Number of children in foster care and number of registered foster parents in the last three years
Mr Chong Kee Hiong
MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the number of children in foster care and the number of registered foster parents in the last three years; (b) whether the Ministry is on track to achieve its target of 500 foster families for 2019; and (c) what measures are planned to boost the number of successful fostering cases.
1. As at June 2019, we had 510 foster families, exceeding our target of 500 foster families. This is an increase of almost a third since June 2016, when there were around 390 foster families.
2. There were 542 children in foster care as of June 2019, compared to around 390 foster children in June 2016. This is an increase of around 40% over the past three years.
3. About 47% of children in care are looked after by foster families today. Our goal is to place two-thirds of such children in family-based care. To do this, we are taking a multi-pronged approach.
4. Firstly, MSF is working with Fostering Agencies, community organisations, religious groups and private organisations to raise awareness about fostering. We are also grateful that some of our foster parents readily step forward to share their experiences with interested families.
5. Secondly, MSF will continue to provide close support to foster parents throughout their journey. For example, we provide preparatory training to prepare foster parents before children are placed with them. Case workers and other professionals also provide assistance and support to the foster parents during the period of care.
6. We invite people who are keen to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable children through fostering to contact MSF to register their interest and find out more about foster care.