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Home > Central Health > Central Health Stories > Chasing Dreams and Aspirations, One Step at a Time

 By Ministry of Social and Family Development (Social Service Office@Sengkang, Serangoon & Hougang)

A single mother of three children, Mdm Nurhazlina works full time as a delivery worker and is the sole breadwinner of the family. She is also the main caregiver for her children, the youngest of whom has special needs. Fortunately, Mdm Nurhazlina has a good support network within her family, which has helped her remain positive.

To further strengthen her support network, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)’s Social Service Office (SSO)@Hougang and Serangoon tapped on the ComLink Befriending Programme to introduce befrienders who would journey with her and her family through life’s ups and downs.

Community Link or ComLink is an initiative by MSF, with the SSOs playing a key role in supporting its efforts in each town. Piloted in 2019, it is now being scaled up across Singapore to benefit some 14,000 families like Mdm Nurhazlina’s, who have children living in public rental housing. This is done through:

  1. Proactive outreach to understand families’ needs, hopes, worries and aspirations.
  2. Close case support through befriending and action planning by journeying and working closely with families to address their needs and fulfil their dreams.
  3. Involving the community and partners to provide customised services and programmes for ComLink families to build on their strengths and prepare them for the future.

For Mdm Nurhazlina, who recently transited from part-time to full-time employment, ComLink Befrienders focused on helping her manage any challenges that come with this change and keep her focused on her aspirations to be financially independent and provide a better life for her family. ComLink Befrienders will also serve as positive role models for her children. They will be able to tap on the customised programmes that ComLink offers and introduce programmes that are catered to her children’s interests.

Should Mdm Nurhazlina need more concerted support, she can also tap on ComLink to access services such as healthcare and employment support. Partners will also be brought on board to complement her existing ecosystem of support (e.g. through strengthening academic support and providing intervention for families).

In these many small and concrete ways, ComLink aims to uplift families like Mdm Nurhazlina’s to achieve their full potential. As care partners, we can all keep a lookout for families like Mdm Nurhazlina’s. With a strong support and care network, we can support these families in their pursuit of their dreams and aspirations, one step at a time.

“My aspiration is for my three children to succeed in life, to come out of the stigma of children from single-parent families being unable to achieve in life, and to purchase our own home, together.”
Mdm Nurhazlina (left) and her daughter Ms Nur Eli’za (right). Mdm Nurhazlina is a strong advocate for single-parent families achieving in life and she hopes her story inspires others in similar situations to continue persevering.

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