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MSF Committee of Supply 2024: Empowering All Families to Achieve Their Aspirations

Type: Fact Sheets

Topic(s): Committee of Supply, Children & Families, Financial Assistance & Social Support, MSFCare Volunteers, Social Service Agencies & Partners, Social Service Professionals

Singaporeans’ Forward SG vision is for an inclusive and caring society, where no one gets left behind. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will strengthen our support for families with complex needs, such as lower-income families and families with persons with disabilities. We will do this by shifting our approach to focus on empowerment and by working with partners to support these families to achieve their aspirations.

Empowering lower-income families through ComLink+

1.          As part of the Forward SG exercise, MSF announced the shift from ComLink to ComLink+, which entails two key enhancements:

a.         Introduction of dedicated family coaches to coach, motivate and journey with families over the long-term. In order to better support our ComLink+ families, MSF is recruiting about 200 more family coaches, to add to our current pool of about 120.

b.         Providing additional financial support to families that do their part to improve their life outcomes via ComLink+ Progress Packages. These packages aim to recognise and supplement the efforts of ComLink+ families to improve their children’s preschool education, employment, household finances, and progress towards home ownership.

Expanding ComLink+ to more families

2.          Today, ComLink+ serves about 10,000 families with children in public rental housing that have agreed to work with us.

3.          From March 2024, we will extend ComLink+ to other lower-income families on KidSTART and UPLIFT Community Network (UCN), who are not residing in public rental housing. We aim to onboard around 3,000 eligible families on KidSTART and UCN to ComLink+ over the next few years.

Implementation of First ComLink+ Progress Package

4.          The ComLink+ Package for Preschool will be rolled out in the second half of 2024. With this first ComLink+ Package, eligible ComLink+ families can get a total of up to $3,700 worth of Child Development Account (CDA) top-ups for each child as follows:

a.         A one-time top-up of $500 to the CDA of each child who is enrolled in preschool in the year the child turns 3. Children in ComLink+ families who were born in 2021 or later will be eligible to receive this benefit.

b.         A $200 top-up for each quarter for each child aged 3 to 6 years old who attends preschool for at least 75% of the school days.

c.         All ComLink+ Package top-ups to the CDA enjoy matching contributions from the Government. This means each child can start primary school with up to an additional $7,400 in their CDA.

5.          The CDA top-ups for the ComLink+ Package for Preschool will be fully funded by DBS Foundation. As an anchor partner for ComLink+, DBS is an example of how corporates actively give back to society and positively impact communities.

6.          The remaining three packages for employment, debt clearance, and saving for home ownership will be rolled out subsequently. The ComLink+ Packages will be trialled for three years to assess their effectiveness.

Enabling Persons with Disabilities to Live and Work in the Community

7.          Guided by the Enabling Masterplan 2030, we will increase employment support towards achieving the 40% target employment rate of resident persons with disabilities by 2030, and provide resources to enable them to live in the community.

More Places under Place-and-Train Programme

8.          We will extend and incorporate the Place-and-Train (PnT) programme for persons with disabilities into our regular suite of employment support measures. We expect to place another 200 persons with disabilities in employment through the PnT programme over the next two years.

9.          The PnT programme was introduced in 2021 to enhance job and training opportunities for persons with disabilities. Employers receive 90% of salary support from the Government for up to one year for each hire under PnT. To encourage upskilling, these persons with disabilities also receive a 90% course fee subsidy for training courses.

10.         The PnT programme has supported the placement of more than 330 persons with disabilities in employment as of December 2023. More than 60% of persons with disabilities who completed the PnT programme remained employed with their host employers six months after PnT support ended.

More Places under Sheltered Workshops

11.         MSF will add 500 places in Sheltered Workshops (SWs) by 2030, up from the current 1,700. SWs enable persons with disabilities who are able to work, but are not yet ready for or unable to take up open employment, to receive work skills training and job support according to their needs.

12.         MSF will add about 100 SW places in 2024, in the existing APSN SW at Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub.

Increase places in Day Activity Centres

13.         MSF will increase Day Activity Centres (DAC) by 500 places by 2030, up from the current 1,800. For persons with disabilities with high support needs and who are not able to work, the DACs conduct social and recreational activities, and equip persons with disabilities with daily living and community living skills. This enables them to live more independently in the community.

14.         50 additional DAC places will be made available in 2025, as part of the planned expansion of the existing MINDS Jurong Training and Development Centre.

Increased Subsidies under Enabling Transport Subsidy Scheme

15.         Transport subsidies under the Enabling Transport Subsidy Scheme, administered by SG Enable, will also be increased from 1 April 2024, to ensure affordability of dedicated transport services, especially for wheelchair users and those from lower-income families.

16.         About 40% of persons with disabilities currently receiving the Enabling Transport Subsidy are expected to see a reduction in their out-of-pocket transport fees by 10% or more.

Launch of Enabling Services Hubs

17.         SG Enable will launch two more Enabling Services Hubs (ESH) at Jurong West and Punggol in 2025. These new ESHs will serve persons with disabilities in Jurong West and Punggol, Hougang, Sengkang and Serangoon towns. ESHs complement the current support services for adults with disabilities. They mobilise local communities to build inclusive neighbourhoods and strengthen support for persons with disabilities and their caregivers by working with community partners to offer a range of disability services and programmes, closer to where persons with disabilities live.

18.          The first ESH was launched in Tampines by SG Enable in collaboration with SPD in August 2023. To date, the first ESH has supported more than 140 persons with disabilities and caregivers living in Tampines and Bedok.

Glossary of Terms