The country of Singapore in Southeast Asia is a sovereign city-state with nearly 5.5 million people. Among those millions are 1,200 children and adolescents who are in the government’s care due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or the loss or incarceration of their parents.
Currently, 70% of these children are in congregate residential homes such as orphanages, yet research shows that children grow better in the context of a family. For that reason, Singapore recently turned to KVC to learn how to make the transition from congregate care to community-based care, such as foster families. KVC’s expertise on this topic comes from its history in Kansas, where it helped safely reduce the congregate care rate from 30% in 1996 to less than 4% today.
KVC Health Systems President and CEO B. Wayne Sims presented at the Singapore Ministry of Social and Family Development’s conference, “Expanding Horizons for Children in Care,” held in October 2014. More than 500 attendees heard an opening plenary session from Sims on KVC’s evolution from congregate care to providing a diverse continuum of care. The second plenary session, from KVC’s Kelly McCauley and NYU’s Dr. Adam Brown, centered on trauma-informed care for vulnerable children. Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) is another focus area for the Ministry, as understanding and treating trauma is critical to a child’s long-term wellbeing.
Sims and KVC’s Chief Operations Officer Anne Roberts held break-out sessions with Ministry and provider groups throughout the week. McCauley and Brown provided direct training in TST over a three-week period. To support the culture shift needed to achieve this new vision, Singapore has engaged KVC for a 15-month consulting contract aimed at transforming the out-of-home care landscape to include family/community-based care and specialized treatment services while being outcomes-driven.