Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how many cases are reported to the Adult Protective Service and the Child Protective Service in each year between 2020 and 2022 respectively; (b) how effective has the Strengthening Families Programme @ FSCs been so far since its inception, especially in reducing potential cases requiring the assistance of the Adult Protective Service and the Child Protective Service; and (c) what have been the most effective steps taken in preventing new cases of family violence or abuse.
The number of enquiries received by the Adult Protective Service and the Child Protective Service is available on MSF’s website.
2. MSF’s Strengthening Families Programme @ Family Service Centre (or FAM@FSC) supports couples who may face greater challenges in their marriage and families showing early signs of stress. Not all such marriages involve violence or abuse. However, where further support is required, families are referred to other services, such as Protection Specialist Centres and Family Service Centres.
3. Tackling family violence requires a multi-pronged approach. First, we invest in public education such as the ‘Break the Silence’ campaign. Second, we help professionals and volunteers in the community to better detect family violence, through training. Third, Social Service Offices and social service agencies reach out to families who may have a higher risk of experiencing family violence and refer them to appropriate services. Fourth, we inculcate in the young positive behaviours that build healthy and respectful relationships, through age-appropriate material. Lastly, we help couples who may require greater support, such as young couples, to build a strong marriage foundation through marriage preparation programmes. Such programmes help couples understand better how they can build healthy relationship skills, and be more aware of family violence and how to seek help.
4. The multi-stakeholder Taskforce on Family Violence, which was set up in February 2020, had proposed a comprehensive set of recommendations to tackle the various aspects of family violence, from upstream prevention and detection, to efforts to ensure the protection of survivors, and the accountability and rehabilitation of perpetrators. The Government has accepted, in principle, all the Taskforce’s recommendations in October 2021, and is progressively implementing them.