Epworth HomeSweetHome (HSH) is a stay-in treatment facility for children who have experienced abuse, with complex trauma and aggressive behaviour. We spoke to one resident and one staff to get to know more about the Home.

By a Resident at Epworth HSH

Stepping into Epworth HomeSweetHome for the first time, I felt very nervous and anxious. However, these feelings were short-lived. I managed to make new friends and these negative feelings were replaced with joy and excitement. Now, I even have some close friends at HSH.

During my stay at HSH, I was taught a number of ways to regulate my emotions. The staff guided me on how I could improve my behaviour. With their continuous support, I managed to develop and practise my own Safety Plan and Emotion Regulation Drills. These help me to manage myself and my emotions; and keep me calm.

Drawing and colouring activities are especially helpful for me. I also like playing with my toys! The staff would always check in with me to find out how I was feeling. They would comfort me when I was feeling down. I like them very much.

I like the close friends that I have made at HSH. I also like the delicious meals cooked by Auntie Bee. My favourite is Lemak Chilli Padi. I am very happy whenever she cooks this dish.

The most memorable time of my life at HSH was when I could show-off my dance moves in front of an audience during HSH’s 6th Anniversary celebration. Getting the opportunity to learn how to dance and then performing the dance before an audience was the best thing that happened to me. If I had superpowers, I will use it to help every child in HSH to recover and get discharged!

By Benjamin Wong, a Primary Care Worker at Epworth HSH

As a Residential Care Worker (RCW), I have to take care of children in trauma. Due to the nature of my job and the children under my care, everyday is different. There is not one day that is the same as another. Everyday is challenging! Hence, I strive to do my best each day, hoping to leave a positive impact on the children. It does not matter how small the act may be. What matters most is that the children can feel loved because I did something positive for them.

Since most of the children come from disadvantaged backgrounds, some having experienced unduly harsh abuse, it was especially challenging for me to build a rapport with them. However, with time and effort, they eventually got comfortable and were willing to relate with me.

Unexpected situations at HSH have taught me to make wise decisions and to think on my feet. To ensure the best for the children, I would always discuss with my colleagues on how I could improve and perform better at the next shift. De-escalating a situation effectively is a priority skill that I have learnt to keep the children safe at all times.

I am also assigned as Primary Care Worker (PCW) to work closely with a particular child over the course of his treatment. This, not only gave me a chance to positively impact his life, but also allowed me to bond closely with him. There are times when I get discouraged when this child goes through difficult patches as he struggles with recovery from trauma. But the fulfilment I get from seeing him overcome his challenges; and, witnessing the improvements and progress in his recovery, is irreplaceable.

Not only have I learnt to care for children in trauma, I have also learnt to take care of myself. From being a RCW to a PCW, I have gained much insight and invaluable experiences. I am always learning something new from the children. The job I have is both enriching and rewarding.