SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL

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1 A Publication of NCSS & SSTI Vol 21 Feb 07 ~ Mar 07 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL Caregiving for Older Persons in Singapore: Trends, Issues and Policies Abstract of Research Article: Counselling Professionals in Social Service Setting: Profile, Practice and Preparation How to Create and Lead a Successful Team in Your Organisation A column on non-profit management from the Lien Foundation Centre for Social Innovation Overcoming Barriers to Creativity in Non-profit Organisations

2 2 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL 2-5 Caregiving for Older Persons in Singapore: Trends, Issues And Policies 6 Counselling Professionals in Social Service Setting: Profile, Practice and Preparation 7-8 How to Create and Lead a Successful Team in Your Organisation 9-10 Overcoming Barriers to Creativity in Non-profit Organisations 11 SSTI - Training Calendar 12 SSTI - Highlights CHIEF... EDITOR Tan Bee Heong Director, Social Service Training Institute... DESIGN... & PRODUCTION SECRETARIAT Joyce Liang Senior Executive, Social Service Training Institute Suziana Samsudin Design Unit, Corporate Communications EDITORIAL... TEAM Carol Pereira Assistant Director, Corporate Services & Membership Karen Bay Assistant Director, Social Service Training Institute Marceline Chin Principal Executive, Service Development Priscilla Low Senior Executive, Community Partnerships Vale Ng Senior Executive, Corporate Communications NOTE:... Contents Page Committee Members RESOURCE... TEAM Liew Pei Ling, Senior Executive, Social Service Training Institute Suhaila Ahmad Principal Executive, Service Development Prameela Devi Principal Executive, Resource Allocation Karen Poh Senior Executive, Social Service Training Institute Shamla Ramasamy Principal Executive, Corporate Development & Manpower Division Choon Wan Lee Principle Executive, Corporate Services & Membership We wish to highlight additional references for the article Developing a child centred approach to working professionally with children who have been abused, in the Oct/Nov issue of SSJ. Please refer to: for the revised version. The Social Service Journal is published bi-monthly by the National Council of Social Service, Singapore. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the permission of the publisher. National Council of Social Service. The Social Service Journal is available online at The editorial team welcomes contributions of articles from board members, senior management readers from VWOs, and writers from the academic arena. Please send your contributions and feedback by to: Note: The views expressed in this journal do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Council of Social Service nor that of the editorial team. NATIONAL COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE 170 Ghim Moh Road #01-02 Ulu Pandan Community Building Singapore Tel: Fax: W ithin the Asian context, 'caregiving' is a term that may be used interchangeably with the term 'caring'. What is the difference, one may ask? The former implies that the caring task is extended upon the moment of need, and is above one's culturally expected norms. The latter implies that it is a continuous behaviour that is a part of culturally expected norms. Therefore, the first challenge in researching this topic, as well as providing services to family caregivers is a) whether they identify themselves as caregivers or carers b) whether they realize that they may need external help, and c) whether they are willing to accept help before they reach a state where they are faced with high levels of stress. As there is no nationally representative survey conducted on family caregivers in Singapore, it is not possible to give a detailed profile of this group. However, it is estimated that there are approximately 210, 800 caregivers in Singapore looking after seniors, children with special needs, the disabled, and the mentally and terminally ill (The Straits Times, 12 April 2004). This number is highly likely to increase exponentially with the ageing of the population, as well as the increase in physical and mental disabilities with rising life expectancy (refer to the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports website Report of the Ageing Population by the Committee on Ageing Issues for recent demographic statistics). Trends in Family Caregiving Singapore government's social policies (welfare, health, housing and even taxation) are best described as being 'family oriented'; the definition of family is multi-generational

