- POSTED: 16 Sep 2013 23:38
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Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said his ministry is looking to expand its fostering scheme for children in need of a home.
SINGAPORE: Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing said his ministry is looking to expand its fostering scheme for children in need of a home.
As of September 2013, there are 241 foster parents caring for 314 children who are usually abandoned, neglected or ill-treated by their parents.
Mr Chan was responding to MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Dr Lily Neo, who had filed an adjournment motion for more help for disadvantaged children.
They include reserving some places in good preschools and identifying vulnerable children for intervention programmes as early as at birth registration.
Dr Neo said this would prevent the authorities to lose track of these children.
She added the aim is to follow up on such families with specially assigned social workers and to offer assistance to those with less favourable home environments.
Mr Chan said the ministry can and wants to do much more in terms of upfront prevention and intervention.
He said: "We are very keenly aware that we are not dealing with statistics, we are dealing with people's lives. We must always act in the best interests of the child, be it in the case of marital conflicts, divorce proceedings, or fight over the child's custody.
"But we cannot do this alone. We cannot rely on policies and institutions alone. We need everybody to join hands and open our hearts, and open perhaps our homes to some of these children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"Most importantly, we need quality and quantity manpower and this is where we'll like to put in much more effort to attract Singaporeans to come and join us."