Four social workers were honoured with the highest accolade in the social work profession by the President of the Republic of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, at the annual President’s Tea Reception for Social Workers, held at The Istana today.
Ms Esther Lim Li Ping, the Head of Medical Social Services at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Ms Wu Mei Ling, Students Care Service’s Centre Director, both received the Outstanding Social Worker Award (OSWA)
Ms Lim is a strong advocate for high standards of professionalism and clinical care through continual learning.
She has contributed significantly over the past 17 years to the education of Medical Social Workers (MSW) by providing training in areas such as suicide and crisis intervention, mental health first-aid and evidence-based social interventions.
Ms Lim is also a certified Master and Consultant in ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), and was the first ASIST trainer in SGH and pioneered the programme in 2003 for healthcare and social work professionals.
This is now an anchor programme of SingHealth’s Postgraduate Allied Health Training Institute for doctors, nurses, social workers and others.
Ms Wu has been a social worker for more than 16 years and is a well-known figure in the school social work sector.
She has been instrumental in the development of various school social work practices such as the whole school systemic and the community-school approaches.
The school social work model that she developed is systemic, sustainable, connected to community resources and provides opportunities for students to transit from service users to service providers.
Ms Wu is also known for elevating the Singapore School Social Work Practice to the international scene by presenting papers at the Asian Seminar for School Social Work and with her appointment as the Co-consultant to the Ministry of Education, Career Education and Counselling Division (Bhutan) for a 5-year strategic plan to better meet the needs of students in Bhutan.
Upcoming and promising social workers, Ms Jean Koh Yan Fang and Mr Ivan Woo Mun Hong, were also given accolades for their work.
Ms Koh, a Senior Social Worker at the Care Corner Family Service Centre (Queenstown), sought to build on the work of a pilot project through a systematic mapping of the resources available in the community and the fostering of strategic partnerships with these resources for the betterment of the neighbourhoods.
Through her efforts, community resources were mobilised and resident volunteers and community partners also sprung up to action.
Ms Koh even conducted a workshop and dialogue session alongside Associate Professor Ngiam Tee Liang on Community Social Work Practice at the Singapore Association of Social Workers in July 2012, which demonstrated her potential as a social work leader.
Mr Ivan Woo Mun Hong, a Senior Medical Social Worker from the Department of Care and Counselling in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was motivated by the paucity of social work research to pursue research and publication.
To date, he has published 11 articles in various key journals and newsletters such as the Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and the Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care. Mr Woo has also contributed a chapter entitled, “Caregiver burden for terminally ill patients among the Chinese in Singapore” in the book, “Singapore’s ageing population: Managing healthcare and end of life decisions”.
They both were given the Promising Social Worker AWard.
OSWA winners received a trophy and Certificate of Award, a Personal Development Grant of $5,000 sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, a $1,000 cash award, and sponsorship for the Professional and Leadership Development training worth $24,000 from Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS). PSWA winners received a Certificate of Award, a Personal Development Grant of $4,000 sponsored by ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, a $1,000 cash award and sponsorship for the Professional and Leadership Development training worth $14,000 from MCYS.
The annual event is held to honour the outstanding and sustained professional contributions by social workers to the social service, healthcare and community sectors in Singapore.