STAR, the family services arm of City Harvest Community Services Association launches the Parents Resource Booklet to help their clients create a better family life.
By Annie Wong
Launched in August this year by STAR family services, an arm of City Harvest Community Services Association, the quarterly offers tips on different ways a family can improve its quality of life. STAR family services aims to provide a comprehensive care for families, delivering quality services in financial and social-emotional counseling in order to strengthen resilience within clients’ family units. This booklet is an effort to help their clients, mostly single parents, create a better family life.
Jeannette Soh, the case officer in charge of this project commented that the idea of creating this booklet came when the staff realized that many single parents are often busy and tired from juggling both work and childcare on their own. This may affect various aspects of their family life. For instance, families often get stuck in a routine of activities and dietary habits which may affect the social and physical health of the children. When the children are affected, things become even more stressful for the parent who already feels bad for being unable to provide their children with proper exposure, opportunities and diet.
In line with CHCSA’s goal to educate and empower their clients, the team of staff and volunteers put together their ideas, information and resources to create the Parents Resource Booklet, providing practical information to make family life more interesting and healthy for both parent and child. The team includes mothers, cooks, photographers, exercise enthusiasts and young working adults, who all contributed to the booklet in the area of their expertise and interest.
STAR family services also hopes to reach out to the needy families that are served through this booklet. Because most of the parents served by STAR are single parents, many of them lack access to information online or in the community. STAR family services hope that this booklet can pose as a bridge to connect these families to mainstream community by informing them of affordable community events that they can bring their families to. One such example is the Kids Arts Village during the Arts Festival which was free for all children.
From leisure activities families can do together, ways to create a healthy lifestyle to improving living spaces using recycled materials, this 11-page booklet offers a myriad of ideas on how to live a better family life.
Fresh suggestions abound, such as the idea of enjoying parks: families can soak in the peace and tranquil nature, take their minds off their busy schedules, at the same time build relationships with one another. Parents Resource Booklet even provides details on the various buses, or nearest MRT station, that reaches the place.
The booklet also includes recipes of nutritious dishes, ranging from fried rice to stir-fried vegetables, which busy parents can whip up in a short time. Readers will also benefit from the various tips on reducing cooking time, such as using the rice cooker to steam meat and vegetables while cooking rice. If you are wondering how else to improve the appetite of your children, try out the dessert recipes in here.
Another aspect of family life that should not be neglected is exercise. A segment of the booklet is dedicated to promote an active lifestyle, educating readers on the side effects of not protecting their health and teaching them some basic exercises.
Besides encouraging families to live a healthy lifestyle, the booklet also provides creative tips that can help improve living spaces through Do-It-Yourself projects. The last page of the booklet shows how a CD case can be recycled to create a personalize towel rack—this makes a good project for parents and children to take on together.
The Parents Resource Booklet is available to STAR clients, but if you are interested, you can receive an electronic version (English or Chinese) via email by sending your information to firstname.lastname@example.org.