3 vol. twenty one 3 Caregiving for Older Persons in Singapore: Trends, Issues and Policies By Associate Professor Kalyani K. Mehta, Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore and not just referring to nuclear family consisting parents and children. The government's strategy in addressing the challenges of an ageing population is to introduce or strengthen policies that are aimed at families, or older people but not directly at family caregivers. There is no carer's allowance (such as in Australia) or a National Caregiver Support Program (such as in the US). In the National Survey of Senior Citizens 1995 (NSSC), it was found that 55.9% of the primary caregivers were not working while 43.4% were employed. In a recent NUS survey of 323 caregivers of frail aged, sick or disabled 54% were working and 40% were homemakers and retirees. The rest consisted of students and those looking for employment. While it is not possible to compare the statistics of the two surveys, it is logical to assume that in future more and more caregivers will be working to cope with increasing medical expenses and higher cost of living. Hence, it is important that policies and services (including publicity for them) target to the needs of the working force e.g. lunch-time talks on Support groups for caregivers, Carer centres as a resource and information clearing houses, and even mutual help groups that could provide respite care. There is a growing population of very old persons living alone. It is extremely important for informal caregivers such as neighbours, relatives and friends to reach out to them. Surrounding formal support systems such as community agencies, befriending services and volunteers from neighbourhood links could be matched with such lonely elders on the basis of proximity or language so that the quality of life in their later years is not compromised. This will reduce the possibility of older persons having to fend for themselves without the help of caregivers. It is also pertinent that grass-root organizations work closely with the residents in order to identify such vulnerable elders, and connect them to informal and/or formal services in time. Despite the falling suicide rate for elderly in Singapore in the last few years, we need to remain vigilant as a collective society. The third trend that could be identified from above research is the growing number of single (unmarried) adult who are caring for their parents and/or grandparents. "As primary caregivers of parents who are bedridden or suffer from dementia, this group of caregivers have made significant sacrifices but they are subject to marginalisation in mainstream society" (Teo, Mehta, Thang and Chan, 2006: 93). A Singaporean characteristic, which also mirrors the global trend, is that most family caregivers tend to be female with a majority of them being the wives or daughters. From the profile of primary caregivers documented in NSSC, only one in four of them were sons. Sometimes, the maid could be the primary carer with the daughter/son/daughter-in-law as the secondary carer, giving support to the primary carer. Therefore, it is useful to look at the family caregiving system, as often there is a complementary mosaic of care structure within families. With the increasing number of dual income couples in Singapore, there is a pattern of spousal caregivers sharing the primary caring responsibilities with foreign maids. One such situation could be where a younger maid could provide much assistance to an ageing carer for him/her to continue providing care to his ill spouse. This will also allow the ill spouse to continue residing at home and avoid being institutionalised. However, it must be re-iterated that costs of hiring foreign maids are expensive, hence may not be a viable option for lower income families. The latter may have to rely on government subsidies to obtain services, and tap on the voluntary welfare organisations for specific types of help e.g. befriending from Lions Befriender Services.

