‘Family crucial in preventing relapse’

National 2 minutes, 39 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

LACK of commitment and support from family members can lead to the relapse of troubled teens, said the acting assistant director of the Community Development Department’s Rehabilitation and Protection Division.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Khairul Arifin said that a family’s commitment and support is vital in ensuring those undergoing rehab at the Welfare Home Complex (KRK) do not relapse once they are released.

“The transition period for the teens once they are out can be a difficult process,” he said, noting that the period spent in rehab “closed from the outside world” may pose difficulties for teens trying to re-integrate back into society.

This, he said, is the reason why families play a major role in providing support to the teens by welcoming them and continuing to guide them once they have been released.

He disclosed that although cases of relapse are low – only two since August last year – there are instances in which residents are found getting into “trouble” again when their family members fail to provide the needed care and commitment.

Established in 1982, KRK caters to socially challenged individuals under the age of 18 by providing them protection, rehabilitation and guidance.

The complex, which is presently situated at Subok, also houses women and children that fall victim to abuse or violence cases.

According to Khairul, who is currently manning the Rehabilitation and Protection Division, a total of 55 residents are living under the care of the welfare home as of April 20 this year.

Thirty one residents are under protection while 24 others are undergoing rehab. These include six new entries in this year.

He went on to say that those who are admitted to the rehab centre fall under three categories – probation (doing community services), interim period (in rehab for a minimum period of two months but no longer than six months) or in conviction (six months to three years) – as set by the Juvenile Court in accordance with the nature of their offences.

He reiterated that fostering familial bond between family members and residents is essential even during these custodial periods to ensure a good and harmonious environment for the teens.

He said that one of the challenges KRK is facing is that there are families who are not commited in their children’s development at the centre.

They (parents and family members) failed to comply with the schedules set by KRK as they did not turn up for either the visiting period or the counseling session, said Khairul.

He added that KRK usually sends reminder letters to parents or members of the family, asking them to visit the residents and attend the (mandatory) counseling sessions.

“If they still fail to do so, we would report it to the court and let them handle it from there.”

“Through attending family counseling sessions and the visits, families and children can learn to understand each other more, enhance their relationship and build a stronger family foundation,” he said.

He added that KRK will be celebrating National Family Day on May 15 for both female and male residents of the rehabilitation centre to continue bolstering familial bonds between residents and their family members.

The Brunei Times