AMKFSC-UniSIM Symposium 2017
Co-organised by AMKFSC Community Services Ltd (AMKFSC) and SIM University (UniSIM), AMKFSC-UniSIM Symposium 2017, held at the Performing Arts Theatre, UniSIM, on February 15, 2017 (Wednesday), saw the attendance of more than 400 social service professionals, academics, policymakers and students.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development, graced the event, as Guest-of-Honour.
Themed ‘Breaking Barriers, Bridging Strengths’, the symposium aims to enable social service professionals to collaborate amongst systems, co-workers and clients to arrive at mutually agreeable and successful outcomes. One such example is that of the collaborative effort between AMKFSC and UniSIM.
In his welcome address, Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of UniSIM, acknowledged the close working relationship with AMKFSC, sharing, “Over the years, [we have] seen AMKFSC staff becoming our associate faculty and AMKFSC becoming a go-to practicum site for our students,” Prof Cheong said.
Dr Ang Seng Bin, Chairman of AMKFSC, reiterated the strong relationship between both organisations in his opening address. He added that the agency hopes to work even closer with UniSIM’s Social Work department to “ensure a more seamless transition from school to work, to provide greater opportunities and platforms for students to acquire skills within the industry, and to partner in research to enhance practice in the social service sector.”
Then, together with Dr Ang, Dr Vincent Ng, CEO of AMKFSC and Dr Seng Boon Kheng, board director of AMKFSC and Head of Social Work programme at UniSIM, Minister Tan officiated the launch of the Centre for Collaborative Practice under AMKFSC. The Centre for Collaborative Practice aims to transform social work practice in Singapore into a uniting force through four areas of focus including training, thought leadership, research and partnerships. The joyous occasion then reached a climax with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of UniSIM’s social work programme.
Keynote speaker Mr Cormac Russell, expert on asset-based community development (ABCD), took the stage next, where he shared foundational principles on the strengths-based approach. Returning to after a quick tea break, Mr Russell took his seat as a panellist beside Dr Ng, Dr Seng, and Ms Ang Bee Lian, Director of Social Welfare, Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), where they discussed the potential collaborations within the social service sector and answered questions from the floor.
After the symposium, concurrent breakout sessions, which included sharing by local social workers on topics ranging from asset-based community development to family violence, were also held in various seminar rooms at UniSIM.