4 4 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL Issues Relating to Caregiving Working within a tight word count, I shall not focus on the very commonly discussed issues in caregiving, such as financial, physical and mental fatigue, and time constraints. All the above three factors clearly contribute towards the stress levels of the carer(s). This is not meant to devalue these concerns, because they are indeed very critical and will impact policies at the governmental level. As the saying goes "there are no free lunches" and this applies in Singapore as well. However, family caregivers are sometimes perceived as a 'forgotten army' of workers who have two jobs every single day, as a worker and a carer, and as such, may appreciate some recognition from the state. In the USA, is calculated that "If caregivers' work had to be replaced by that of paid home care staff, it would cost a fortune: at least 45 billion dollars a year, according to the US Administration on Aging, part of the Department of Health and Human Services." (Wall Street Journal, 20/3/2006). While such figures are not available in Singapore, caregiving should be viewed as productive work and not cast into the realms of family-based work. The economic burden on the state and voluntary welfare organizations would be multiplied if families had delegated family caring for older persons to external parties. "There is a selflessness in caring that is very different from loss of self in panic or through certain kinds of conformity" (Mayeroff, 1971: 29). It is this altruistic nature of caring for a loved one that explains why some caregivers neglect their own health, leading to them becoming "hidden patients." Some of them suffer from psychological stress due to constant worrying about the progress of the patient, and/or the fear of losing the care recipient through death. In a study of 61 family caregivers of homebound elders conducted by Mehta and Joshi (2001), three important findings emerged. First, there was an inverse relationship between the levels of stress of the carer and the physical dependency of the care recipient. The lower the Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scores of the care recipient, the higher the levels of stress experienced by caregivers. Secondly, the female caregivers were more likely to experience subjective burden and distress than their male counterparts. Thirdly, caregivers of patients suffering from Dementia, Hypertension and Parkinson's disease were relatively more stressed than other types of caregivers. Kua and Tan (1997) also documented high levels of stress among Chinese caregivers of dementia patients within their families. What programmes have been put in place to identify physically and mentally stressed family caregivers and how can they help to relieve their distress? Some agencies such as Hua Mei mobile clinic (under the Tsao Foundation) have a Caregiver Strain scale, which is administered to all family caregivers who look after elder relatives. In this way, the caregivers who are under high stress could be identified and given counselling. Some voluntary welfare organisations also provide counselling to family caregivers for example SAGE Counselling Centre. There

5 vol. twenty one 5 are other agencies that run caregiver support groups, such as the Alzheimer Disease Association and the National Stroke Club. An important issue that has emerged during the focus groups I have conducted in conjunction with the Family Caregiving Project (funded by the National University of Singapore (RP ) is the lack of training for family caregivers. This is one reason for the high stress levels of family members at the point of discharge from hospitals, as well as premature admission to nursing homes (Report of SGH study on caregivers' issues and problems, 2001). Related to this issue is the implementation of Respite Care. During the focus group discussions it was mentioned that respite care in residential homes tends to be expensive, and the agencies' preference for cash payment made it difficult for the caregivers. If some of the rigid rules could be relaxed such as the use of NETS/credit cards as a possible payment mode, with the lowering of charges, the family caregivers would be able to afford more breaks, thus enabling them to have a better quality of life. Implications for Policies The main policy gap lies in the integration of employment policies, tax relief policies, health polices, and social support schemes for family caregivers. If the state philosophy is to encourage family members to continue the cultural practice of filial piety, family leave should be made available to caregivers facing crises in relation to older parents/parents-inlaw. As mentioned in Mehta (2006: 52) "Singapore has lagged behind many developed countries in the legislation of Family Leave for sick parents/parents-in-law although the responsibility of caring of elderly members lies squarely on the shoulders of the adult children". Variations could be considered to suit our local context e.g. putting in place a cap to the maximum number of Family Leaves per annum or allowing Family Leave as an alternative to Child Care leave which is available to working parents (single adults could use Family leave in lieu of child care leave). Tax relief benefits those who fall in the tax paying brackets. Hence, the low- income families do not benefit substantially from tax relief policies. One way to reward them for being filial, as well as avoiding paying cash subsidies is to provide waiver for attending Caregiver training courses or compensate in kind with free movie tickets. Health policies could also be more flexible and accessible to the public. This could include providing information on services and education-cum-counselling sessions at the point of discharge from hospitals. While time constraints and work overload may prevent medical social workers in providing these services, social work assistants/ counsellors could be a good alternative to undertake these roles. Lastly, despite having an annual Caregivers Week, caregivers could do with more ongoing assistance throughout the year, and flexibility in the administration of policies and programmes so that their needs can be met more effectively. References Aging Well. The Wall Street Journal, 20/3/2006. Kua, E.H. & Tan, S.L. (1997). Stress of caregivers of dementia patients in the Singapore Chinese Family. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry,12,4: Looking after the needs of caregivers. Straits Times, 12/4/04. Ng, G.T. (2006). Family Caregiving in Singapore. Working Paper No Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore. Mayerhoff, M. (1971). On Caring. New York: Harper and Row. Mehta, K. and Joshi, V. (2001). The Long Journey: Stress among caregivers of Older Persons in Singapore. Hong Kong Journal of Gerontology, 15, 1&2: Mehta, K. (2006). A Critical Review of Singapore's policies aimed at supporting families caring for older members. Journal of Aging and Social Policy, Vol. 18 (3/4): National Survey of Senior Citizens 1995 (1996). Singapore: National Council of Social Services, Department of Statistics, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community Development. Report on SGH Study on Caregivers' Issues and Problems. Unpublished. Singapore: Singapore General Hospital Medical Services Unit. Teo, P., Mehta, K., Thang, L.L., Chan, A. (2006) Ageing in Singapore: Service Needs and the State. London: Routledge.

