Our Story
Building A Meaningful Career
Tan Jia Hui
Assistant Senior Social Worker
Published on 07/10/22
Tan Jia Hui, an Assistant Senior Social Worker with AMKFSC Community Services’ COMNET Senior Service, considers it a true privilege that her work lets her make a difference in people’s lives.


From interest to impact 

Tan Jia Hui’s interest in Social Work was ignited by an internship she took on at Pathlight School after her A Levels. “As an intern, I saw how the teachers, psychologists and other staff worked together with the students to maximise their potential,” she shares. Soon after, she pursued a degree in Social Work at the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and has been a Social Worker ever since graduation. 

 “The profession is dynamic. I have different experiences daily and get to meet people from all walks of life, as every case is unique. I have worked with varying demographics of clients – from families, to persons with special needs and seniors. Moreover, we are often tasked to play various roles, such as educator, advocator, coordinator and more,” she elaborates. At AMKFSC Community Services’ elderly support network, COMNET Senior Service, Jia Hui provides case management support to seniors who might have health or financial concerns, as well as their caregivers who may be experiencing stressors. A typical day has her involved in discussions with clients, their family members and community partners like nurses and social workers from other organisations. She also makes home visits and writes reports. “I see the work that I am doing as small stepping stones to facilitate clients’ growth or as a hiking pole that they can lean on as they continue on their life journey,” she says.  

Progressing as a team

“Social Work is not an easy field. The scene is rapidly changing and we learn new things every day. We are expected to be quick on our feet and creative in working with various clients,” Jia Hui shares. She feels fortunate to have supportive colleagues and bosses who keep her going, always providing a listening ear when she is in a rough patch. They build on each other’s strengths and brainstorm ideas with each other on how to improve their work. “I was once told by a client that she didn’t feel supported and that I wasn’t fit to be a Social Worker. It made me question myself and whether I had done right by my clients and colleagues. Thankfully, my colleagues and supervisor processed the situation with me, helped me identify the good work I had accomplished thus far and examined ways on how I could have engaged with the client differently to prevent such a situation from occurring,” she recalls.  
Words of advice

“There are a variety of diverse roles that you can take on in social service. It is also always evolving, so I would advise someone who wants to join to be ready for change. It would be good to first learn about the industry through conversations with social service professionals,” Jia Hui recommends. Furthermore, she believes that there are certain qualities that one needs to work in social service. “Many clients have faced their struggles for a long time before picking up the courage to seek help. It takes empathy to understand their situation. In addition, patience and perseverance are key in journeying with them. Being able to respect the client’s choices is important too as they are ultimately the changemakers of their own lives,” she explains.   

Room for more

On how the public’s perception of social service has evolved, Jia Hui feels that more people have started to recognise the distinct types of expertise within social service. “Social policies have also been enhanced over the years to bridge some of the gaps our clients face. However, gaps still exist and more can still be done,” she adds. As such, she aspires to continue improving her clinical and supervisory skills by looking out for short courses from time to time. “Lifelong learning is important for social workers to enhance their skills and keep up with policy changes, as well as improve their clinical knowledge to support clients better,” she reveals.  

A role in Social Work is one of many in social service. To find out more, read more about career in social work.