Affiliation: Institute of Mental Health, Singapore, 10 Buangkok View, Singapore 539747.
Background: Children require a safe and nurturing environment to grow and develop optimally into adulthood. A stable, safe and conducive family is the source of nurture, comfort and guidance for the child. However, when a child’s safety in a dysfunctional family environment is threatened, interventions are needed to ensure his safety and well-being. In Singapore, the government ensures that all children and youth are provided with good healthcare, quality education and a safe environment set within strong, stable and supportive families.
Methods: This article reviews the steps taken in Singapore to develop and implement policies to protect children from abuse and promote healthy development.
Results: In order to meet these key targets, Singapore has developed a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency and multi-pronged approach. This approach includes child centric policies and practices in all matters pertaining to children, emphasis on training and development of all professionals working with children, interagency collaboration and a strong partnership with parents and the public. Several key pieces of legislation are in place to support the goal of ensuring that children are safe from various forms of abuse.
Conclusions: Tremendous and significant achievements have been made in the area of child protection and children’s rights in Singapore. However, increasing public education and knowledge about child abuse and children’s rights and further enhancing the competency of professionals working in this area is to be further encouraged.