CARE Network Summit 2022
CARE Network Summit 2022: Igniting Connections to Empower Ex-offenders and their Families
- Singapore, 18 July 2022 – The Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network Summit 2022 reaffirmed the commitment of CARE Network partners in supporting inmates, ex-offenders, and their families. Themed “Igniting Connections, Empowering Lives”, the annual Summit celebrated the Network’s achievements over the past year and announced key initiatives to strengthen support for inmates and ex-offenders throughout their reintegration journey.
- This year marked the first physical CARE Network Summit since its rebranding in 2021. More than 300 CARE Network members, members of the aftercare community and partners from the public, people, and private sectors were present at this year’s Summit, which was held today at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
- In her opening address, Guest-of-Honour Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information and Second Minister for Home Affairs, commended the efforts of the CARE Network in helping inmates and ex-offenders navigate their rehabilitation and reintegration journey through the challenges posed by the pandemic. She highlighted the importance of creating a sustainable ecosystem of pro-social support networks for ex-offenders and their families, as part of continued efforts to bring down the five-year recidivism rate, and called on the CARE Network to deepen existing collaborations and forge new partnerships, to help ex-offenders reach further in their rehabilitation and reintegration journey.
- The rebranding of the “CARE Network Summit” from the “CARE Network Workplan Seminar” in 2021 represented the evolution of the original workplan seminar platform into a dynamic forum that allows for open dialogue and deeper conversations between participants within and beyond the aftercare sector. For example, ex-offenders who participated in the Summit shared valuable insights on factors that facilitated and hindered their reintegration. This enabled CARE Network partners to better understand how their initiatives and programmes could be adjusted to better address the different needs of ex-offenders and their families.
- “I believe that the work by the aftercare agencies has shaped the society’s perceptions towards being more forgiving and accepting. This is the outcome of ongoing campaigns and outreach efforts to demonstrate that everyone, regardless of background, can play a role in supporting an ex-offender in their rehabilitation journey,” said Mr Mohamed Riduan Ishak, Path I Choose Volunteer & Moderator of the CARE Network Summit 2022 Breakout Session.
Strategic Thrusts to Reduce Recidivism and Empower Lives through Community Partnerships
- In 2020, the CARE Network launched a five-year Strategic Framework for Action to spur collective action to reduce recidivism rates. Since then, the Network has made strong progress in its two strategic thrusts: (i) advancing the aftercare sector’s capabilities and capacity; and (ii) strengthening the throughcare and reintegration experience.
Advancing the Aftercare Sector’s Capabilities and Capacity
- The CARE Network aims to improve domain-specific skills and expand the potential of aftercare practitioners by 2025. As part of this strategic thrust, a Community of Practice (CoP) on Aftercare Competency Framework and Upskilling Efforts was organised in Dec last year. The session provided 20 aftercare professionals from 10 agencies the opportunity to share and learn from one another on issues related to staff training and development. More of such CoPs will be organised for the community in the coming year. A shared resource repository for partners will also be launched later this year to facilitate the exchange of expertise, experiences, and research.
- In addition, the Singapore Prison Service had extended developmental training under the Development Framework for Offender Rehabilitation Personnel to more aftercare volunteers this year, to enhance their capabilities in supporting ex-offenders and their families. Training opportunities for volunteers will also be expanded across a variety of learning platforms, such as webinars, e-learning modules, and blended learnings.
Strengthening the Throughcare and Reintegration Experience
- In 2021, pilot initiatives were launched targeting the needs of elderly supervisees and women inmates with children. For elderly supervisees at Selarang Halfway House, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched the ‘Seniors Go Digital’ training initiative to improve their digital literacy. More than 30 seniors have benefitted from the programme and IMDA will be scaling up this initiative to other Halfway Houses this year. For women inmates with children, the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) launched the Micro Business Programme to help them become home business entrepreneurs. 38 inmates have participated thus far. The next run of the programme will be held in 2023.
- Collaborations within the CARE Network also led to enhanced pro-social support for ex-offenders and their families. To tackle inter-generational offending, a tri-sector collaboration was initiated last year with CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand Group, Industrial & Services Co-Operative Society Ltd (ISCOS) ReGen Fund, Life Community Services Society, Singapore Children’s Society, and Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF). Under this partnership, children aged 6 to 12 years old impacted by parental incarceration can attend a holiday camp ‘Camp Cacti’, and participate in activities centred around personal growth and socio-emotional development to help build their resilience. ISCOS has also collaborated with YRF to support initiatives from community groups such as CANVAS Art’s Digital Art Training & Routes Art Exhibition and Break the Cycle Singapore’s Countdown 202.2km Challenge, to empower ex- offenders to break the cycle of re-offending and connect with the community.
- “After a two-year hiatus, our in-person Summit returns this year, bringing back the vibrancy of face-to-face interactions within our growing aftercare community to learn, connect and explore collaborative opportunities to uplift the livelihood of ex-offenders and their families. Over the years, it is encouraging to observe that more individuals and organisations take interest in reintegration issues. The Network strives to ignite new connections to widen our reach in the community and deepen existing partnerships to empower beneficiaries to lead a brighter future and contribute back to society. When synergistic parts work together, we can accomplish more and achieve better outcomes than we can alone,” said Mr Phillip Tan Eng Seong, Chairman of Yellow Ribbon Singapore and Co-chairperson of the CARE Network.
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About the CARE Network
The Community Action for the Rehabilitation of Ex-Offenders (CARE) Network was established in 2000 to coordinate aftercare rehabilitation and reintegration services. Guided by a Steering Committee comprising chairpersons and senior management from the nine core members, it was the first platform that brought community partners together to provide seamless throughcare support, from incare to aftercare, for ex-offenders.
Beyond the core members taking the lead in identifying and driving key priorities, successful reintegration of ex-offenders requires the wider system of community partners coming together to address issues from a multi-faceted perspective. To this end, the CARE Network organises annual events to share new developments and initiatives and encourage collaborations among the partners. Over the years, the Network has expanded to comprise over 100 community partners and supporters. This includes Social Service Agencies, religious groups, Family Service Centres, Halfway Houses and grassroots organisations. Vision: Hope, Confidence and Opportunities for Ex-offenders
Our Core Members
- Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
- Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
- Singapore Prison Service (SPS)
- Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG)
- National Council of Social Service (NCSS)
- Industrial & Services Co-Operative Society Ltd (ISCOS)
- Singapore After-Care Association (SACA)
- Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA)
- Yellow Ribbon Fund (YRF)