6 6 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL Abstract of Research Article: Counselling Professionals in Social Service Setting: Profile, Practice and Preparation Research done in collaboration with Counselling and Care Centre Research period: 10/10/ /3/2006 Principal Research Investigator: Mr. Mathew Mathews, (Teaching Assistant), Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore Increasingly, counselling services are seen as an important avenue for the resolution of the emotional and mental problems faced by Singaporeans. These services are offered by a variety of professionals including youth workers, counsellors, therapists and social workers. Since no official charter is in place to regulate counselling provision, it becomes important to profile those who are currently providing counselling services in the social service sector. Such an examination is vital to appraise the field and pinpoint possible deficiencies in this professional endeavour. This report concentrates on providing data on three aspects that are delineated as profile, practice and preparation of counselling professionals. It presents a basic profile of those who practice counselling in terms of both demographic variables as defined by gender, marital status, religious affiliation and race as well as their professional profile understood as a product of their educational attainment, experience and on-going professional training. The practice of counselling is understood through examining the time spent in counselling and related activities, client groups popularly helped by the professions, the frequency of different types of presenting problems, the theoretical models used in helping and the perceived competency in handling different presenting problems. The third aspect of the study deals with the preparation of counselling professionals. Here, counselling professionals' perception of preparedness for engaging in different tasks related broadly to their social service work, and the avenues deemed most helpful for this preparation were analysed. This study used a self-administered questionnaire to gather responses from local helping professionals working in a broad range of agencies that are engaged in counselling. Analysis for the report was done on 148 out of the 207 respondents who identified themselves as helping professionals staffed in social service settings. Response rates from this sector were 79%, which indicates that the study has a good representation of helping professionals in the Singaporean social service scene. The survey pointed to a good number of findings related to the profession that cannot be adequately reported here. Some of these findings included the increasing level of formal academic training, particularly for those who defined themselves as counsellors, decent levels of supervision and generally high participation in continual education initiatives. However, it was notable that there were relatively fewer experienced counsellors with only a small number having more than 10 years of experience in the field. As for the local helping professions appraisal of competency in handling different presenting problems, both social workers and counsellors indicated that they possess the skills in handling family and relationship related problems as well as some emotional issues. Few helpers acknowledged their ability to help with mental health related problems or issues related to sexuality. Greater competence was noted among professionals who had exposure to a broader range of presenting problems and theoretical perspectives, and those who have longer counselling experience. Most helpers reflected that they had been adequately prepared for counselling individuals, with supervision and formal counselling training being seen as the more important learning avenues. However more counsellors than social workers indicated that they were adequately prepared to deal with the counselling cases that they were currently presented with, although both groups acknowledged their deficiency in dealing with cross-cultural encounters. Abstract compiled by Prameela Devi, Principal Executive, Capability and Community Funding, National Council of Social Service (NCSS). Full article is available at the SSTI Resource Centre.

