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Supporting Ex-offenders by Raising the Skills of Our Aftercare Professionals and Volunteers
How a revised training framework sharpens the capabilities of our dedicated aftercare community.

The Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-offenders (CARE) Network is enhancing the capabilities of its aftercare staff and volunteers, in order to build a stronger correctional rehabilitation landscape in Singapore. 

From May 2018, aftercare professionals and volunteers can attend new training modules offered by the Social Service Institute (SSI), in addition to existing programmes with the Singapore After-Care Association

These enhancements to the Development Framework for Offender Rehabilitation Personnel (DORP) – a structured training framework launched by the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) in 2014 – will ultimately benefit former inmates receiving aftercare (which refers to the range of welfare support and rehabilitation services available to ex-offenders). 

31 May 2018 HTNews Graphic CARE Network Seminar 2018 DORP
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

These changes have been welcomed by partner-agencies of the CARE Network. “DORP addresses the competencies of our aftercare workers and other practitioners,” said Mr Ravi Subramanian, Senior Director of Reintegration and Aftercare at the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE). “As the needs of ex-offenders change over time, we must work together to equip ourselves with the right competencies, to support them.” 

Serving the Evolving Needs of Ex-offenders
According to Mr Ravi, the needs of ex-offenders mirror a broader demographic shift in society – the fact that Singapore’s population is ageing. “Ex-offenders who’re older face certain challenges upon release,” said Mr Ravi. “Do they have the right skillsets to remain employable; do they have a place to stay; how can they connect with their families?” 

To support older ex-offenders and their families, aftercare professionals and volunteers have to raise their own capabilities and develop better solutions. “We have specific programmes to help older ex-offenders, like Project ReConnect by ISCOS [Industrial and Services Co-operative Society],” said Mr Ravi. “But while such interventions can meet some of our needs quickly, over time, we have to look at our data and use it to provide better interventions in specific areas.” 

Learning from Professionals in Other Sectors
The DORP offers modules at three levels – basic, intermediate and advanced. Courses include Basic Prison Training, Befriending Skills for the Offender Population, Befriending Training and Effective Principles and Practices in Case Management. 

The SSI modules will also offer aftercare professionals and volunteers the opportunity to broaden their skills through cross-training with organisations that aren’t part of the rehabilitation support system. 

“It’s good for us to be exposed to the best practices of social service organisations who don’t work with ex-offenders,” said Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Jonathan Lin, Assistant Director (Community Policy) of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division at SPS. “For example, when we talk to someone who specialises in family issues, it helps us to understand things better from the perspective of the family, and we can apply this to our work.”

Those who complete SSI courses will also receive a certificate of completion. “Having a certificate that’s nationally recognised will be useful if these professional and volunteers wish to apply for positions that require certain forms of expertise,” said DSP Jonathan. 

CARE Network Seminar 2018
Find out how the CARE Network is bridging the barrier with ex-offenders through the use of technology

Read the speech by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin at the CARE Network Workplan Seminar 2018.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 31 May 2018
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