1. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) launched the Strengthening Families Programme@Family Service Centre (FAM@FSC) today, as part of MSF’s range of programmes and services to support and build strong families. The FAM@FSC brings together existing marriage and divorce support programmes and services, and introduces a new family counselling service for family relationship issues including marital, financial, parent-child issues, and ageing and extended families.
2. At the Committee of Supply (COS) 2021, MSF announced that we would be scaling up FAM@FSC from two pilot centres to 10 centres within the next three years. Four FAM@FSCs by AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Care Corner Singapore Ltd, Fei Yue Community Services, and Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities Limited have begun operations from October 2021, with one more by Montfort Care coming up in December 2021. The next five centres by Care Corner Singapore Ltd, Kampong Kapor Community Services, Lakeside Family Services, Methodist Welfare Services, and TRANS Family Services will be set up by end of 2022. When all the FAM@FSCs are set up, the family support landscape for couples and families with early risks will eventually comprise the 10 FAM@FSCs, two standalone Divorce Support Specialist Agencies (DSSAs) and three centres for Muslim marriages.
3. FAM@FSCs take a regional, integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to support families in a holistic way:
• Regional: Each FAM@FSC will be dedicated to one of 10 regions in Singapore to make it more convenient for families to seek help when needed. FAM@FSCs will also leverage online platforms to enhance accessibility to services, in the wake of COVID-19.
• Integrated: Within each region, the FAM@FSC will work closely with other service providers such as their respective Social Service Office (SSO) and FSC partners to ensure seamless service delivery, tighter referral processes and more holistic assistance to families, especially those with multiple and complex needs.
• Multi-disciplinary: FAM@FSCs will also bring together professionals trained in family counselling, financial counselling and psychology to better address families’ needs.
4. “From time to time, families will face challenges, and conflict can arise. Ongoing conflict and tension cause stress, damaging relationships with our loved ones. Together with the community, we are putting in place effective support services so families can get help early, as soon as cracks begin to appear,” said Minister of State for Social and Family Development, Ms Sun Xueling.
5. Besides the FAM@FSCs, MSF has also set up the Alliance for Action (AfA) to Strengthen Marriages and Family Relationships to ensure that families are well supported, mobilise ground up support, and plug gaps in the family support landscape. Said Dr Vincent Ng, the co-champion in the AfA that looks at support for single parents: “Families and marriages can sometimes come under strain, and some marriages unfortunately end up in divorce. Our AfA is committed to helping families achieve good outcomes especially for their children. The AfA is glad that FAM@FSCs are now available to help anyone in need of family counselling. We look forward to partnering FAM@FSCs in strengthening families and relationships.”
6. The launch of the FAM@FSC marked an important milestone for Singapore in strengthening families. We hope that by providing a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space, families facing relationship problems will reach out to FAM@FSCs for professional help.
7. Please visit www.msf.gov.sg/FAMatFSC for more information.