The work of TRANS first took root in the 1970s in Bedok where there were concerns about social problems and youth issues. A small group of volunteers organised informal activities to engage youths at risk. This led to the Bedok Outreach Project (aka Project Khidmat Belia in Malay) in 1979. The project was entirely volunteer-driven. The volunteers, imbued with passion, worked hard to reach out to youths on the fringe. Various activities such as street camps, mass games and tuition were organised. As activities increased, a space of 45 square metres (the size of a 2-room rental flat) at the void deck of Blk 13, Bedok South was rented to serve the purpose.
In 1986, professional social workers were first employed. In the following year, the team tried to register the organisation as a society under the name of ‘Temasek Centre’ but was unsuccessful. However, the application was approved when the name was changed to TRANS Centre. TRANS was the acronym for Temasek Reachout And Neighbourhood Service Centre and was lovingly called TC by the youths, staff and volunteers. TC soon expanded its space from a 2-room flat to a bigger unit at the void deck. Under TC, youths found purpose through their participation in soccer, basketball and other activities. The Centre also started socio-educational programmes to support children from vulnerable families.
In the 1990s, the work at TRANS Centre had grown so much that the space was far too small to accommodate the staff, volunteers and clients. In 1995, TC moved to the present premise at Block 411, Bedok North and developed into a full-fledged family service centre with an increased staff strength of 12. The location was chosen as it was centralised in Bedok and easily accessible to more clients. Professional counselling services and family centred-work were increased to better meet the needs of the community.
In 2001, armed with the zeal to assist more people, TC started another family service centre and a students’ care centre at Blocks 1 and 3 at Toh Yi Drive, Bukit Timah respectively. In response to the issue of elder abuse and neglect in Singapore, TC pioneered elder protection work in 2003. By 2007, the work evolved into a specialised centre, SAFE@TRANS. It is located at Block 410, Bedok North and had since become the lead agency in elder protection in Singapore.
In 2010, to better reflect the growth of the organisation over the last 31 years, TRANS Centre was rebranded as TRANS Family Services with 4 centres under its umbrella - TRANS Family Service Centre (Bedok), TRANS Family Service Centre (Bukit Timah), TRANS Student Care Centre and TRANS SAFE Centre.
As a Voluntary Welfare Organisation in the community, TRANS Family Services was attuned to emerging needs. At the end of 2011, the students’ care service that TRANS had operated for 11 years, was closed following a decline in enrolment arising from the changing demography. Using the same premise, TRANS began working with seniors in 2012, to promote active ageing. The response to our programmes was overwhelming and TRANS FOCUS Centre was established. The centre, officially launched in 2014, is a place the seniors could call their second home.
In 2016, TRANS Family Services was selected by MSF to operate yet another family service centre which is located at Bedok Reservoir Road. What prompted the move was the recognition that TRANS could help make a difference as the area was underserved.
To date, TRANS Family Services is proud to be serving the community through 5 centres with a staff strength of more than 50.
The work of TRANS is best summed up by our Chairman, Mr Lee Chuan Teck when he said, “It is the character of TRANS to anticipate and respond to the society’s needs”.
Our Mission and Vision
Strengthening Families Today;
Resilient Generations Tomorrow.
Belief in the worth of every individual