Key Highlights of MSF’s COS 2013 Debate

Posted: 18 March 2013

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing and Senior Minister of State (PMO) Heng Chee How laid out the key priorities for MSF and its emphasis on focusing on building a more caring and inclusive society, and putting in place stronger social safety nets.

 

Enhancing Social Services and Social Safety Nets

A More Flexible and Tailored Approach for Public Assistance
  • More flexibility in administering ComCare assistance; MSF prepared to extend ComCare assistance to recipients beyond one year for those who need it
  • For Public Assistance, on top of a Basic Tier cash allowance for food/transport and other housing and medical benefits, an Additional Tier (for regular needs such as adult diapers and health supplements) and a Discretionary Tier (for one-off essentials) will be introduced
Better Support for Families with Complex Needs
  • MSF will be looking into helping families who may need medium term assistance of between 5 to 10 years not covered under ComCare or Public Assistance
Accessible and Integrated Social Services with 20 Social Service Offices to Open Starting from Q3 2013
  • New Social Service Offices (SSO) will provide more decentralised services and play a role in integrating social service delivery in the respective towns 
  • 4 new SSOs by this year, set up in Kreta Ayer, Jalan Besar, Jurong West and one serving residents in Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang 
  • Locations were decided based on caseloads, demographic profiles of population and needs of the community
Building a Strong Social Service Sector 
  • Development of Social Service Professionals will be stepped up to make it a career of choice, by developing career opportunities and ensure competitive pay 
  • MSF to focus on training of Social Assistance Officers to be deployed to Social Service Offices 
  • IT is a critical area identified for MSF to invest in. MSF is developing an integrated IT system for the social service sector that will cut down on admin load for social workers and professionals.
Support for Persons with Disabilities 
  • Centre for Enabled Living will be repositioned to focus on implementation of the Enabling Masterplan 2012 by enhancing information and referral services, expanding early childhood intervention, enhancing employability and employment options and improving transition management across life-stages
  • There will be more transport option for persons with disabilities. A $3.1m grant has been awarded to SMRT Taxis to bring in more wheelchair-accessible taxis by Q3 2013. Commercial and VWO proposals to pilot dedicated transport services will be invited later this year
  • MSF will also provide a wider range of care options for adults with disabilities:
    • Adult Disability Homes increase from existing 830 places to 3,200 places in 2020
    • Day Activity Centre: Increase from existing 950 places to 1,450 places in 2020
    • Drop-In Disability programme will be piloted at 4 sites this year to care for those with milder needs and help them remain socially engaged in community.
Support for Vulnerable Elderly
  • MSF looking into simplifying the process of enabling individuals to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Full MSF’s COS Speeches

Speech by Acting Minster for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, at MSF Committee of Supply Debate in Parliament (Social Sector Development)

Speech by Mr Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office, at MSF Committee of Supply Debate 2013

Speech by Acting Minster for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, at MSF Committee of Supply Debate in Parliament (Family Development)

Media coverage of the above will ensue.