CEO's Message

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Ms Junie Foo

Chief Executive Officer

2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of Methodist Welfare Services (MWS). Amidst the continued global COVID-19 crisis, we will put our trust in God’s providence.

As we observe this milestone in a more reflective manner, I am reminded of MWS’ humble beginnings when we served our first 6 elderly sick residents at the Methodist Home for the Aged Sick, with an annual budget of $5,000. I would like to pay tribute to the pioneer group of Methodists whose compassion, belief and vision provided fertile ground for the establishment of MWS to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in the community.

Even though MWS has grown to serve over 8,700 through 20 centres and programmes, we remain steadfast to the mission. Today, we see the fruits of the labour borne out in empowered lives.

Lives Empowered

Madam Loo Jo Lee, resident of MWS Bethany Nursing Home – Choa Chu Kang, is one such story. A stroke survivor, she emerged from a state of desolation to a life of joy, hope and self-belief with the support of patient and caring staff. These days, she helps out in Café Joy within the nursing home.

Benny joined MWS after spending more than 3 years in prison. He became a Christian while incarcerated and resolved to change how he wants to live. With a new desire to empower those who feel unworthy of love, he has found professional and personal fulfilment in MWS.

David Wong, long-time MWS volunteer and our former Chairperson (2011- 2015) is another who dedicated himself to serving others. He is passionate about empowering the lives of our beneficiaries and our staff.

These stories remind me that MWS was set up to empower lives through love.

Serving in Chaotic Times

In FY2020/21, MWS Family Service Centres (FSCs) participated in a government-led project to support individuals who became homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trauma-informed care (TIC) principles became even more relevant in our casework and interventions. MWS also raised close to $1.6 million to provide concrete and timely financial help for over 1,000 families who experienced hardship brought on by the COVID-19 crisis.

Our accelerated digitalisation plan in the 18 months has stood us in good stead in managing the impact of safe distancing regulations. Digitising and storing of files on the cloud, as well as web-enabling our applications facilitated our staff and volunteers to operate remotely. Our beneficiaries benefitted from tele-consultations and were able to meet their families and loved ones while staying engaged using digital platforms. More than ensuring service continuity, these were critical in safeguarding our beneficiaries’ well-being.

Building Staff Capabilities

In FY2020/21, our new caseworkers were inducted into the professional practice of MWS FSCs through a rigorous 5-month plan based on casework standards and practices. The training provided workers with a firm foundation on risk assessment and intervention skills and included Ethics of Social Work Practice, Self-care, MWS Child Welfare Model and TIC principles. Through the training, social workers also learnt about FSCs role within the social work practice in Singapore, and discussed macro issues in Singapore’s social landscape that impacted on their work.

During the circuit breaker in 2020, the number of family violence cases surged in the community. Our teams were equipped to manage these cases as a result of their training in handling family violence.

For MWS FSC staff with clinical supervision roles, we also provided them training in personal supervision or group supervision, so that they could coach others and expand the capacity of their team.

For our healthcare workers, we partnered with a learning institute to redesign our dementia care training modules for online learning. 

The Next Lap

In June 2020, MWS was awarded a Ministry of Health tender to operate a new Senior Care Centre and Nursing Home at Eunos. We also took over the operations of MWS Christalite Student Care Centre, in partnership with Christalite Methodist Chapel.

As the first seeds were sown 40 years ago, we are privileged to plant more seeds in the community today for generations to come.

My personal wish for MWS is that we will always remain Christ-centred, and remember that this is not merely a professional venture but a mission to bring love, relief, care and hope to the most vulnerable in our community, empowering them to have life to the full.

Thanksgiving & Appreciation

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the MWS Board of Governance, Centre Governance Committees, Working Committees, donors, volunteers, Methodist churches and partners for your stalwart support especially during these challenging times. My special thanks go to Rev Dr Daniel Koh, Mr Eugene Toh, Mr Albert Lim, Mr Robin Cheong and Mr Wendell Wong who will be stepping down from the Board of Governance after the 2021 Annual General Meeting.

Like the rest of the community, our staff have also gone through extremely difficult times in the past 12 months. Our foreign staff were not able to return home to see their loved ones. Those working on the frontline and in the community had to work in volatile and risky conditions everyday to keep our services running and ensure the safety and health of beneficiaries. Their commitment to our beneficiaries and working together despite personal hardships was clear to see.

Thank you for soldiering on. May God continue to direct our path.

MWS' strategy is built on 2 key principles and comprises 4 main pillars:

Principle 1

Complex issues need holistic intervention

We go beyond addressing the presenting issues to consider people’s aspirations, values, lifestyles, social circumstances, need for social inclusion and the underlying trauma triggers of behaviours.

Principle 2

Vulnerable people have strengths and assets

We believe that beneficiaries are not helpless ‘victims’. They can be empowered to draw on strengths and resources to create more positive and sustainable change.

Strategic Pillar A

Organising to provide holistic care

Synergise resources and enhance processes to improve decision making and service delivery 

Strategic Pillar B

ADOPTING AN INSIGHT-INFORMED APPROACH FOR EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION

Ensure that our care approach and interventions are underpinned by in-depth beneficiary insights.

Strategic Pillar C

EMPOWERING BENEFICIARIES IN PREVENTIVE CARE AND COMMUNITY ACTIVATION

Nurture beneficiaries and their communities to uplift vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods and create a more sustainable support network.

Strategic Pillar D

EQUIPPING STAFF TO MEET TOMORROW’S NEEDS

Ensure greater consistency in standards that are scalable and responsive to the needs of
the community.

We will continue to strengthen our operational capability in the next 3 to 5 years, and some of our plans include:

  • To expand the network of MWS Nursing Homes to 5, so as to cater to Singapore’s ageing population;
  • To introduce a programme that will strengthen family relations and structures before they fall into distress; and
  • To set up a dedicated research team within MWS that will support insight-informed and evidence-based care.

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