Mr Yan Yuelong works as a cook in a hawker centre and is the sole breadwinner for his family of 7, consisting of his wife, mother-in-law and 4 children. Although he worked long hours, the 42-year-old barely made enough to cover basic needs. The situation worsened when his mother-in-law was diagnosed with kidney failure. Desperately needing
help, his wife approached MWS Covenant Family Service Centre – Hougang.
The Centre first helped the family with their financial issues. An application was put in for subsidies to cover the transportation costs of sending Mr Yan’s mother-in-law for dialysis treatments and medical appointments. The family was also placed on a food ration programme which provided milk and diapers for the younger children.
Besides attending to his immediate needs, Mr Yan was placed on the MWS Family Development Programme (FDP) to help the family work towards financial stability and build assets to buffer against crises. Starting out with zero savings, Mr Yan committed to set aside $100 a month which was matched $2 for every $1 by the programme. After being on FDP for 2.5 years, they have accumulated savings of more than $9,000 to use for emergencies and their children’s education. Staff of the Centre also observed that the couple had difficulties in parenting their children and enrolled them in parent-child interaction therapy to equip them with parenting skills. Guided by the MWS holistic approach that recognises and taps on clients’ strengths, MWS Social Worker, Ms Lynette Tan would encourage the couple whenever they applied the skills that they had learnt on their children. The couple has since shown more confidence in managing and disciplining their children.