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Ministry Of Social And Family Development

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Discuss about the Ministry of Social and Family Development.



In the enabling master plan of 2012-2016, the committee stated that the persons with disabilities must be empowered, acknowledged and given opportunity so as to become an active and integral part of society. The guiding principles state that there should be an inclusive approach where in the persons with disabilities will be respected. Further it will also try to identify their similarities and differences with the other able bodied persons of the society while covering all key aspects of their life. Second principle talks about autonomy and providing opportunity for decision making. While the third one state about an integrated approach with the private and public partners as well as the local populace. It further deliberates on the services which are needed by the disability affected population such as early intervention and care, need for proper education, and skill development (Ministry of Social and Family Development, 2014). Also, it is pertinent to focus on their abilities as explained well in an article “Celebrating Abilitie”. Social Affairs Minster Othman Wok did the first campaign of arts and crafts by people with disabilities where in the main objective of the event was to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities so that they can  interact with each other and result in boosting and building their confidence. ("NCSS - Our Story", 2017). One of the initiative was taken by MINDS (Largest agencies in Singapore for person with disabilities), which aimed to maximise the capability and potential of persons with intellectual disability in order to help them in attaining quality life through community participation and social integration. Also, MINDS has supporting their families in overcoming their challenges which may come in journey of their lives. ("NCSS - Our Story", 2017).

Discuss the various social services that are available to improve the welfare of adult persons with disabilities.

In order to ensure disabled friendly environment there are various numbers of schemes to improve the welfare of adult persons with disabilities as to bring in inclusiveness and community participation.

Day Activity Centre: Person with disabilities are given services to maximise their independence by promoting them with necessary skills for development in cognitive, social, communication, language and motor skills. Also they are provided with occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

Drop in Disability Programme: The programme is mainly suited for adult person with disabilities where in they are given community based facilities in centres. They are provided with social, recreational and therapeutic activities under the said programme. This helps them in building confidence in community involvement.


Home Based Care Services: includes different services like therapy, housekeeping, personal hygiene and care, and other medication related services. It also gives support to caregivers.

Community group home: supported by community partners and volunteers these services provide opportunity to develop autonomy and develop communal living.

Adult Disability home: These services are given to those persons who require long term residential care. The services include housekeeping, therapy services, medication related services and services related to care and personal hygiene (Alhadad, H. (2017). MINDSville  one of the agencies have started services which include a home service, a hostel service, group home for those adults who are suffering with intellectual disability, a separate wing for children, and for skill development there is a training and development centre ( ForAllWeCare; 14). Even the Enabling master plan 2012-2016 highlights the need to assign coaches (able-bodied) who will train persons with disabilities and help them to become capable and excellent athletes who can then perform and participate in regional and international competitions (Ministry of Social and Family Development, 2014, 129-130)

Open Door Programme: includes services of employment and placement and also funding support for proper training of individuals with disabilities. It also subsidises the costs that are incurred by employers while training, recruiting, and undertaking job accommodations. (Alhadad, H. (2017)).

and the other services which include Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) and Special Employment Credit (SEC), Sheltered Workshops: and Barrier free transportation ((Ministry of Social and Family Development, 2014, 109). These all schemes act as ‘vehicles’ which help in societal integration of persons with disabilities (PWDs). They empower them so that they can travel and work, join educational and different training institutions; avail social, as well as medical and rehabilitation services; and engage themselves actively in social and recreational activities. (Alhadad, H. (2017); Jeevanandam (2009)).

National Council of Social Services (NCSS): they provide leadership as well as direction in social services, help in enhancing capabilities, and also promotes strategic partnerships.

Charity Council: they help in promoting and encouraging adoption of standards for good governance and best suitable practices in the charity sector. Other examples are National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Centre for Non-Profit Leadership (CNPL).

Social Service Agencies: these are Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) who engage themselves directly in service provisioning of individuals who are disadvantaged or those who are in need; Family Service Centres (FSCs) which aim to promote social well-being through invoking social work techniques like counselling, casework, referral, and community based activities and programmes; Social Service Offices (SSOs) which enable individuals and families in meeting their future needs; Community Development Councils (CDCs): which aim to build a self-reliant community and help to bridge the different classes in society.


