Limin provides social assistance as a Manager at SSO@Bukit Merah, and works together with agencies in the community to meet the needs of her client holistically.
“How much is enough, and how much is too much?”
As a Social Assistance Officer, Limin often faces the dilemma of striking the balance for every client. She has to consider the needs of her clients in providing financial assistance, but at the same time ensure that she helps to preserve individual resilience and foster self-reliance.
Mdm Ang (not her real name) first came to Limin on financial issues she faced as a part-time working mother raising 2 teenage children. It was seemingly a simple issue where Limin would assist Mdm Ang to seek full-time employment while providing her with short-term assistance.
However, it soon evolved into a multi-faceted challenge within a matter of months. Mdm Ang’s younger son dropped out of secondary school, and her older son married his pregnant girlfriend Clara (not her real name) while he was still serving National Service.
With major changes to the family’s situation, Limin had to come up with an entirely new action plan to better support Mdm Ang with her changed circumstances. “From seeking employment for Mdm Ang, it became having Mdm Ang look after the newborn child, while we found Clara a job to support the family,” Limin recalled.
Knowing that Mdm Ang had been linked up with a Family Service Centre (FSC), Limin worked closely with the FSC social worker to coordinate support for her in meeting her various needs.
Although there were minor hiccups along the way when Clara left her first job, she eventually sustained a stable employment with help and encouragement from Limin and the FSC social worker. Clara also started becoming more willing to learn how to care for her baby.
The family managed to maintain sufficient income after about a year, and it was heartening for Limin when Mdm Ang said that the family wanted to try coping on their own without relying further on financial assistance.
There were times along the way when Limin felt at a loss as issues evolved, but she was encouraged when she saw significant improvements to the life of the family.
“I’m glad that I could work with other agencies to go in-depth into the different issues that my clients face. Seeing each case through from start till end, I am able to witness how financial assistance in a calibrated manner can positively impact them,” she said. “It reminds me of the meaning of my job, and that it is all worth it when I see how it makes a difference in their lives.”