Transforming Lives – World Social Work Day

Mr and Mrs Tan, (not their real names) are both diagnosed with some degree of intellectual disability. They have a son, Ben (not his real name). Despite their deep love for their son, they struggle daily to provide him with the stable home environment, as they are constantly engaged in heated and sometimes violent confrontations. This came to the attention of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). With the safety of the child as a priority, MSF proposed that Ben lives with his paternal grandparents with visitation days given to Mr and Mrs Tan.

Around this time, Ben is enrolled in Canossaville Student Care. This is where he receives after-school care in a safe and conducive environment. Canossian values and discipline are also instilled through structured routines and rules. Ben benefits from the Canossian Circle of Care where Canossaville’s Child Development Unit (CCDU) provides him with holistic support in the areas of learning, behaviour, and psychosocial needs. As CCDU is located within the Canossian Village, Ben benefits from this coordinated continuum of care before, during, after, and beyond the classroom.

Through Canossaville’s services, Mr and Mrs Tan are also assigned to Canossaville’s in-house social worker who assisted them to find a new home where they could live independently, while Ben remains under the care of his grandparents.

The road to stability is not easy for the Tans. It takes commitment from within and without. At Canossaville, we acknowledge the importance of parental involvement in a child’s life, so Jackson Tay, Canossaville’s associate social worker journeys with the family, providing them with advice and guidance, one of which is how to practice effective parenting skills. This includes weekly outings with Ben to the park, fostering natural and meaningful interactions and bonding moments.

During their weekly outings, Ben often requests toys from his parents. Despite their limited budget, Mr and Mrs Tan, driven by their innate desire to make him happy, will lavish on their son as best they can. Observing how the couple is unable to manage their money effectively, Jackson taught them the importance of budgeting and strategies to help the family understand the importance of savings. Since then, the couple has witnessed the positive outcomes, experiencing better financial stability and the joy of fulfilling Ben’s wishes responsibly.

Through these outings, Jackson has not only taught Mr and Mrs Tan how to engage with Ben but also provided invaluable support in their journey as parents. Mrs Tan, inspired by the positive impact Canossaville has on the family, aspires to one day become a volunteer at Canossaville and contribute to the welfare of other families like them. Thanks to the resilience, compassion, and dedication of social workers like Jackson and the nurturing environment of Canossaville, families such as Ben’s are able to find hope and a renewed sense of purpose.

Indeed, this heartwarming story is one that forms hearts, and transforms lives. To all our Social Workers, we salute you! Happy World Social Work Day!