I want to go back

Sharing skills to protect children

Learning from Singapore

It’s been a busy few months for AHC Senior Social Worker Sorn Sokchea, who has travelled internationally and locally to upgrade skills and share knowledge about social work practices.

Sokchea was one of 15 social workers selected to take part in the Social Service Leaders Exchange Programme in Singapore in June.

The two-week programme, established by the Ee Peng Liang Memorial Fund, under the auspices of the National University of Singapore Department of Social Work, and supported by the Chinese Women’s Association, was aimed at enhancing skills and providing professional development to social workers and service leaders in the region. The participants, from throughout Asia, were selected to visit Singapore to gain valuable experience in the fields they work in and share challenges from their own work place.

“This programme is very important for me to join so I could upgrade my knowledge and experience through workshops and field placements,” Sokchea says.

The workshop topics included an overview of the social service sector in Singapore, alternative care for Asian children, leadership in non-profit organisations, strategic planning, fundraising and system change for social entrepreneurs and social enterprise.

Sokchea took part in four field placements to a variety of organisations, giving him insight into different approaches. They included:

  • AWWA Family Service Centre – operating as a one-stop service centre for family needs
  • Specialised Agencies – a medical social work department of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Chen Su Lan Children’s Home – a child protection centre
  • YMCA – volunteer leadership organisation

“These workshops and field placements helped me to understand how individuals and families find support from social service agencies in Singapore and how social service agencies work with the government and mobilise all local resources to support their work,” he says.

“The programme has helped me to see problems in my workplace in a different way so I can find solutions and develop the AHC social work programme to make it better. Ï also got some ideas and documents about best practice for medical social work in Singapore hospitals, which I will use to apply to my work.”

National training

Just weeks after visiting Singapore, Sokchea, who is also head of the AHC Child Protection Team and Dr Chraing Seng Tray, AHC’s Outpatient Department Vice Chief, attended training in Kampong Cham Province. The five-day Training of Trainer (TOT) course focused on the Clinical Handbook of Health Care for Children Subjected to Violence or Sexual Abuse. It was conducted by the National Maternal and Child Health Center and supported by UNICEF Cambodia.

“It was a great opportunity for us to share our practical experiences on child abuse cases to other participants at the national level,” he says.

“We shared case studies on sexual abuse, abandoned children, physical abuse, neglect and more.”

The training included an overview of the handbook, theories of adult learning, methods of teaching and more.

“The knowledge from this training can be used to upgrade AHC’s child protection procedures and guidelines”.

“We will also use this to train other health practitioners and relevant stakeholders, especially the parents, in order to protect children from abuse or harmful situations”.

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