7 vol. twenty one 7 How to Create and Lead a Successful Team in Your Organisation By Kim Kanaga and Mike Kossler, faculty members at the Center for Creative Leadership. Maybe your organisation needs a new strategy for expanding products or services. Perhaps it needs to develop an Internet business model. Or maybe there are some controversial organisational changes in the horizon. How should a leader handle these and other complex tasks that come up in the workplace? Consider using a team approach - it is often the most effective and efficient technique for handling challenges within organisations. What is a team? At the Centre for Creative Leadership, a team is defined as a small group of interdependent individuals who have the combined expertise, knowledge and skills needed to complete an assigned task or ongoing work. Team members have clear roles and responsibilities, share a vision and sense of purpose, and are collectively accountable for completing tasks and reaching the team's goal. Teams work best at complex tasks, especially those that affect many parts of an organisation. Often, if there are significant barriers and problems to successfully completing a task, a team is the best way to handle it. By their very nature, teams create a climate with different opinions and viewpoints. Through its members, a team can represent the thinking of a broad spectrum of stakeholders and act accordingly. Unlike other types of work groups, teams have a high level of interdependency. Team members should have different, yet complementary skill sets. True teams are interconnected in a way that a group of individuals doing independent work are not. How do you create a team? A key step in building a team is to identify the skills needed to make the team successful. The team needs to include members who have the required skills and expertise directly related to accomplishing the goals. The team must also have members that have the skill sets to enable the team to function well. These include analytical skills, conflict resolution skills, logistic ability, and creativity, just to name a few. Often teams are formed without much thought about the team's purpose, the resources it will need, and the potential obstacles it will face. A team will be much more successful if a leader lays the groundwork from the start. Some ways to do that include setting clear goals; empowering team members; building organisational support; and building key relationships. When teams are not put together well at the start, the chances increase that they will fail to meet their objectives. The team is formed: Now what? Effective teams begin with a clear purpose. A well-defined mission acts as a funnel for the team -- gathering energy, skill and knowledge -- and concentrating these resources for maximum effect. Without shared focus, a team's energy and effort is dispersed, or can even be conflicting. When teams go awry, it is often because team members have different ideas of what the mission is. Members differ as to what they think the team is expected to accomplish, how progress is measured and what problems they need to address. Create a team mission statement with specific goals, and share those goals with others.

8 8 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL Some teams provide periodic updates, contribute to company newsletters, or post mission statements in common areas at work. Often, making the mission public increases the team members' commitment to it. Make sure to review individual efforts and measure progress toward goals along the way. In addition, the team leaders should talk to customers, colleagues, and senior management to gain an understanding of their expectations for the team's success. Does team success depend on others? The organisation has to support the team and reward its achievements in order for the team to grow and succeed. When a team fails to fulfil its potential, team members and sponsors often cite interpersonal conflicts and tension as the reasons. However, the real causes of failure often lie outside the team, in its external support system. There are several ways to garner support for a team. One is to anticipate and obtain team resources. The team may need physical space, support staff, equipment, a travel budget, and training opportunities. Another plus is when a CEO or top executive endorses the team's purpose and goals. If high-level players publicly support a team, people in your organisation will perceive the team's mission as vital and urgent. Other ways to gain support for a team include delineating responsibilities, defining authority, and rewarding team performance. Try to inform your colleagues, peers, and top management why it is important to support the team. How can the team maintain its effectiveness? Destroying or sabotaging a team is infinitely easier than nurturing and strengthening one. Once a team is launched and running effectively, leaders sometimes assume their work is done. However teams need consistent guidance