Our Story
Empowering Lives, Helping Hearts
Karen Tan
Speech-Language Therapist
Published on 26/03/23
In the Social Service Sector, Speech-Language Therapist Tan Tze Hui Karen is wholly invested in bettering their clients’ lives. The National Council of Social Service (NCSS) has been instrumental in showing them the way change the futures of every individual they meet.
Karen Tan is a Speech Language Therapist with a Master of Speech Pathology from La Trobe University, Australia. She works at THK Children Therapy Centre, providing communication and feeding assessment and intervention for children aged 0 to 18 years, in individual and group settings.

Working hand-in-hand with those who share a common vision, these like-minded individuals come together as one Social Service Tribe to make lives count. Speech-Language Therapist Karen Tan is such an individual, changing lives for the better in their own areas of specialisation.

How did you get interested in your current field?

I studied Linguistics as an undergraduate and loved it. At the same time, I wanted a meaningful career where I would be able to make a tangible impact on others. Becoming a Speech-Language Therapist was the perfect way to combine my academic interests with my desire to help others!

Why did you choose the NCSS Social Service Scholarship?

I was especially drawn to the NCSS Social Service Scholarship because of my interest in the social service sector. And since this scholarship is one of the few scholarships offered to students pursuing a degree in speech pathology, my choice was a given. It was a great opportunity to pursue my dream career!
I felt that working in this sector would enable me to reach those who are most vulnerable and most in need of support. I was also attracted to the prospect of being able to rotate between different social service agencies during my bond period.

Having studied abroad, was there any difficulty transiting to the local context when you returned?

The transition from theory to practical application was definitely challenging, however I was fortunate to have had very practical and diverse clinical placement experiences that helped to make the transition smoother.

 Could you tell us more about your role?

Currently, I am working as a Speech-Language Therapist at THK Children Therapy Centre. I provide communication and feeding assessment and intervention for children aged 0 to 18 years, in individual and group settings.

Could you tell us about any memorable case that has inspired you?

I have a four-year-old client who initially presented with significant speech and language delay and showed great distress whenever he had to transition between activities. Nine months later, after weekly speech therapy and dedicated practice at home, he is now able to communicate in short, simple sentences and has even started to show a keen interest in reading. Working with him reminded me of just how impactful this work can be, as well as how crucial families are in supporting their children’s development.

What would you say to someone considering the social sector as a career?

The social sector is one of the sectors with the most opportunities and potential for growth. There are so many people who will benefit from more support and thus there is always a high demand for people who are passionate about serving others, be it as an allied health professional or in an administrative role!

To find  out more about scholarships, please click here https://www.ncss.gov.sg/social-service-careers/scholarship-and-awards

This article was first published in BrightSparks July 2022 magazine. Reproduced with permission from CareerBuilder (Singapore) Pte Ltd