Focus on the Family Singapore Celebrates 20th Anniversary with State of the Family 2022

Focus on the Family Singapore Celebrates 20th Anniversary with State of the Family 2022

Bigger, deeper & stronger with Family

By Focus on the Family Singapore | 12 March 2022

Focus on the Family Singapore held its 8th State of the Family (SOTF) with Guest-of-Honour, Minister K. Shanmugam, and over 500 participants representing some 300 organisations from schools, social service agencies, faith-based organisations, and community partners.

With the theme of Bigger, Deeper and Stronger for Family this year, the hybrid event covered a presentation of observed trends on family life with an emphasis on issues surrounding marriage, sexuality education and mental health.

Key trends and results that were highlighted include:


  • Focus on the Family Singapore’s marriage quiz in 2021 revealed that 32% of participants felt that conversations are lacking, and 26% feel detached from their spouse.
  • MSF Report: More Singapore couples, especially those recently married, are getting divorced:.
  • TODAY Youth Survey: Half of singles say marriage is important, but fewer want kids amid living cost, work demands concerns.
  • NPTD’s 2021 Survey and Focus Singapore’s own experience with its FamChamps youth initiative, suggest otherwise and indicate that family aspirations and beliefs can be influenced or shaped.

Sexuality Education:

  • Increasingly diverse views about our culture’s stand on sexuality issues raise more disagreement on what schools can or should be teaching our kids.
  • Specialised issues like LGBTQ have dominated public discourse, leading to polarised conversations, fragmented relationships and heightened sensitivity.
  • Sexuality education has been sadly missing parental involvement – only 15% of respondents in Focus Singapore’s Whole Life Inventory cited parents as their main source of sexuality information.
  • When parents have not had prior conversations on sex and sexuality with their children, it can strike great fear in a parent’s heart when their values and belief system about sex and sexuality are suddenly confronted by opposing views.

Mental Health:

  • Singapore appears to be experiencing the problems of a highly affluent and urbanised society.
  • Unfortunately, our young seem to bear a large brunt of the mental and emotional toll of modern, digitalised – and now, Covid-ised – living.
  • Family is a key protective factor against mental health issues among youths, as evidence shows the bonds of marriage and parenthood generally reduce the risk of suicide.

The presentation was followed by a lively panel discussion on the key family trends. Guests on the panel, which was moderated by CEO of Focus Singapore Joanna Koh-Hoe, were:

  1. Ms. Carol Loi – Founder & Principal Consultant, Village Consultancy
  2. Mr. Mohd Khair – CEO, Chief Consultant and Master Trainer, SuChi Success Initiatives Pte Ltd
  3. Ms. Sophia Ang – Senior Director of Counselling and Psychological Services, Family Justice Courts
  4. Mr. Timothy Weerasekera – Founding Editor, Regardless Singapore

During the event, Minister Shanmugam, along with Focus Singapore’s Chairman Tony Soh and Board member, Bernard Ng, came together to launch Focus Singapore’s 20th anniversary celebrations, and its calendar of events. A symbolic braiding of three cords took place to represent a joint commitment by the public, private, and people sectors to ensure that Family continues to be the foundation of our nation, for many more years of “happiness, prosperity and progress” that all of us, and our future generations, can enjoy.

The Silver cord represents the abundance and wisdom of the Public sector, the Blue cord represents the stability and innovation of the Private sector, and the Gold cord represents the character and endurance of the People sector.

Minister Shanmugam also engaged the audience in a short Q&A session, where community leaders, including parents and youth, asked about the Government’s position on Section 377A, following Minister’s statement in Parliament about the need for our policies and laws to evolve with the changing social attitudes and views of society.

Minister Shanmugam clarified that the Statement in Parliament was a carefully considered one and while many are concerned about the follow-on consequences, if S377A was repealed, the Government would need to have open and honest discussions with different groups and stakeholders, before deciding on next steps.

In the opening address at State of the Family, Minister Shanmugam stressed the importance of families as essential building blocks of society and highlighted the policies and plans which support the family structure.

© 2022 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.


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