as both the team and the context of work evolve over time. A few ways that leaders can maintain an effective team include: 1 Finding the appropriate balance. It takes skill to accomplish this well, and it is a skill that has emotional, behavioural and cognitive components. Research shows that effective leaders neither give away nor hoard authority; they share authority appropriately between themselves and the team. 2 Treating the team as one - not like a group of individuals. When people are told they are part of a team, but then are treated as separate performers with separate jobs to do, they will be confused and ultimately ineffective. Leaders must establish the team's boundaries, define the task as one that members are collectively responsible for, and give team members the authority to manage its internal and external processes. 3 Not assuming that everyone is competent in a team setting. Just as micromanaging causes damage, a pure hands-off style can also limit a team's effectiveness, particularly when members are not experienced in teamwork. Leaders should organise initial team trainings on issues like establishing processes and norms; identifying roles and responsibilities; and dealing with conflict. In today's organisations, there are more challenges and multi-dimensional tasks than ever before. Forming a team can often be your best strategy in tackling such issues. Keeping your teams supported and helping them to be effective are critical to enhancing the success of your organisation. For more information: Call , or visit

9 vol. twenty one 9 Overcoming Barriers to Creativity in Non-profit Organisations By Janice Wu, Research Associate Lien Foundation Centre for Social Innovation The call for non-profit organisations to be creative is not a new one. Non-profit organisations need creativity if they are to meet the needs of their stakeholders - their beneficiaries, donors, volunteers, and employees - better than they are doing so right now. However, within the non-profit organisations, there exist barriers to creativity in its culture, among its employees, from its organisational systems and controls, and from its management. Previously, we had argued that non-profits organisations need to introduce creativity and in this column, we present four barriers in nonprofit organisations that hinder efforts to introduce creativity. Barrier 1: We Prefer to do Good than to be Creative The prevailing culture in non-profit organisations emphasises doing good work, and the possibility that creativity can enable the non-profit organisation to fulfil its mission better, is seldom tapped on. Managers in non-profit organisations tend to place priority on the service quality or on the meaning of the work that they are doing rather than thinking of a new project or service that they can deliver. Most social workers and employees of nonprofit organisations join for the cause that it represents. Very likely, the cause represented by the mission of the non-profit organisation and the way that the non-profit organisation has developed over time has led to an organisational culture that supports that mission. For creativity to take root in the non-profit organisation, this quality must be integrated into the organisation's culture. Therefore, when we say that culture is a barrier to creativity, we are also saying that the non-profit organisation's management has recognised that creativity is needed and unless the words in the organisation's mission reflects or introduces the element of creativity, the culture of the non-profit organisation is unlikely to change. After altering its culture to one that encourages creativity, the non-profit organisation needs to have in place a reward system that motivates employees and volunteers to behave in this manner, to reinforce the new culture. Barrier 2: We Don't Get Paid for Thinking "Out of the Box" Non-profit organisations were created with the intent to serve the needs of their beneficiaries, making this intent also the chief responsibility of the non-profit organisation's employees. There is little incentive for employees to be creative when they are not rewarded for doing so. A straightforward solution is to offer creative employees higher salaries, but a more potent and lasting one would be to motivate them so that their creative efforts are sustained. Research has shown that employees in nonprofit organisations are motivated by incentives such as a base level of pay, a sense of belonging, or a sense of contribution to a cause that they consider meaningful. If we want creative, innovative ideas to be part of the non-profit organisation, a measure that captures this aspect - such as the number of new ideas implemented - is needed in its rewards system. Thinking "out of the box" perhaps also suggests having other minds, apart from the senior management or the Board, engaged in discussions such as strategic decision-making. This is because participants of these discussions or Board members affect ideas generated.

