MSF ENCOURAGES NEW AND INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR A STRONGER SOCIAL SERVICE SECTOR
The Acting Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Chan Chun Sing, urged social service agencies and practitioners to stay open to new and innovative ideas to strengthen the social service sector. Minister Chan was speaking at the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) Members Conference on 15 August 2013.
A strong social service sector is one which delivers effective and coordinated services for the beneficiaries. While the sector has made progress in recent years, new and innovative ideas are needed to meet the social challenges ahead.
Manpower development is key to building a strong social service sector. The sector must continue to attract and retain a core of dedicated and competent professionals. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is exploring new ideas to help address the manpower challenges in the sector. For example, many Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) have shared that they lack resources to attract talent and provide compelling career development opportunities. There is scope to amalgamate resources to recruit selected groups of social services professionals centrally, provide development opportunities and deploy them to a variety of postings in different VWOs in the course of their career. Another idea is to provide more support for specialisation, by developing a core of social service professionals with deeper knowledge and specialised expertise. This group of specialists can address more complex issues and needs, and mentor and train others in the sector.
This is work in progress, and the MSF welcomes views and ideas from across the sector and beyond on how we can better tackle the manpower challenges in the social service sector.
On a related note, Minister also commended the NCSS for its good work as the umbrella organisation for VWOs. Its membership has grown from 140 in 1982 to over 400 today. Even so, NCSS needs to be dynamic and refresh itself constantly. In this regard, MSF is happy to note that NCSS has unveiled its new strategic thrusts to member VWOs following a six-month review of its priorities and strategies.