Viriya Community Services (VCS) provides a wide spectrum of services catering to different groups of the population. As such, their staff belong to a broad variety of disciplines, covering diverse aspects. Jessica, Atika, Danial, Eddy, TChuan, WYong, Indu and Huiting tell us more.
Hi, team! Can you tell us about each of your roles?
Jessica: I am a Social Work Associate with the VCS Community Resource Engagement and Resource Team (CREST) and Community Intervention Team (COMIT) – which support seniors at risk of mental health conditions like dementia. I vet through applications and plan programmes for the Viriya Elderly Medical Fund, as well as manage the organisation’s volunteers and administrative work.
Eddy: Aside from planning and executing initiatives for our seniors as a Centre Programme Coordinator, I am also part of the CREST programme team where I help individuals above the age of 40 who are at risk of having mental health conditions. In addition, I manage the ‘Learn My Dialect’ programme, where I work with seniors who teach Chinese dialects to the public, especially the younger generation.
TChuan: I provide logistics, finance and accounting support to the organisation.
Huiting: I am the team lead and a Social Worker for CREST. I am also a Centre Programme Coordinator, planning, strategising and executing initiatives for the seniors I work with.
WYong: As a Social Worker, I empower clients to find effective solutions to their concerns.
Atika: I am a Social Worker at the Viriya Family Service Centre, doing casework and counselling intervention.
Danial: I am an Outreach Worker and Caseworker who looks into the different needs of individuals and families.
Indu: I am the Clinical Lead at Whispering Hearts Family Service Centre, and I give clinical support to the Social Workers.
How do your different job roles come together as a team?
Atika: We collaborate depending on the needs of the clients. For instance, if a client requires specialised therapy or medical financial assistance, I can liaise accordingly with other colleagues in the team. The shared assesments between the different roles contribute to the progress we make with clients as well.
Eddy: Let’s take clients with dementia as an example. Firstly, they have to be identified and then matched with the right agencies for long term care. I reach out to those in the community who are at risk and refer them to my team of Social Workers for further assesment. We tap on each other’s specialisation to provide a holistic solution to the clients.
WYong: The various roles come together to ensure that issues are addressed through different perspectives and blind spots are avoided. There is a shared responsibility to allow our clients to benefit from a larger support system.
TChuan: As a finance and accounting professional, I can advise the team on organising better programmes based on the fundings disbursed to them.
Why is this trans-disciplinary approach to teamwork important?
Jessica: Case needs are dynamic and the trans-disciplinary approach enables our services to be more client-centric.
Atika: It allows for the clients’ specific concerns to be dealt with more comprehensively, and ensures that individual team members are not overwhelmed with multiple aspects.
How do you work together effectively?
Jessica: We constantly communicate through emails, texts and video conferencing to understand each other’s challenges. We utilise our strengths to cover one another’s weaknesses and form a well-rounded team.
Huiting: We are objective and solution-focused in order to achieve our common goals.
WYong: It is all about sharing knowledge, information and expertise with each other.
What are some examples of teamwork in your organisation?
Indu: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an increase in the number of cases at our Family Service Centre. It was not easy, but we came together as a team to stabilise the situation.
Danial: We conduct outreach events for residents in the community. From time to time, colleagues approach me to ask if they can join in and help out. The sincerity of the team goes a long way.
TChuan: Our colleagues are willing to stand in for one another, if required, and always offer assistance without hesitation.
WYong: Whenever we need help, we can turn to our colleagues who are experts in their roles. It helps that they are eager to provide their input to enhance the project income.
What are some successes you have experienced as a team?
Huiting: We collaborated with an author to create an interactive children’s book on dementia. The positive response from our young readers was encouraging!
Eddy: Our celebration events for seniors have been very successful. These involve many factors like logistics, ticket sales, prizes, games, crowd control, decoration and food. The tasks are distributed among the team and we do our best to make the events memorable. Our seniors look forward to them year after year.
What have you learnt from your colleagues?
Indu: There are many things I have learnt from them such as empathy, resilience and perserverance.
Danial: I learnt that working in a team with a diverse set of skills is important while we strive towards a common goal – to enhance our clients’ quality of life.
Last but not the least, what are some words of advice you have for someone considering a career in social service?
Atika: Being equipped with knowledge and skills to carry out our work professionally is indeed important as it guides our assessment and intervention. However, it is also essential not to let professionalism get in the way of you being genuinely present to hear a client out and assist them.
Eddy: Social service presents a bright future for those who are willing to put in the effort and understand the needs of the society.
Danial: There are many areas of progression to embark on. For example, one may be a Caseworker but can work towards being a Centre Manager. The possibilities are endless!
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