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Role of the Special Needs Trust Company

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Disability Services

9 July 2018


Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef
MP for Marine Parade GRC

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what are the details and framework of the workings of The Special Needs Trust Company, in particular its objectives, potential partnerships and alignment with SG Enable.

1. The Special Needs Trust Company is the only non-profit trust company in Singapore that provides affordable trust management services for persons with special needs. It is a registered Charity and an Institution of a Public Character.

2. SNTC plays an important role in supporting caregivers in planning for the long-term financial and care needs of their dependants with special needs. Through SNTC’s trust and care planning services, caregivers can safeguard the monies they intend to leave behind for their special needs dependants.

3. SNTC is backed by a team of Case Managers who work with the caregivers to develop a Care Plan for their special needs dependant. The Care Plan projects the amount to be set aside in the trust to provide for the dependant’s long-term needs. During the caregiver’s lifetime, SNTC will review the Care Plan with the caregiver to ensure its relevance to the evolving needs of the dependant. Following the demise or incapacity of the caregiver, SNTC will make home visits to check on the well-being of the dependant, monitor the trust funds and continue to review the Care Plan with the appointed caregiver.

4. SNTC works with community partners including the Social Service Offices, to reach out to caregivers of persons with disabilities. It plans to partner more stakeholders, such as the special education (SPED) schools, hospitals, family service centres, the Institute of Financial Literacy and lawyers to educate caregivers on the importance of planning ahead for their loved ones with special needs. In addition, SNTC will be building networks with professionals such as financial advisors so as to better advise clients who have dependants with disabilities.

5. SG Enable aims to help persons with disabilities find employment. It is also taking on the role of building a network of support for caregivers of persons with disabilities, without duplicating the roles played by existing disability service providers and SNTC.

6. MSF will draw on synergies between SNTC and SG Enable in supporting caregivers. For instance, SNTC clients will be able to reach out to other caregivers at the SG Enable Caregivers’ Space at the Enabling Village, which will be set up by end 2018. Information on SNTC schemes is already available on SG Enable’s website.

7. MSF also announced at this year’s Committee of Supply (COS) that ComCare applicants with disabilities will be able to get information on schemes and services for persons with disabilities, such as those offered by SNTC and SG Enable, at the Social Service Offices (SSOs) from the third quarter of this year. By the end of this year, the SSO at Geylang Serai will also pilot video-conferencing links with SNTC and SG Enable, so that ComCare applicants who are caregivers for persons with disabilities or who are themselves persons with disabilities will be able to consult SNTC and SG Enable staff without having to travel to SNTC’s or SG Enable’s offices unless necessary.