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The social service sector has a supply-side problem. In non-economics terms, we simply do not have enough professionals. But we have part of a solution.

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Our work with youths facing significant adversity over the past 5 years has brought us into engagement with a wide span of experiences.

 

Some of these youths come from high risk backgrounds, where gangs and substance abuse are the norm. Others come from high need backgrounds, where mental health challenges and neglect are the daily struggle. Over time, many of these youths have found their way back into stability and onward unto personal development.

A question remains: Can these youths who were once the recipients of social services play a part in fixing the sector’s problems?

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Impart believes that a pathway forward is possible. But it has to be paved by pioneers.

 

​These youths possess a wealth of lived experiences, but that is not enough to make them experts. However, the requisite formal accreditation for serving as professionals in the sector involves obtaining a diploma or university degree. Many of these youths simply do not have the time and means to pursue such 3-7 year options. And so they often pursue jobs to pay the bills – sustenance, rather than development and contribution, becomes their pathway forward.

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Paving Pathways is Impart’s response to this challenge. Without diminishing the value of a professional diploma or degree, we will develop youths through a 1 year-program.

They will receive training and exposure to Impart’s model of community work, which spans theoretical and practical components to youth engagement, mental health care, and systems thinking. This experience will also set them up to pursue further education. By paving new pathways for youths to build on the strengths of their past experiences, we’re also paving a new way for the sector to experience growth. 

CASE STUDY

Zikry is a 24 y/o youth who grew up in an environment with generational cycles of at-risk behaviour. He participated in this environment throughout his formative teenage years, which eventually landed him in a rehabilitative youth institution at the age of 18 where he was classified as a high-risk youth. 

 

Thankfully, his experiences in the institution catalysed his transformation. The active support of his caseworker, which continued even after he had left the institution, spurred him on to complete his studies at ITE with a GPA of 3.4/4. He proceeded to seek employment as a delivery attendant, before enlisting for National Service (NS). Zikry reflected on his past experiences during NS, and realised that he wanted to help youths break out of generational and circumstantial cycles of adversity. However, existing pathways towards such careers will require a minimum of 3 years of further studies before Zikry has a chance at an entry level job. This is a luxury that Zikry, who also helps to support his divorcee mother and younger siblings, cannot afford.
 

He reached out to Narash towards the end of 2021, and will be in the pioneer batch of this program. 

FUND USAGE

Impart will cover the costs related to the selected youth’s training, supervision, and deployment. As for the youth’s training stipend and basic benefits, we will be launching a campaign in collaboration with Ray of Hope to raise funds. Youths selected for this program are above the age of 21 and shoulder familial responsibilities. A stipend with basic benefits will empower them to concentrate on their learning and development.

​They will be engaged across 3 tracks:

'AD-HOC' ENGAGEMENTS

are for youths who are not ready for full-time engagement, but demonstrate potential in learning more. They will be involved in part-time deployments to develop interest.

'INTERNS'

are for youths who are not ready for full-time engagement, but demonstrate potential in learning more. They will be involved in part-time deployments to develop interest.

'TRAINEES'

will participate in a 12 month developmental program to acquire requisite knowledge and develop their skills, so as to supplement their lived experiences with professionalised expertise.