Talking to the People Who Matter

Talking to the People Who Matter

As a matter of fact, we aren’t talking to child abusers

All who have a stake

Dear you who don’t abuse your kids,

Most of us think to ourselves, “Hey, you can’t be talking to us ‘cos we don’t abuse our kids…” or just as likely, “I don’t even have kids!” Truth. Because half of us don’t have children, and the other half don’t abuse ours, who are we even talking to? Is child protection work really just ourselves shouting into any public forum we can, that it is important to keep our kids safe, but it’s only a handful of perpetrators hiding behind closed doors that we should look into to eradicate the problem of child abuse?

Surely, not.

As Big Love advances toward our 10th Anniversary in 2023, it’s a good time to relook just who matter to the work we do, and the answer really is quite clear: You.

Surely I can’t be a part of your target audience

Except that, you are.

Thing is, anyone who has a stake in raising the next generation of children can make a difference in the way we relate to the little ones around us. That means, all of us have a role to play. We’re not all parents, but are we not godparents, friends or an ‘Uncle’ or ‘Auntie’ to someone else’s child, blood-related or otherwise, or, as most of us are, a neighbour who might know when a child is in need?

As we evolve as a nation and people, we’ve learnt not to litter or spit (sure, the fines do help speed up how fast we unlearnt old habits), become a more polite society, become more aware of important issues like Mental Wellness, Dementia, Caregiving Toils, the Silver Generation, Climate Change, and many other pertinent causes, something’s got to change with the way we relate to children too, isn’t it? 

Nobody would dispute that child sexual abuse is wrong, but there are too many grey lines where harsh physical punishment, psychological and emotional abuse, or issues of neglect, enter the picture. Yes, there are many sides to a story, like when parents inadvertently neglect their child because they have to work, and many other positions and perspectives to consider, like how parents manage their children the ways that their own parents had managed them, all the while thinking, “Hey, we all turned out fine, right?”

Thing is, our parents probably did the best they could at a given time in their lives, in a particular generation. But as parenting and children literature have also evolved with all other forms of sciences, and we are learning everyday about the impact of abuse and harsh discipline on our children, it’s maybe time we reconsider adopting newer and better ways to take care of the children around us too. Our parents did.

They didn’t just resort to raising kids by the same standards that they were raised. They put us through school when school wasn’t an option to them (depending on which generation we belong to). Equal opportunities were handed to both son and daughter, which was not always a given in some generations either. Children used to “be seen but not heard”. Play was a “waste of time”. What was deemed of consequence in the past may not apply today, and vice versa. The rules of society morph and evolve with time. We should, too. 

Perhaps now, it ought to be a little bit more about looking at how we accord children their natural rights, to be given a safe shelter, to be fed and nourished, treated with respect and love, and so many more rights than we ever talk about. It’s not us saying it, it’s the United Nations ( Singapore agrees, by the way (

With those things in mind, it’s no longer about how right we are in the way we relate to our children, but how much more loving we can be. So do join us in standing up to #ChampionChildProtection, #FightAgainstChildAbuse, and to show in your own unique ways, how children can be kept safe and to be loved.


As we count up to commemorate our 10th Anniversary, we will debunk myths about child protection work, spotlight our partners and friends; you’ll learn our Origin Story (everyone has one!), find out why our Google Ratings doesn’t look good, and more. 

Partner with us to help the children shoot for the stars

Happy Children’s Day

Happy Children's Day

It’s really a work in progress

Happy Children’s Day, a Work in Progress

As we look at the numbers from our monthly report, it’s all too clear that it isn’t going to be a Happy Children’s Day for all. In fact, this outcome is the reason for our existence at all, especially poignant to us now as we’ll be turning 10 in a few months’ time, which really means we’ve been doing this work for 10 years to see that the numbers requiring child protection is still on the rise.

