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Steps Taken to Ensure Continual Access of Children-in-care in View of Social Distancing Rules

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Children & Families, Rehabilitation


Dr Wan Rizal
MP for Jalan Besar GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what steps have been taken to ensure continual access of natural parents and children-in-care during the period whereby social distancing between households are enforced.

Answer

1 During the Circuit Breaker period, MSF continued to facilitate interaction between children-in-care and their natural parents. This is important to maintain the family ties between the children and their families and to facilitate the children’s eventual reunification with their families.

2 In line with the safe management measures implemented during the Circuit Breaker period, caseworkers and foster families continued to facilitate access virtually through videoconferencing or phone calls for the children to maintain regular contact with their natural families. Caseworkers also had more frequent virtual check-ins with the children to ensure their well-being.

3 In the post-Circuit Breaker period, children in foster care are granted home leave to visit their natural families in their homes. The natural parents must declare the health situation of the family before any visit. For instance, there must not be any household member feeling unwell, or under a Home Quarantine Order, Leave of Absence, or Stay-Home Notice. Caseworkers will also request for periodic updates on the natural family’s health.