Collaborative Approach: involving both public as well as private partners they aim to minimise dependence, restore social functioning of disadvantaged and help in enhancement of self-sufficiency, and promotion of well-being.

Social Safety Net: involving governmental policies which aim to enhance financial security to the disadvantaged (Alhadad, H. (2017); Vasoo & Lee (2001); Sherraden (2003); Ng, (2010)).

Describe how the players are involved in the “Many Helping Hands” or the collaborative approach to social services in Singapore.

A community-based approach has been adopted by the Singapore government to provide social assistance to the vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of the society and the approach has been named as Many Helping Hands (MHH). This approach aims at developing self-reliance among the members of the society, promote their well-being and help in development of relationship between people and communities. The approach aims to achieve its goals through a partnership based approach which involves government on the one hand and the amalgam of different agencies (agencies like citizen groups, corporations, religious groups, community based organizations and many more ) on the other hand and which collaborate with a aim to help the disadvantaged (Alhadad, H. (2017). ). In order to maintain accountability the Singapore government has also created capacity-building bodies like National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and the Commissioner of Charities (COC). These bodies help in ensuring the proper applicability of MHH principles and thus ensure proper public accountability. Through MHH the service providers are enabled to provide educational packages covering areas of marriage and its preparation, proper parenting skills and providing financial counselling. Even the referral system is kept up to date where in individuals are referred to agencies like different ministries of government, hospitals, Family Service Centres (FSCs), and Legal Aid centres. It includes a wide variety of agencies like government agencies, schools, SHGs (self-help groups) and even Family members of the disadvantaged. With the help of a social worker the approach aims to develop a proper cooperative plan involving agencies with proper coordination and helping ensure that the family is receiving support (Mathi & Mohamed (2011); NSWCF)

A sub-discipline of social work, Medical social work is also known as hospital social work. Under this discipline medical social workers are ought to work with patients as well as their families in a hospital and also collaborates with other professionals from other disciplines which include  nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, speech therapist and recreational therapists in a collaborative and interdisciplinary manner. The role of medical social worker mainly depends upon assessment of psychosocial aspect of human being through various methods of counselling and therapeutic services. The medical social workers key roles are as following;

Along the continuum of care a medical social worker is said to conduct strength and risk assessment of individuals, groups, families, organisations and even communities.

She/he has to plan and try to deliver individual, group, and family, gender-specific, organisational, programmatic, culturally competent and community-based capacity building interventions. These interventions are aimed for the disease prevention, health promotion and for treatment and rehabilitation and even for continuing care.


She/he can participate as an interdisciplinary team member who is capable of engaging in coordination and case advocacy, collaboration and case-conferencing, able to assess, even implement and also maintain cultural competence in programmes and organisations; and able to addresses issues pertaining to social work in health settings.

She/he should be capable of working effectively within different communities and even in larger systems. They can build partnerships with all key community stakeholders for promoting health and preventing disease. They can engage themselves actively in advocacy, social action, community organising and legislative policy.

They can incorporate social work principles, values and ethics in their planning, while developing and implementing interventions along the gamut of care. (Alhadad, H. 2017)

As a social worker, an individual can provide various services in the primary healthcare settings where in he or she can get involved with individuals, or families, or groups and even communities. While stating the role of medical social workers in Singapore, he or she play a vital and dominant role in supporting patients who are going through their illnesses, and helps in developing as well as carrying out appropriate services and policies to support both patients as well as their families. In order to follow equity and fair distribution they can ensure that the limited resources are made easily accessible. Services like accessibility, Medifund assistance, and financial assistances can be made easily accessible and equitable. They can also do assessment of the bio psychosocial aspects of health and well-being. For instance, documenting and performing suicide, assessment and framing their intervention, making home visits. They can help patients with psychological needs by providing them counselling as well as therapeutic services. They can coordinate with other health care professionals and act in an inter-disciplinary manner and try to look for bio psychosocial factors that concern health and wellbeing and instances are case conferences and care planning. Besides that they also take part in community development and capacity building for example community organising and social action. While combining planning with assessment and subsequent review a social worker can perform proper management and can even allocate time for employing different skills like counselling, empathy and even practical help (Alhadad, H. (2017); Teo, P. (1994);WHO (2008) ).