10 10 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL If a non-profit organisation wishes to have creativity at all levels, it could take a leaf from IBM, which in July led by its new CEO, Sam Palmisano - introduced a 72-hour online discussion with all its 30,000 employees on the values that IBM should have 1. Barrier 3: Systems and Controls Contradict the Development of Creativity Among the four barriers presented in this article, organisational systems and controls are the most ambiguous barriers. Most non-profit organisations have systems and controls in place to help them achieve their goals. Systems and controls refer to rules, regulations and procedures that bring order and regularise processes. These tools are needed so that the non-profit organisation can operate more efficiently, as people and their activities can be dealt with in pre-decided ways. Creativity, on the other hand, encourages deviation from the usual. For creativity to take root, organisations must allow their employees to suggest departures from the usual way of doing things. Non-profit organisations need systems, meetings, suggestion boxes, brainstorming sessions, access to the Executive Director, along with other mechanisms for ideas to surface. It is with ideas, discussions and the possibility of breaking the mould that allows for creativity and here arises the great difficulty - the tension between having systems and controls, yet allowing for creativity without losing control at the same time. For instance, if the non-profit organisation has a rewards system for creative ventures, the organisation should make available the resources needed to sustain the system (e.g. by ensuring that it continues to receive the necessary funds) yet refrain from setting the reward criteria in stone. Managing the nuances of organisational systems and controls is one way that manager carries out his role of facilitating the development of creativity within the organisation. Barrier 4: Managers Do Not Realise that They Sometimes Kill Their Staff's Creativity In developing creativity, non-profit managers can set up an environment that is conducive for doing so by guiding their staff, defining the non-profit organisation's culture and employing various organisational systems and controls. However, management can also lead in a way that prevents the development of creativity. Examples of such leadership practices are choosing to stick to the status quo rather than taking the risk of trying out new ideas, providing insufficient channels for feedback from all levels of the non-profit organisation, or rejecting new approaches when daunted by the resources and effort that are needed. At the same time, managers must also identify and eradicate negative sub-culture such as "We have never done it like this before", "That takes too much money, we don't know how much it will cost", "How do you know it will work?" and "The old method works just as well, why bother?" After identifying the negative norms, managers have to look for solutions rather than ignore them so that these norms do not erode the results of their creativity-building efforts. One positive norm that non-profit managers can introduce into their non-profit organisation is to "walk the talk". That is, not only do managers have to "preach" creativity, their greatest encouragement to employees is to be seen practicing it. They may have to take the lead and give examples of how to introduce small measures of creativity; they may also need to echo, encourage and give pats on the back for the small incremental steps being taken by employees to be creative. From Doing Good to Doing Better The suggestions to overcoming the barriers to creativity are intended to be starting points for non-profit organisations to develop creativity. Among the four barriers, the cultural one presents the greatest obstacle to be surmounted. It is easier for the staff in nonprofit organisations to be contented with serving its beneficiaries than to pursue creative ways of doing so, since with the former, the non-profit organisation has already justified its existence. However, we remain optimistic that nonprofit organisations will not avoid the search for creative ways to serve their beneficiaries because being creative enables them to do good better. 1 Hemp, P. and Stewart, T. A. (2004). The HBR Interview: Samuel J. Palmisano. Harvard Business Review, December 2004, 82(12):

