Mr Fang Xinwei, Senior Social Worker, Singapore Children’s Society
Even before joining the Singapore Children’s Society as a fresh graduate in 2013, Xinwei always had a keen passion for working with children. He was a pastoral staff at his church’s children ministry for nine years, and it was that experience which inspired him to pursue a degree and career in Social Work.
To Xinwei, knowledge is like planting a seed in the garden. With care and nourishment, the seed grows into a strong tree that offers animals shelter and is a pillar of support in times of need. He therefore views gaining knowledge as a planted seed that ultimately is nurtured into something useful to serve the community.
With his vision and passion, it perhaps comes as no surprise that Xinwei is on board SSI’s Professional Development and Management Programme (PDMP), which seeks to develop professionals with leadership and management potential who are starting to take on managerial roles.
Xinwei has completed the “Leadership Milestone Programme – Lead Self” course, under the PDMP. Through the training, he now recognises his leadership style and is able to communicate and lead more effectively. He also recently embarked on his Master of Community Leadership and Social Development with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), to learn more about community work and society at large and enhance his ability to implement appropriate solutions for the community.
||"To be a social worker, you need to have empathy and be non-judgemental. Many a time, clients approach us as their last resort. We have to be understanding. While we may not be able to solve all their problems, we provide a listening ear and provide them support through a tough phase of their life."
Lifelong learning is constantly on Xinwei’s mind: “It is important to keep on learning. Personally, it expands my mind and thinking, widening my perspectives and granting me different lens to look at societal issues and challenges. The additional skill sets also offer me a bigger tool box to carry out effective interventions and programmes professionally.”
On the subject of learning, Xinwei shares the succinct motto he works by:“Learn. Do. Share.” First, he obtains knowledge from training or textbooks, which he is then able to apply to real-life situations. Finally, he shares his work with colleagues to discuss and deepen his experience and understanding.
A father of two, Xinwei juggles between his learning, a hectic case work schedule at the Family Service Centre (Yishun) and family commitments. With so much on his plate, Xinwei has learned to intentionally set aside pockets of time during his lunch breaks and in commute to reflect on the learnings of each of his cases.
And in spite of the demands on him and his time, there are defining moments in his work that make it all worthwhile for Xinwei.
In Project Relate, a prison-related programme, he provided inmates with communication and parenting skills to improve their relationship with their family. This culminated in an open visit between the inmates and their children and caregivers, where Xinwei witnessed them seeking forgiveness from their family. Seeing the inmates and their children reconcile with hugs and kisses was a touching moment that keeps him motivated in his quest to sow more seeds of knowledge and make society a better place for everyone.