Start of content

Office of the Director of Social Welfare

The Office of the Director of Social Welfare (ODSW) has oversight on matters of social inclusion, social justice, human rights and issues that impact the quality of life of Singaporeans.

What We Do

1. Ensure Vulnerable Individuals and Groups Are Protected under Singapore Law 

The ODSW seeks to ensure that vulnerable groups such as children, women, elderly and destitute are protected from harm. 

We provide policy advice on new laws or proposed amendments to laws relating to social welfare. These include:

We also provide secretariat support to Panel Deputies appointed under the Mental Capacity Act. 

2. Uphold Standards of Professional Practice in Social Work 

We set the benchmarks for professional education and practice in social work. 

Working with our sector partners, we ensure high standards of social practice through the following initiatives:

  • National Social Work Competency Framework - Providing uniform benchmarks against which the skills of social workers are upgraded.
  • Code of Social Work Ethics - Providing guidelines on the professional duties and responsibilities of social workers.
  • Principal Social Workers Work Teams - Establishing leadership and areas of responsibility in the social work sector. 

3. Develop the Social Welfare Sector 

All our social workers get adequate training and supervision. Social work courses and accreditation are done in collaboration with:

  • Singapore Association of Social Workers
  • Institutions of Higher Learning for curriculum development and review 

4. Encourage Inter-Agency Cooperation and Integration 

We value and foster close working relationships among social service agencies by encouraging social workers to participate in:

  • Regional and international conferences on social welfare
  • Principal Social Workers’ Seminar
  • Dialogue sessions with social service practitioners

Who We Help

  • Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and their beneficiaries
  • The Singapore Association of Social Workers
  • Social workers

Our Initiatives

Principal Social Workers’ Seminar
Bringing together social work leaders from different sectors to drive initiatives, enhance the standard of practice and build a strong foundation of social work practice across the sector.
Letters to Social Work Students Series
A series of letters addressed to social work students and professionals by the Director of Social Welfare. The letters focus on current issues related to their course of study and the social work sector in Singapore.
Ethical Social Work
A website that aims to deepen awareness on ethical dimensions in social work practice. The site also offers monthly quizzes and commentaries from a workgroup of social workers.
Tuning in to the Leaders in the Profession
Veterans and senior leaders in the sector share stories about their journey into social work.
These dialogue sessions provide insights on social work education, practice, leadership development as well as the challenges and hopes for the profession.
Dialogues with Social Service Agencies
Regular dialogues held with social service practitioners which give the ODSW on-the-ground views about the practice.
Social Work Supervision Initiatives
Supervisors share knowledge and skills, and provide mentorship to social workers.

Our Team

Director
Ms Ang Bee Lian
Tel: 6354 8457
Email: ang_bee_lian@msf.gov.sg
contact details & team members