Staff Stories, August 2020
Mr. Jet Tan
Case Worker, Residential Services
Q: What sparked your interest to switch from the public sector to the social service sector, and how was it like for you during the initial transition?
I began my journey helping youths way back as a Youth Mentor for youth at-risk while I was studying in Polytechnic. My interest to help youths continued when I joined the Police Force and provided guidance to them as their role model. Through my interactions and engagements with these youths, my passion to make a difference in their lives grew and I decided to make a career switch to join the social service sector.
Despite working with youths for many years, it was not easy for me during the initial transition as a youth worker in Boys’ Town. As a police officer, the youths showed me respect because of my profession, but in a residential setting I had to work hard to create a good impression. To build that trust, I became their friend; an adult willing to help them with a genuine heart. Thankfully, with the guidance and support from my seniors, I was able to quickly adapt and be the person the boys look up to.
Q: You were recently transferred from being a Youth Worker to a Case Worker in Residential Services Social Work, can you share about your journey so far and how has your prior experience helped you in your current role?
At present, I am still familiarizing myself with the role of a Case Worker. The support I received from my colleagues and supervisor as well as the rapport with the residents that I have built previously as a Youth Worker has put me in good stead in my new role.
It is also most helpful that the Youth Workers and Social Workers work closely and communicate regularly with our clients. My prior experience working with Social Workers has enabled me to now better understand what needs to be done and communicated with the Youth Workers to ensure that all the clients’ needs are being well taken care for.
I am grateful that I was given the opportunity by Boys’ Town to further develop myself and to progress in my career. Although it has only been a few months in the job, I have never looked back, and hopefully continue to excel in this new position.
Q: This is your third year working in Boys’ Town, share with us what is the work culture that makes you stay with this organization?
What kept me going in Boys’ Town is the family-like culture and knowing that I am working with a group of passionate and dedicated staff. It is reassuring to me that even when there is a disagreement or that everyone has a different opinion on the matter, I know that everyone just wants to ensure that we are making the best decision with the client’s interest in mind.