Ray is separated from his wife and children as he is in prison. He has difficulty building family relationships as he hardly has the chance to interact with them.
Focus on the Family Singapore’s Family CARE programme provided him and his wife Suzanne with the rare opportunity to connect with other inmates and families facing similar struggles and have a safe space to share their struggles. It helped them see that they were not alone in this difficult journey.
Elaborated Suzanne, “This bonding [with the other families was] the best, as we could share what we cannot share with others. We know everyone is in the same boat, so we did not feel awkward…to open up. The best [part] was when the facilitator talked about how to handle our children.”
Since Ray attended Family CARE, a 6-week parenting programme that culminated in an open visit and a family lunch for the inmates and their loved ones, there has been a change in his attitude. Observed Suzanne, “[After the programme,] he talks quite a lot…he shares things.”
This innovative and impactful Family CARE programme, run by Focus on the Family Singapore, has received the Wofoo Asian Award 2018 for Advancing Family Well-Being. The Wofoo Asian Award is organised by the Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asian Region (CIFA). The award ceremony was held in Hong Kong on 21 August 2018.
Launched in April 2016, Focus Singapore’s Family CARE programme has benefitted 290 people, including 101 prison inmates and their families. The programme helps incarcerated parents to reconnect with their family and build stronger, healthier relationships with their children.
Focus Singapore’s Family CARE programme has benefitted 290 people, including 101 prison inmates and their families.
Whenever there is enforced separation due to incarceration, the relationship between parents and their children often come under severe strain. This is due to the loss of regular contact as many inmates do not get to see their young children.
Over time, incarcerated parents begin to lose their parental identity and self-esteem because of the gap between their perception of a good parent and their inability to fulfill these expectations while in prison.
Family CARE helps mitigate such negative consequences for inmates by creating opportunities for them to have regular contact with their family members.
Through the programme, Focus Singapore is hopeful that incarcerated parents will be inspired and equipped to build and restore their relationships with their families, paving the way for their eventual reintegration into society.
© 2018 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
Our Family CARE programme helps incarcerated parents build and restore ties with their family. Find out more about its impact here.