Bridging Schools And The Community To Uplift Students

Ms Ismawati Mohamed Sidik, an UPLIFT Town-Level Coordinator at Boon Lay Social Service Office, shares what she does at work.
Ms Ismawati Mohamed Sidik promotes the importance of education to disadvantaged families.

Why did you decide to become an UPLIFT Town-Level Coordinator (TLC)?

Having worked in the community for some time, I observed that many disadvantaged families may not place education as a priority for their child, as they have many other needs they may feel they have to address first. I chose to be an UPLIFT TLC because I wish to advocate for the importance of education to these students and their families, with hope that their circumstances will improve.

What do you do as a TLC?

As a TLC, l coordinate the touch points and services rendered to UPLIFT students and their families, as well as support community development and networking between schools and community partners.

Having worked with different systems in the community, I value the support that each agency provides to the students and families. To achieve this synergy, I also engage and collaborate with community agencies to adopt an inter-agency approach when helping families.

TLC officers work together with other agencies to provide support to students and families

What is one interesting encounter you’ve had since taking up this role?

I have a student whose family, a single mother with six children, is receiving counselling and casework support from a Family Service Centre (FSC). However, the mother was often uncontactable when we tried to reach out to her. The family did not share that they had been receiving other community support until TLC made a check with partners in the community. Soon after, we established that four other agencies were also supporting the family.

Sensing that the mother chose to be uncontactable because she was overwhelmed with the different agencies’ support, I gathered all the partners together on one platform. We exchanged information on the support they were giving the family, coordinated follow-up plans and appointed the FSC to be the lead agency for this case. Since taking this approach, the mother has been cooperative and works well with FSC for the streamlined and consolidated action plans.

An interesting thing I learnt from this is that we may often think that a family does not have the help they need. In this case, the family was well-supported by various agencies but had felt pressured communicating with so many touchpoints – something we could address by collaborating more closely across agencies.

    Sep 1, 2020
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