Families will be better served through a regional, integrated and multi-disciplinary approach
1 The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will be rolling out 10 Strengthening Families Programme @ Family Service Centres (FAM@FSCs) that will be established at various locations across Singapore over the next three years.
2 MSF has put in place a continuum of family programmes and services from upstream preventive initiatives to supporting families with early risks to helping those who have complex and multiple issues. The FAM@FSC initiative is part of this continuum, targeting couples who may face greater challenges and families showing early signs of stress. FAM@FSCs will consolidate existing programmes in the areas of marriage and divorce. These include marriage preparation and support for couples in early marriages and transnational marriages, and the programmes offered by the Divorce Support Specialist Agencies. MSF will also introduce a new family counselling service at the FAM@FSCs to address family relationship and marital issues.
3 FAM@FSCs will 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 The establishment of FAM@FSCs follows MSF’s successful pilot in 2019, with partners Care Corner Singapore Ltd and Fei Yue Community Services. In the pilot, the two Social Service Agencies (SSAs) delivered marriage, parenting and divorce support services as one programme, and were able to refer clients more seamlessly across the services. “This model enables us to support our clients better as we have central oversight for service integration, practice standards and community outreach. For clients with multiple needs, counsellors across the different services are able to coordinate and spread out the sessions to prevent overwhelming them,” said Ms Marie Yeo, Cluster Head of Strengthening Families Programme@FamilyService Centre (Fei Yue - Choa Chu Kang).
Five FAM@FSCs in 2021
5 In the last quarter of 2021, MSF will scale up the FAM@FSC with the planned appointment of three additional SSAs as FAM@FSCs. The service providers for the remaining five FAM@FSCs will be appointed from FY2022 onwards. MSF will also work with the Singapore University of Social Science (SUSS) and community partners to support the SSAs in their recruitment, capability building and training needs.
6 Families may also approach MSF’s free online counselling service run by the Community Psychology Hub at www.cphonlinecounselling.sg.
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