Help for families living in rental homes and facing complex social needs will soon be - literally - just round the corner, with the setting up of social service hubs in HDB neighbourhoods.
The move is part of the Social and Family Development Ministry's efforts to boost coordination and data-sharing between the ministry and agencies in the social service sector, to help needy families more effectively
Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee announced the plan yesterday (2 Aug) to about 400 social sciences graduates of Nanyang Technological University at their convocation ceremony.
Mr Lee, who is also Second Minister for National Development, emphasised that local communities and neighbours will play an important role in providing support to families and individuals in crisis.
The hub will be central to the drawing up of an action plan for them. It is where "social workers will partner government agencies and the local community to get a better understanding of the complexities of the problems that beset families who live in these rental housing precincts, and work in partnership with them on a joint plan of action," he said.
Amid Singapore's ageing population, shrinking family size and economic disruption, the problems the families face include unemployment, money and health issues.
With the hub, the different groups can "proactively coordinate and tackle some of the complex challenges", Mr Lee said.
Integrating and transforming the way social service agencies work is important, said Mr Lee, citing problems that had arisen from having different government agencies provide support services for housing, financial aid, job matching and others.
"For families and individuals with complex needs, it can be really challenging navigating the system - travelling to multiple locations, filling in different forms, undergoing various interviews, submitting documents."
Sources: “Social service hubs to help needy will be round the corner” (The Straits Times, 2 August 2018)
The Straits Times 2018. © Singapore Press Holdings. Reprinted with permission.