Volunteer After-Care Programme
The Volunteer After-Care Programme (VAP) was jointly developed with the Prisons Department and launched in 1997 to provide befriending services and sustained aftercare support to discharged offenders.
The work of our volunteers complements the work done by our full-time social workers, case managers and aftercare officers. For any rehabilitation programme to succeed, the involvement of the community is important. SACA’s volunteers are given the important role of befriending and delivering workshops to inmates who are about to be discharged. It is hoped that by doing so, their actions will demonstrate to these discharged offenders that society cares for and accepts them.
Given that working with our client group might pose a challenge to most, all new volunteers are required to undergo 7 intensive training sessions, to enable them to carry out the befriending and group work programmes successfully.
Currently, SACA’s Volunteer Aftercare Officers (VAOs) work with the following 3 categories of discharged offenders:
- Adult inmates from the various penal institutions.
- Reformative Trainees from the Changi Prison Complex (CPC) and Kaki Bukit Centre (KBC).
- Adult inmates who have been emplaced on Community-Based Sentencing (CBS) schemes such as Home Detention (HD).
Roles of a SACA Volunteer include:
Providing one-to-one befriending to:
* Discharged adult offenders
* Reformative Trainees
Conducting group work programmes for inmates emplaced on:
* Direct Release Scheme
* Community-Based Sentencing (CBS) schemes such as Home Detention (HD).
Providing a supportive role for cases under SACA’s Case Management Framework Programme (CMFP) and Ex-offender and Family Aftercare Services (EFAS), which are managed by full time caseworkers.
What it takes to be a SACA Volunteer
Potential volunteers can contribute in doing either direct (handling cases) or indirect client work (which includes giving tuition, helping in fundraising, etc).
For direct client work:
Someone who is patient, has a good listening ear and an earnest desire to help discharged offenders. Potential volunteers must be at least 25 years of age, and will have to attend and complete SACA’s Pre-Service Training.
Experience in counselling, and the ability to speak a second language or dialect will be an added advantage. Interested volunteers will have to go through an interview with SACA to assess your suitability.
We welcome all interested individuals, including retirees and homemakers, who are able to offer their spare time on weekdays and/or on weekends.
What You will learn from the Pre-Service Training Sessions:
- An Overview of SACA’s Programmes & Services
- Becoming and Roles of a SACA Volunteer
- Sensitivity & Self-Awareness
- Basic Interviewing & Counselling Skills
- An Overview of Direct Release and CBS Schemes
- How to work with Ex-offenders and their Families
- How to Work with Drug Offenders and the 6 Stages of Change in Addiction
- How to Work with Reformative Trainees (RTs)
- Case Allocation and Report Writing, Code of Conduct and VAOs’ Welfare
Full attendance at the training is compulsory for all new volunteers. Those who successfully complete the training will be required to undergo a 1-year probationary period. Performance appraisals are then conducted and those who meet the standards set will be confirmed as VAOs or VFs (Volunteer Friend). What You can gain from being a SACA Volunteer:
- Learning and sharing case work experiences with fellow volunteers.
- Network with fellow volunteers at social activities.
- Attain new skills and knowledge from adhoc training and enrichment workshops.
- And the potential to make a difference in an ex-offender’s life!
How To Join?
If you would like to join SACA as a volunteer, please call 6294 2350 for more information or register your interest online (in progress).