One way of looking at this data and understanding these numbers is to acknowledge that this increase in numbers is the result of an increasing number of calls through the National Anti-Violence and Sexual Harassment Helpline. It is true that as a nation, we have increased our understanding and awareness of child protection issues.

Small wins. One step forward. It has to begin anew, everyday.

On Small Wins, and Little Successes 

Raising such awareness on the national front formally takes the form of campaigns and advocacy work, but also the contributions of the community in big and small ways. For us, on top of case management and case closures, outreach efforts and public education, this also includes the contributions of private donors and corporate organisations who have sought to champion the cause of child protection, the latest of which is AXIS Capital spending a good Saturday out during the September school holidays with a specially facilitated art session designed for families: Creating works of art together with positive interactions and affirmations built in to the entire session. 

Truth is, these events are beyond just activities and events but about providing opportunities for us to engage with our clients and for our clients to make a day of spending it with their children; most of all, it’s simply about creating time and space for healing and reconciliation to take place.

For vulnerable families, takeaways like tangible pieces of artwork may not change their lives but are potentially the reminders that being present with one another for one afternoon could result in something beautiful.

Thank you for standing up to #ChampionChildProtection as well as to #FightAgainstChildAbuse and to show our clients how children can be loved in big ways. We hope you’ve experienced our love to you, too.

Meanwhile, we continue to grapple with the work that lies ahead for us. At Big Love, we are very much aware that our work is only ever done when there’s none for us to do. Until then, we ask that you continue to join us in putting us out of work. We can all get behind this.

Partner with us to help the children shoot for the stars

Our Clients & Us: Love, Hate, or Something In Between

Our Clients & Us: Love, Hate, or Something In Between

And why we aren't getting those 5-star reviews

Is it really all in the (Google) stars?

TRUTH is, at those first meetings, our clients don’t naturally welcome our presence. Or maybe more accurately, they don’t want us around. As a Child Protection Specialist Centre (CPSC), our presence does indicate that there are concerns about child abuse, hence, our intervention. Who can blame them, when it’s hardly good news that bring us to their doors? Hand to heart, just how much will we welcome someone else’s intervention in our family matters? 


The reality though, is that most of them have a good working relationship with our workers, and/or find it helpful to work with us.

The numbers don’t lie. Big Love manages close to 900 cases per quarter, and successfully closes 80-90% of them, which means that families have received the help they need – it could be in the form of getting much needed resources like connecting with extended family members to help with caring for children, getting financial assistance to ease situations at home, offering counselling and therapy for parents/children/families to work towards positive interactions.

Most of our families are “works in progress”, just like yours and mine

This work is not miraculous. There is a lot of hard work involved, from fathers attending Groupworks to better learn ways to relate to their wives and children, mothers leaning on one another for mutual support and learning new perspectives on discipline, children being showered affection and affirmation while on the road to recovery, families navigating differences, and moving forward even if that sometimes means taking three steps forward and one step back.

In the end, the “Thanks” that our workers receive come in the form of reconciled families, parents and children learning to hold one another’s hands again, trust-building, and the occasional cards, tears, or verbal ‘thank you’s. What they never show up as: Stars on our Google Review. (In fact, if you do a quick Google, as I’m sure you are now , you’ll see we sometimes get… a star, or two, from angry clients. We understand. We really do. It’s not easy having us in the picture.) 

While it is a myth that our clients hate us, the truth is that circumstances surrounding their situation does make it difficult for them to leave reviews. Still, if we’ve worked together and you’ve experienced us positively, we do appreciate some affirmation. The stars do matter, even if it’s just to give ourselves a pat on the back for having tried to reach them for our clients. 

Thank you for standing up to #ChampionChildProtection as well as to #FightAgainstChildAbuse and to show our clients how children can be loved in big ways. We hope you’ve experienced our love to you, too.

In August...

Partner with us to help the children shoot for the stars

Can Children Learn 
to Protect Themselves?

Can Children Learn 
to Protect Themselves?

With Protective Behaviours as a self-defence, they actually can

Starting small to make the big changes.