11 vol. twenty one 11 SSTI Training Calendar (Feb 07 to Mar 07) Mar Feb Course Title Trainer / Institution Date Bachelor of Social Work (Intake 4) Monash University Lecturers 1 Feb Bachelor of Social Work Honours Programme NEW Monash University Lecturers 1 Feb Gambling Addictions: Assessment, Brief Interventions Marjorie Nixon (CAMP) 7-8 Feb and Community Referrals (Ga-ABC) Managing Sexuality in the Intellectually Disabled Dee Jethwa, Efstathia Soultani 8, 9, 10 Feb - Intermediate Effective Workplace Writing for VWO Support Staff Alan Whitehead 7-8 Feb Introduction to Activity Therapy for Working with Caroline Essame 7 Feb People with Special Needs Recommended Accounting Practice (RAP 6) for Suhaimi Salleh Feb Finance Professionals NEW Career Counselling for Youths-At-Risk NEW Gordon Aw Chye Yen Feb Eldercare: Gerontological Counselling - Introduction Helen Ko, and Kalyani 23 Feb, 2 & 9 Mar Internal Control Guidelines & Applications for Social Bernadette Lau 26 Feb Service Managers & Executives Introduction to Activity Therapy for Working with People Caroline Essame 27 Feb with Special Needs ESS: Communication & Relationship Management Kala Manickam 1-2 Mar (Operations) Developing Your HR Policies NEW Ho Wei Yee 1-2 Mar Individualised Care Planning Pal Abhimanyau 1-3 Mar Say Hello to Service Excellence NEW Seow Bee Leng 5-6 Mar Grievance Handling, Disciplinary Action & Dismissal Chia Boon Cher 7 Mar Mental Health First Aid Joachim Lee 7-8 Mar Legal Governance for VWO Board Members Catherine Tay 8 Mar Managing Conflicts of Interest Steven Lim Wei Kong 9 Mar Language Development for Children with Special Needs Anna Noble Mar SPED Series: Classroom and Behaviour Management Colin MacMullin & Julie Clark Mar (For Teacher Aides) NEW Working with Youth - Advanced NEW Mike Garland & Mar Darryl Gardiner Identify Needs and Providing Right Assistance to Residents Udhia Kumar 16,17 Mar & 13 Apr (For Grassroots Leaders & Volunteers) NEW Management of Family Violence - Introduction Benny Bong 14, 15, 16 Mar Case Management: Working with Low Income Families Udhia Kumar Mar Working in Schools: Anger Management for Youths NEW Edwin Tan Mar New Media Fundraising-Should Non-Profits go online? NEW Usha Menon 22 Mar To apply for the training courses, please visit our website at Please feel free to contact SSTI at (65) /8/9/0 or if you have any enquiries. As part of SSTI s commitment in building capabilities and bringing affordable training programmes to the social service sector, we will be happy to organise any of the courses on a customised, block-booked basis, scheduled on a convenient date for the agency. This is applicable to any agency with a minimum of 15 participants.

12 SOCIAL SERVICE JOURNAL vol. one 16 vol. twenty one 12 SSTI : Highlights Working in Schools: Anger Management for Youths Date: March 2007 Time: 9am - 5pm Duration: 2 days (14 hours) Venue: Social Service Training Institute, The NCSS Centre, Level 4, 170 Ghim Moh Road, Singapore This two-day programme is specially designed for social workers, youth workers, school counsellors, teachers, policy makers and other practitioners working in the school settings. It aims to help professionals who work with youths gain insights on anger related issues (such as triggers, violence, etc) amongst youths in Singapore today. Upon completion of this course, participants will learn how to handle youths with high levels of aggression or anger, help them cope with their emotions, and deal with angry issues and situations. Participants will also be able to understand the importance of anger management for the youths and demonstrate techniques of engaging angry youths. Say 'Hello' to Service Excellence Date: 5-6 March 2007 Time: 9am - 5pm Duration: 2 days (14 hours) Venue: Social Service Training Institute, The NCSS Centre, Level 4, 170 Ghim Moh Road, Singapore This two-day workshop will benefit VWO or NPO front-liners and client service support staff who wish to learn more about the right telephone skills and techniques when communicating with clients. This is what a participant had to say about the trainer : Bee Leng has a strong sensitivity towards people and situations around her and it helps to give good down-toearth solutions to harmonise relationship with people. The skills she suggested are easily applicable. - Quine Leow, Senior Program Officer, Fei Yue Community Services Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to create positive first impressions when handling telephone transactions and acquire a confident mindset in handling emotions, difficult situations and service recovery over the phone. They will gain knowledge of the different components of voice and the effects of modulation in order to give the "personal touch" and project a professional image. Ms Seow Bee Leng, with at least 10 years of experience in customer service mindset and skills, will be conducting this workshop. She is also a certified trainer for Singapore 2006's 'Go-the-Extra-Mile for Service' (GEMS) customer service training programme. She also conducts SSTI's "W.O.W.! Service - Serving Clients Effectively". Visit our website at for more details on all SSTI programmes. Alternatively, you may also us at or contact us at /8/9/0 for any further enquiries.

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