Staff Stories, January 2020


Ms. Lee Pei Yu


Head, Boys' Town Fostering Services



Q: Why would you choose to work
here rather than somewhere else?


Peiyu:

Boys’ Town (BT) has a long history in Singapore and has a long reputation of working with youths. I like that Boys’ Town has a continuum of services ranging from preventive (e.g. YouthReach), to remedial (e.g. Residential Services), as there is a wider scope of work that we can work on with children/youths in-need.

I joined BT in 2016, and BT was one of the two Social Service Agencies in Singapore then to run a Fostering Agency pilot project by the Ministry of Social and Family Development. It was an exciting yet challenging time to be a pioneer in running the Fostering Agency as it was an “untested ground”. Being a staff of BT has exposed me to the Out of Home Care sector, and has opened up a wealth of opportunities for me to develop my Social Work skills in working with families, children and youth.

Q: Which three words best describe your work culture?


Peiyu:
The three words are forgiving, nurturing and a sense of purpose. Generally, management does not finger point, regardless towards clients or staff; but to help staff to develop self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses, and to continuously improve on our services to our clientele.

BT’s vision is a C.A.R.I.N.G. milieu, and one of our core values is to be nurturing. I have seen my colleagues such as Youth Workers, Social Workers, Behavioural Specialists, etc guiding our children and youths patiently and offering affirmations when our clients do well. Even when there are not so good days, I am impressed with the perseverance and resilience of my colleagues.

BT may have diversified services; but one common thread holds us together: a sense of purpose in improving the lives of the children and youths entrusted in our care. We review our services frequently and ask ourselves how we can do better. Different services complement one another in utilising a different strategy in meeting the needs of our children and youths.

Q: How closely do different teams, departments and levels of management work and interact?


Peiyu:
I will describe the work culture of BT to be family-like, in the sense that there is minimal hierarchy amongst staff and the leaders. Staff addresses their leaders by names and leaders are friendly to staff at all levels. As such, there is an informal atmosphere where it is not unusual to see staff cracking jokes, especially at the common areas such as in the General Office or in the printing area.

The different departments have the opportunity to gather on a monthly basis at General Meetings, and to mingle for lunch after that. We also have festive celebrations such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Hari Raya celebrations. Though we may not see colleagues from other departments frequently, there are many opportunities to get to know them through different projects and trainings such as Learning Practices.