Friday, April 24, 2009

Family support centre to back community-based programmes

The Star News :Tuesday April 21, 2009

GEORGE TOWN: The National Population and Family Development Board is concentrating more on community-based programmes by setting up the first ever Family Support Cen­tre in Selayang, Selangor.

Deputy Women, Family and Community De­­velopment Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the centre, a joint effort by the Go­­vernment and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), should be up and running by June.

“This will be the first centre of its kind providing services and assistance to people and families at risk. These include those with family or parenting problems, victims of domestic violence or families who have members involved with drugs.

“The counselling, therapy and mediation will be provided by NGOs who can provide professional skills,” she said after launching the Resilient Families Discourse: Research and Evidence-based Interventions at a hotel in Ba­­tu Feringghi here yesterday.

Chew added that Yayasan Salam Malaysia and the Malaysian Psychological Association had already pledged their services to the upcoming centre.

“We welcome and urge other NGOs to register with us and get involved, especially those who speak Tamil and Chinese dialects. As it is a community-based programme, we hope to get volunteers as well.”

She added domestic violence was on the rise, mainly because of financial constraints brought about by the economic downturn.

The board’s director-general, Datuk Aminah Abdul Rahman, said Selayang had been chosen as police had identified it as a hotspot.

“We are in the process of renovating a building to be turned into the centre which will also provide refuge and shelter for families and individuals at risk.

“The running of the centre will be completely given over to NGOs with the board maintaning a skeleton staff to assist,” said Aminah who was overseeing the two-day forum.

The Resilient Family Discourse was jointly organised by LPPKN and the Doha International Institute of Family Studies and Development.

Some 50 participants from eight countries are taking part in the forum.

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