Identify and describe three (3) social programmes or services that the government has introduced to meet the rising needs of Singapore’s ageing population. Apply your knowledge of each programme or service illustrating its target group, purpose and its features.

The Ministerial Committee is given the mandate to safeguard ageing population in Singapore. It primarily draws its base knowledge from the different committees who have worked in past and helped in creating a friendly environment for the senior citizens. In order to live an active, healthy and productive life the committee relies on basic pillars which focus on their participation, their health and their security (2016, Action-plan for aging population, 65)

Enhancing employability and financial security. Under this programme senior citizens are provided opportunities to remain employed and financially independent. The government takes adequate measures for the facilitation of the lifelong employability of the senior citizens. For instance enacted in 2012 Retirement and Reemployment act aims at providing opportunities to old aged workers so as to enable them to work beyond statutory time period which is beyond 60s.


Enabling ageing-in-place. Under this programme provisions are made for a barrier-free environment and enhancing public transport system which encompass all essential services for the elderly population in the community. Further with a view to meet the needs of elderly population the government of Singapore has come up with different initiatives like opening of care centres for senior citizens, group homes, help lines, counselling centres and protection teams for elders etc.

Providing holistic and affordable healthcare and eldercare. Under this programme it is ensured that appropriate measures are taken to cater needs of elderly in need of healthcare as well as eldercare. Launched in 2008 People Association’s Wellness Programme came with a mandate of providing health measures where in screening is done on regular basis and also physical exercise programmes are encouraged. In order to keep elderly mentally, physically and socially active different social interest groups are formulated. The Council of Third Age (C3A) in Singapore promotes active ageing through lifelong learning programmes and also promoting senior volunteerism. (Alhadad, H. (2017); Asher & Nandy (2008); Meng-Kin, L. (1998))



Ministry of Social and Family Development. (2014). ENABLING MASTERPLAN 2012 - 2016 (pp. 1-7).

NCSS - Our Story. (2017). Retrieved 16 May 2017, from

Mun, W. L., Tan, N., Chian, T. K., & Cheah, J. (2015). Ages and Stages: Five Decades of Community and Residential Services in Singapore. 'Singapore''s Health Care System': What 50 Years Have Achieved, 305.

Alhadad, H. (2017);  SWK107 Introduction to Social Services,

Mathi, B. R. A. E. M. A., & Mohamed, S. H. A. R. I. F. A. H. (2011). Unmet social needs in Singapore.

Meng-Kin, L. (1998). Health care systems m transition II. Singapore, Part I. An overview of health care systems in Singapore. Journal of Public Health Medicine, 20, 16-22.

Jeevanandam, L. (2009). Perspectives of intellectual disability in Asia: epidemiology, policy, and services for children and adults. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 22(5), 462-468.

Asher, M. G., & Nandy, A. (2008). Singapore's policy responses to ageing, inequality and poverty: An assessment. International Social Security Review, 61(1), 41-60.

Teo, P. (1994). The national policy on elderly people in Singapore. Ageing and Society, 14(03), 405-427

World Health Organization. (2006). The world health report: 2006: working together for health.

Social Service Institute. (2015). national social work competency framework. Retrieved on May 12 (2017)from

Vasoo, S., & Lee, J. (2001). Singapore: social development, housing and the Central Provident Fund. International Journal of Social Welfare, 10(4), 276-283.

Sherraden, M. (2003). Individual accounts in social security: can they be progressive?. International Journal of Social Welfare, 12(2), 97-107.

Ng, I. Y. (2010). Globalization intentions in tension: The case of Singapore. International Social Work, 53(5), 671-685.


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