To ask the Minister for Social and Family
Development (a) in each of the last three years, what is the number of social
workers in each Family Service Centre (FSC); (b) whether this number deviates
significantly from the capacity required at FSCs; (c) what is the number of
clients served by each FSC; (d) what is the social worker to client ratio at
each FSC; (e) what is the fluctuation in the number of clients across each
quarter; and (f) whether there are policy measures to allow FSCs to cope with
sudden increase in caseload, such as in times of crisis like COVID-19 or when a
community suffers significant disruption due to relocation.
Service Centres (FSCs) are community-based social services that support low-income
and vulnerable individuals and families to achieve independence, stability and
resilience, through social work intervention.
number of social workers in the FSCs has increased over the past few years, from
588 in 2017, 680 in 2018 and to 706 in 2019. This translates to an average of about
15 social workers per FSC in 2019, with the variance depending on the size and needs
of the town it serves.
caseloads vary across centres and are generally stable from quarter to quarter.
The FSCs see an annual average of 350 clients each, with social work
practitioners managing an average caseload of 23 in 2017, 25 in 2018 and 22 in
2019. Each FSC distributes the cases
among its staff according to the needs of their centre.
and NCSS work closely with our FSCs and Social Service Agencies (SSAs), both in
normalcy and during challenging periods like COVID-19. During this period, MSF
has been in regular contact with FSCs to understand their concerns, and issues
advisories to FSCs on the precautionary measures to be taken to cope with the
evolving situation. MSF also provides funding to FSCs based on their caseloads,
with more funding provided for complex and high-risk cases. This ensures that
FSCs have the resources and flexibility to hire more staff when needed.
addition to the support measures announced in the Resilience Budget, FSCs being
NCSS member agencies are eligible to claim $3,000 from the Community Chest to
help them cope with COVID-19-related expenses. NCSS will also support SSAs in
adopting digital tools through the existing VWOs-Charities Capability Fund, and
these tools can enable FSCs to continue serving clients remotely during this
period. SSAs can also tap on the SG United portal to recruit volunteers to
augment their manpower, to support them during this period.
will continue to work closely with the FSCs to support them and their clients
during this challenging season.