Ministry of Social and Family Development
Feature | MSF

Tugging The Family Heartstrings

Ministry of Social and Family Development
The Ministry of Social and Family Development allows you to not only shape Singapore’s development, but your own career path as well.

In a society that is working towards being more inclusive and supportive, no one should be left behind. Formerly known as the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the focus of the work at the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is to ensure that social safety nets and policies are in place to create a nurturing and caring environment where individuals, families, and communities can thrive.

While strong families and a caring society tend to go hand in hand, it is at the level of the individual where the seeds of change are planted and the ‘heartware’ for Singapore can be developed. One of the values of MSF is to respect the individual as an ambassador to the organisation, and pertinent social issues like gambling addiction, human rights, and social services for vulnerable families require passionate individuals like Jocelyn Lang to rise up and make a difference.

Jocelyn Lang

Jocelyn Lang 
MSF- Singapore Government Scholarship
Senior Family Policy Officer
Bachelor of Arts in Human Social and Political Science, First Class Honours, University of Cambridge
Master of Science in Social Policy,
University of Pennsylvania

As a recipient of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) - Singapore Government Scholarship, the 24-year-old has always had a heart to serve. The scholarship has given her the opportunities and platform to take her passion to the next level. We talk to Jocelyn as she shares more about how she has developed through an enriching MSF experience.

A Vantage Point To Serve

Being an agency that puts the needs of people first and seeks to help families and citizens from the ground up, MSF works with the relevant social service and community partners to deliver policies and initiatives that meet their needs. The alignment of these opportunities with Jocelyn’s goal to impact society made MSF the perfect place for her development. “It was clear to me that I wanted to serve people and make a difference, particularly via the social sector,” says Jocelyn. “My vantage point at MSF has allowed me to see the many ways in which you can go about doing so, and that sometimes the opportunities turn up in unexpected places.”

As a Senior Family Policy Officer, Jocelyn contributes to MSF’s mission of fostering strong families by formulating, analysing, and reviewing policies and programmes that seek to support and strengthen families, with a scope of work that ranges from doing research and crafting policy recommendations, to shaping communication lines and engaging both internal and external stakeholders. For her, the gravity of her work has direct implications on the ground, and that makes her relish her exciting role in family policy planning.

“Family policy tends to deal with more broad-based policies rather than those for targeted client groups. While this may make your work appear to be not completely specific or discernible, it also means that the impact you create is greater,” explains Jocelyn. “Nonetheless, the opportunity to contribute and be involved with the thought process is something that I am constantly humbled and grateful to be a part of. This has allowed me to be able to apply my mind productively to interesting problems and questions; not just in terms of academic interest, but also in areas with real-life problem solving, actual implication, and impact.”

“The job security the scholarship provided gave me the space and freedom to learn and explore what I love.” Jocelyn

Opening A Horizon Of Opportunities

Dealing with heart issues that hit close to home, MSF believes in investing in individuals and providing them with the necessary tools and conditions to be at their most efficient. And in the MSF-Singapore Government Scholarship, Jocelyn found not just a springboard for her academic pursuits, but also an opportunity for personal development. “Studying abroad was an invaluable opportunity that goes beyond an education,” she says. “The job security the scholarship provided gave me the space and freedom to learn and explore what I love.”

Her education in the University of Cambridge, England, and University of Pennsylvania, United States, has equipped Jocelyn with both academic and transferrable soft skills that will help her adapt to the ever-changing demands of family policy development. “My education in the UK definitely trained me in rigour by laying a foundation in my academic disciplines. Subsequently, my time in the US built on those foundations and exposed me to a horizon of opportunities – the different ways that thought could be applied beyond any certain discipline or area of interest,” she recalls. “The most important takeaway of education to me is learning how to think, analyse, and approach problems. This is something I do on a daily basis which can be applied anywhere and everywhere.”

A Common Strive For Excellence

As a professional, Jocelyn is part of a small but closely-knit team that supports and motivates one another. Developing a shared understanding and camaraderie has allowed Jocelyn and her colleagues to establish a culture of trusting in each other’s’ work. “It is a team that takes pride in doing things well,” she says. “Upon joining MSF and seeing the way my colleagues work, I have learned the value of doing my due diligence and in taking responsibility for what I produce. Whether it is a small, seemingly insignificant statistic, or a full-scale policy paper, we give our best.”