The Children in Care Service is responsible for the care of children and young persons in out-of-home care, or the placement and services given to children who must be removed from their homes and families due to safety reasons.
What We Do
Introduction to the Children in Care Service
Formed in 2013, the Children in Care Service (CIC) provides a coordinated strategy and oversight of the out-of-home care options and support services for children and young persons in out-of-home care. These children and young persons have been removed from their homes and families due to safety reasons. Two main types of out-of-home care options are foster care and residential care.
We have been working with sector partners to ensure that children and young persons can receive the care that will best meet their needs. We aim to bring about better outcomes by:
i. Growing a continuum of out-of-home care options with a focus on growing family and community-based care options;
ii. Developing the capability to undertake more specialised and intensive care for higher needs children; and
iii. Enabling reunification of children with families.
The development of the out-of-home care sector with diverse care options and services will enable children and young persons to receive an appropriate level of care based on their needs, as well as achieve the desired outcomes of safety, stability, timeliness to permanency, and well-being of the children and young persons. Out-of-home care placement adheres to the following principles:
i. Removing children and young persons from their homes is always the last resort.
ii. Out-of-home care placement decisions are guided by the best interests of the children and young persons in mind.
iii. Safe reunification of children and young persons with their natural family is a priority.
iv. Kinship care is considered first as it allows children and young persons to retain their identity and family bonds.
v. If kinship care is unavailable, foster care is considered next. It ensures that the children and young person grows up in a familial environment with individualised care and attention to support development.
vi. Residential care is considered for children and young persons with higher emotional and behavioural needs who may require more targeted, intensive and specialised intervention.
The Children in Care Service is involved in:
We set the strategic direction for the out-of-home care sector in Singapore. When we talk about sector development, we mean growing a strong, coordinated and integrated out-of-home care sector by regularly reviewing its policies and services, and creating new ones.
We provide foster care and oversee the Fostering Agencies in their care and delivery of services through:
- Direct foster care services such as case support of foster care placements, and other relevant services for children and young persons in foster care;
- Support and other relevant services for foster parents so they can give a warm and caring home to children in care; and
- Outreach, recruitment and assessment of new foster parents.
We currently need more foster families to care for special needs children, older children and sibling sets. Visit our website on fostering for more information: https://www.msf.gov.sg/Fostering
Voluntary Children’s Homes Resource Management
We work with Voluntary Children’s Homes (VCH) to enable them to deliver child-centric care for vulnerable children by providing support in operational day to day matters, through funding and promoting industry best practices.
Who We Help
Children and young persons need of out-of-home care due to the following reasons:
- Their parents have passed away.
- Their parents have been incarcerated.
- Their parents have physical or mental illnesses and are unable to care for them.
- Their families are facing financial difficulties and are unable to care for them.
- The children are victims of physical, emotional or even sexual abuse.
- The children are victims of neglect and abandonment.
Formed in 2013, the Children in Care Service (CIC) oversees and provides the strategic direction for the development of the out-of-home care sector to ensure that children and young persons will receive the care that best meets their needs.
Mr Tan Ko We
Our Partners & Programmes
Previously, the Government had been the sole provider of fostering services for vulnerable children and children in need. To provide greater quality care to our foster families, we have set up Fostering Agencies (FAs) in 2015. FAs are Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) that work together with MSF to provide fostering services to vulnerable children. We now have five FAs – namely with Epworth Community Services, Boys’ Town, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS), The Salvation Army and Muhammadiyah Association.
Recruitment of Foster Parents
CIC drives efforts to recruit potential foster parents by raising awareness on fostering in Singapore through media partnerships and roadshows as well as through working with community organisations and employers.
Currently, we need more foster families to care for special needs children, older children and sibling sets. Please visit our website on fostering for more information: https://www.msf.gov.sg/Fostering
Training Partnership with Social Service Institute
MSF has been partnering the Social Service Institute (SSI) since 2016 to formalise the training provided to foster parents and Fostering Agencies. Specialised training for the fostering sector was developed by blending CIC’s professional fostering expertise and SSI’s adult education capabilities. Training is held in the conducive, learner-friendly facilities of SSI.
See more: MSF- Social Service Institute (SSI) Partnership
Voluntary Children’s Homes
Run by VWOs, Voluntary Children’s Homes (VCH) seek to meet the needs of children and young persons through the provision of a supportive care environment created by residential care staff and social workers.
The list of VCHs can be found at https://www.msf.gov.sg/policies/Strong-and-Stable-Families/Nurturing-and-Protecting-the-Young/Child-Protection-Welfare/Pages/Children-and-Young-Persons-Homes.aspx
Safe and Strong Families
The most ideal environment for children and young persons to grow is in their own home, with their families. As part of ongoing efforts to strengthen family-based care and community support for vulnerable children, the Safe and Strong Families (SSF) pilot programme commenced in January 2017. To strengthen the family and preserve parent-child relationships, the SSF pilot programme will offer two services:
- The Family Preservation Service (SSF-P) provides support for children and young persons who are at risk of being removed from their families, providing them with intensive support to help them remain safely at home. The agencies providing SSF-P are Montfort Care, AMKFSC Community Services Ltd and Kampong Kapor Family Service Centre.
- The Family Reunification Service (SSF-R) provides support for children who have been placed in foster or residential care to reunite with their families. The agencies providing SSF-R are Singapore Children’s Society, Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, Boys’ Town, The Salvation Army and Muhammadiyah Association.
The SSF Service includes three key features:
i. Home-based service
ii. Services that are rendered for a limited time period
iii. Targeted, phased intervention
See more: Intensive Support Programme To Keep Vulnerable Children Together With Their Families (Press Release)