When Big Love started in May 2013, we were fewer than 10 people managing 200-300 cases a month. Today, we are close to 90-staff strong, and manage up to 900 cases per quarterly. “Business is booming,” we say to one another, and we wish it isn’t so.

As we count up towards the commemoration of our 10th anniversary in 2023, we’ll be taking these 10 months to share with you what goes on behind the scenes of child protection work, and perhaps to debunk some of the myths behind what people think we do, like:

No, we do not have the power to remove children from families. The work we do is to ensure that families stay resilient and independent of us. Our goal: To be out of your picture.

Yes, we hold trainings and public education talks with schools, organisations, communities who want to learn active, concrete steps to keep children safe. And they are all FOC. For a start, this month, we introduce what Protective Behaviours is about and why it’s relevant to all of us.

Learning to protect ourselves, and children around us.

Quick test:

  1. Do we know how to say ‘no’ to social appointments that we don’t feel up to?
  2. Do we know how to excuse ourselves and stay away from those who make us feel uncomfortable?
  3. Do we have a set of people that we can count on and reach out to?
  4. Are we able to not reveal secrets to people we’re uncomfortable with?

Most of us would answer ‘Yes’ to the questions above, even as we continue to learn everyday how to set healthy boundaries at work, at home and even in the friendships and relationships that matter most to us.

We know when we feel safe or violated, and hopefully, have our own tribe we can call family and friends because we know who to trust based on learned behaviours and accumulated wisdom.

Imagine if a child is equipped with a few simple guides that give them the same power! How they would be able to then navigate from situations of potential danger to safety. And this is exactly what Protective Behaviours is about – teaching children to recognise situations where their personal space and sense of safety has been compromised and what to do about it. Protective Behaviours, as a framework for safeguarding, consists of two easy themes:

1. We all have a right to feel safe at all times 

That comes with learning to tune into our own early warning signs like having those proverbial butterflies in our stomach, having our heart beat more furiously in our chest… signs that tell us everything is NOT okay. Teaching children to identify such signs encourages them to be self-aware or even to realise they need to reach for help, which leads us to the second theme.

2. We can talk to someone about anything

It is important to develop a safety network that will be on our top of mind recall for the times we are in need. Children too, can learn to identify five people they feel safe with and can turn to. Think of it this way: These are the people who made it to the list for the times when we need to use our ‘Call A Friend’ card. For children, this could be what saves them from potential dangers.

Aside from these two main themes, Protective Behaviours emphasises to children the notion of ‘Safe and Unsafe Secrets’, learning how to reach help, identifying their emotions and reactions, and other strategies.

Adults too, can benefit from mastering these strategies. It’s not rocket-science but good, common sense that can keep all of us – especially children – safe.

Big Love has been holding Public Education talks since 2013, even through the Covid years over Zoom. With Covid restrictions being eased, we went right back out to schools, like Naval Base Primary who is always conscientious about empowering their students with the right skills to stay safe.

School Counsellor at Naval Base Primary, Mr Jeremy Wong shares that children ought to learn Protective Behaviours “so that they can recognise and will know what they can do when they’re exposed to unsafe actions. They can protect themselves or advise theirs friends. The earlier they learn, the safer they will be, isn’t it?” 

“Big Love has been known to us as an expert in supporting families with child protection concerns,” he added. “Our priority at Naval Base is to keep our students in a safe environment where they can learn and thrive. This includes equipping them with how to stay safe in all situations.” 

Thank you for standing up to #ChampionChildProtection as well as to #FightAgainstChildAbuse and to show our clients how children can be loved in big ways. We hope you’ve experienced our love to you, too.


As we count up to commemorate our 10th Anniversary, we will debunk myths about child protection work, spotlight our partners and friends; you’ll learn our Origin Story (everyone has one!), find out why our Google Ratings doesn’t look good, and more. 

Partner with us to help the children shoot for the stars