Services

Children and Young Persons Homes

There are 21 Children and Young Persons Homes providing residential care programmes for those from dysfunctional families and in need of shelter; abused or neglected; in need of care and protection; beyond parental control; and in conflict with the Law. ([38] MSF website)

Professional Associations

Youth Work Association (Singapore)

youth workers are about 300-400 [WDA study on youth workers]

Check 2005-2006 NYC and NCSS competency framework...for youth workers and volunteers

Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors (Singapore)

Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Work Associations (CAYWA)

-code of ethics for youth work

Policy Network

Organisations and individuals are welcome to contribute and participate in the Youth At Risk Network. Please contact if you would like to be part of this network.

List of organisations in the network

[ADD A RESEARCH SECTION] [ADD a set of questions before hand...then VWOs can prpare]