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Our Past Projects
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Discovering the Hidden Youth in Singapore: Novel Outreach Approaches Used by Fei Yue Community Services
In view of the increasing number of hidden youth, Fei Yue Community Services developed the first specialised intervention for hidden youth in Singapore- the Hidden Youth Outreach Service- to support families and integrate youth back to school or employment. Since 2019, 25 hidden youth and their families have been supported through family interventions, interest-based activities, and novel outreach strategies through platforms like games and social media.
The study describes the profile of the 25 hidden youth supported by the outreach service and share insights on effective practices when working with hidden youths and their families. These insights were gleaned from focus group discussions conducted with 15 practitioners journeying with hidden youths and their families. Effective practices include establishing close working relationships and setting boundaries with parents, managing parents’ expectations of what interventions could achieve, and using alternative engagement methods like delivering food to the youth.
Super Families (2019)
Conducted over two weekends, the programme has separate segments for the parents and siblings. Areas such as sibling relationship and rivalry, emotional regulation and family bonding were covered. Qualitative data is gathered through pre- and post-programme interviews with the participants, and observations conducted by researchers during the programme. Parent participants reported being better equipped to support sibling relationships. Older siblings demonstrated better understanding of special needs during the interview and took greater interest in the daily lives of their special needs siblings by being more actively involved in their routines. Areas which requires strengthening identified from the evaluation include (i) going in-depth for some of the topics taught in the sessions for the parents; and (ii) incorporate ways to update parents on what was taught to older sibling so that parents can strengthen learnings at home. Overall, participants found Super Families programme beneficial.
Evaluation of Home-Based Family Life Education (HBFLE) (2019)
The objectives of this evaluation were (i) if participants had gained, and applied, the knowledge taught in the programme; (ii) how the programme impacted participants’ family relationships; and (iii) strengths and limitations of the programme. Data was collected through a combination of methods, including pre-, (mid-) and post- programme surveys, befrienders’ observations and feedback, face-to-face interviews with participants, and focus group discussions with volunteer befrienders.
The evaluation found that participants had gained and applied the skills taught. For example, being more aware of non-verbal cues (eg. maintaining eye contact) when communicating with their children, and healthier coping strategies when they were stressed emotionally. The participants also appreciated the home visits as they did not have to travel or make child care arrangements. A gap identified from the evaluation was the need to strengthen the programme syllabus so that families with special needs children could be served. The existing syllabus was developed based on the needs of families with typically developing children. It was recommended therefore to limit programme admission to families with typically developing children until a revised syllabus for families with special needs children was ready.
Psychological Well-being of Care Providers in Singapore (2015)
There has been a shortage of manpower and high staff turnover of formal care providers in the eldercare and disability sector. This study seeks to better understand (i) the well-being of formal care providers; (ii) their structural and psychological empowerment; (iii) their intent to leave; (iv) the factors that contribute to their job satisfaction and dissatisfaction; and (v) how they cope with the stressors and challenges they face at work.
The research study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. 360 formal care providers were surveyed, and several focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with a total of 50 participants. The survey questionnaire contained demographic questions and three other standardised scales which measured general health, psychological empowerment and structural employment. We found three sources of stress (i) client and family members; (ii) organisational factors; and (iii) personal factors. Factors contributing to job satisfaction were (i) being reminded of their family members; (ii) positive feedback; and (iii) career development opportunities. Factors affecting job dissatisfaction were (i) stress and burnout; (ii) office politics; (iii) work overload; (iv) lack of funding; and (v) poor supervision. Lastly, factors contributing to their intention to leave were (i) personal family issues; (ii) meagre salary; (iii) career opportunities; and (iv) unhappiness with management and colleagues. Based on these findings, appropriate recommendations were made to improve the areas that are lacking in this sector.
Seniors Living Alone in Singapore (2012)
According to the 2010 census, approximately 8.2% of the senior population in Singapore lived alone. This study hopes to understand (i) the problems and concerns of seniors living alone locally and the coping strategies they adopt to overcome them; (ii) the significance of family and the family’s involvement; (iii) the importance and potential of eldercare centres in impacting the lives of the seniors; and (iv) the issues of concern among seniors in future such as their expectations of living arrangements when they grow older, how they expect their needs to be met and the extent to which they hope to receive informal support.
A total of 300 seniors and their family members aged 16 to 92 were recruited for the surveys and 170 participants were recruited for the interview. Of the 170 participants, 120 were seniors living alone, 30 were seniors living with their families, and 20 were young-old persons aged 55 to 64. Results found that seniors living alone were concerned about their finances and health. They mainly relied on family, including extended family, but might also seek support from friends and neighbours within the community. The young-old people were concerned about their health and emotional support. They also hope to work beyond retirement and age-in-place. Senior Activity Centres and Neighbourhood Link Centres (no longer in operation) facilitated social interactions, offered some assistance in emergencies, and allowed seniors to try new things.