Social Welfare

This tag is associated with 3 posts

Social Workers Complement – Not Replace – Support Networks For The Less-Privileged

The argument that less-privileged or disadvantaged Singaporeans should be respected as individuals with agency who are capable of making decisions for their households, rather than as people with problems, is incontrovertible. The same can be said of Mr. Gerard Ee’s related argument that the design of Singapore’s social service ecosystem can be improved by creating an environment of mutual help (ST, Jan. 3). Yet it is not necessarily true that programmes and services offered by the social and community service sector – and by extension, the work of social workers – replace “natural support networks” or “the notion of a caring community”. Instead, three other things seem to be missing: First, an understanding of how social workers should position themselves and their programmes and services; second, research studying the context and conditions of Singaporeans at the margin; as well as third, the involvement of the broader public, beyond those who work within the social service sector. Continue reading

Singapore’s Narrative Deficit, And Our Challenge Of Broadening Singapore’s Inequality Discourse

In fact, it can be argued that the ongoing discourse over personal social services and social welfare is also a contestation of narratives: What does it mean to be poor or disadvantaged in Singapore, and what is the lived experience of applying for and receiving government assistance or financial aid? When we turn to our own stories – or familiar anecdotes – for comparison, how do we discern between perceived hard work and good fortune (and where do we get our stories from)? And why has the state characterised its approach through terms like “self-reliance” and “many helping hands”, and what then are the implications? Continue reading

Five Lessons As A First-Year (Social Welfare) PhD Student

After passing the first-year oral comprehensive examination, I am moving on to my second year as a PhD student. The three quarters have flown by so quickly, and there is still the summer to come, but I wanted to document five reflective lessons. Continue reading

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