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Strengthening the Social Service Sector

Type: Fact Sheets

Topic(s): Committee of Supply, Social Service Agencies & Partners, Social Service Professionals


1. The social service sector can look forward to more sustained funding support for social service programmes, as well as more coordinated efforts to drive manpower development in the sector. The Tote Board has committed $580 million to the Tote Board Social Service Fund (TBSSF) over the next four years – the largest tranche since its inception in 2006 – which will fund social service programmes for vulnerable groups. To further support social service professionals in their professional development and training, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will set up a Social Service SkillsFuture Tripartite Taskforce (STT).

Tote Board Social Service Fund (TBSSF)

2. The TBSSF supports social service programmes for vulnerable families, children and youth, seniors, persons with disabilities and persons with mental health conditions. This is in line with Tote Board’s objective of providing equitable opportunities for vulnerable groups. Administered by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), the Fund provides grants to Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) to complement their fundraising efforts and enable them to focus on service delivery.

3. The TBSSF was set up in Financial Year (FY) 2006, and has been renewed for five tranches, including the latest FY2019-2022 tranche. In total, the Tote Board has pledged a total of $1.56 billion to the TBSSF from FY2006 to FY2022. In the FY2016-2018 Tranche, the TBSSF supported more than 87,300 beneficiaries annually, such as vulnerable families, children and youth, seniors, persons with disabilities and persons with mental health conditions.

4. Tote Board is contributing $580 million for the FY2019-2022 Tranche, and will extend the length of the tranche from 3 years to 4 years. The extension will provide greater assurance of continuity of funding to VWOs. On an annual basis, the new tranche is a 24% increase over the FY2016-2018 tranche. This represents the largest commitment to the TBSSF since its inception. The increase in funding reflects the growing demands on the social service sector. The funds will complement government efforts in providing resources for the social service sector, enabling VWOs to scale social service programmes and develop new and innovative programmes to serve growing areas of need.

SkillsFuture Tripartite Taskforce (STT)

5. In addition to securing funding for social service programmes, MSF will be doing more to ensure that social service professionals are well-equipped with the skills and competencies to meet the increasing demands on the social service sector. The STT will be set up to coordinate and drive skills development initiatives in the social service sector.

6. The Taskforce will comprise representatives from tripartite partners in the VWOs, Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) and Post-Secondary Education Institutions (PSEIs), Professional Associations and Government agencies including MSF and NCSS.

7. The Taskforce will build on the recently-launched Skills Framework for Social Service to ensure that training programmes and curricula are relevant for the market, and up-to-date. It will review existing entry and training pathways that allow for career progression, and work on joint projects to strengthen evidence-based practices. For better service outcomes, the taskforce will boost our existing efforts to build capabilities and strengthen professional practices in the sector.


Annexes - Strengthening the Social Service Sector .pdf