Support programme for young families launched at Punggol Polyclinic, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Support programme for young families launched at Punggol Polyclinic

Mr Amparo Juan Carlos Camero and his wife Jasmine Tan had taken their 21-month-old son for a vaccination at Punggol Polyclinic on Jan 3, when a coordinator there told them that they could tap on free parenting programmes nearby at the same time.

Previously, parents would have to search for such programmes - ranging from how to improve their child’s emotional health, to guiding kids through play, on their own.

But Family Nexus@Punggol, an initiative at SingHealth Polyclinic-Punggol, has brought together health and social service referrals for young families, to make it more convenient for them. It was conceptualised by the Health Ministry (MOH), after feedback from parents and couples who asked for more community resources and support in parenthood.

Said Mr Carlos, 26, a financial consultant: “It feels like we have a loving community reaching out to us, instead of us having to source for it.”

Led by the MOH and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), the pilot programme at Punggol directs people to relevant social services and programmes while they are at the polyclinic, including how to get advice and support in health and wellness of mothers and mothers-to-be, child health and development, and marriage and parenting.

Apart from Punggol, there are similar initiatives at polyclinics in Tampines, Choa Chu Kang and Sembawang.

At the launch of Family Nexus@Punggol on Jan 22, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, said: “We hope that families with young children in Punggol and the Northeast region will have more convenient access to health and parenting services.”

The support programmes are run by by community partners such as the Families for Life (FFL) council, a movement that promotes resilient families which comes under the MSF.

Healthwise, the Punggol polyclinic provides families with young children access to developmental assessment, screening for growth concerns for children, postnatal depression in mothers, maternal emotional health support and lactation support.

More than 190 referrals have been made to the parenting programmes via the polyclinic since it started in Dec 2023, said Dr Guo Xiaoxuan, clinic director of the polyclinic and programme lead at Punggol.