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Singapore Government

Navigation of Services and Caregiver Support

Navigation of Services and Caregiver Support

Header banner for Navigation of services and caregiver support, depicting a person with disability, a caregiver, and an SG Enable staff having a conversation.

Navigation of Services

In 2008, then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) set up the Centre for Enabled Living (CEL) as the first-stop centre for the elderly and persons with disabilities and caregivers.
  • CEL provided referrals to disability services, as well as information, resources and support.
  • It provided public education and advocated the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.

In 2013, CEL was repositioned to focus on enabling persons with disabilities, and renamed SG Enable.
  • SG Enable was set up with the key functions of
    1. Enhancing information and referral services for adult and child disability schemes
    2. Administering government grants and support to persons with disabilities and their caregivers
    3. Improving transition management across different life stages
    4. Enhancing employability and employment options for persons with disabilities.
    5. Rallying stakeholder support in enabling persons with disabilities

In 2015, MSF and SG Enable opened the Enabling Village at 20 Lengkok Bahru, Singapore’s first inclusive community space dedicated to integrating persons with disabilities in the community.
  • The Enabling Village is the first inclusive community space in Singapore with a special focus on training and employment for persons with disabilities. Located in Redhill, it offers amenities, retail and lifestyle options to the public, run by by social businesses that train and hire persons with disabilities. The Enabling Village catalyses social innovations by starting and showcasing inclusion models such as the first inclusive preschool and a community gym with specialised equipment and fitness programmes for persons with disabilities and the elderly. The Enabling Village also houses an assistive technology resource centre that promotes the use of assistive technology to enable greater independence for persons with disabilities.
  • Since its opening in 2015, the universally-designed space has won several awards such as the President’s Design Award (Design of the Year) in 2016, the BCA Universal Design Mark Award (Platinum) in 2016, and Hong Kong’s Design for Asia Award (Grand Award with Special Mention) in 2017, and hosted many local and foreign guests and dignitaries who are keen to learn about disability inclusion.
  • The Enabling Village is a joint initiative by SG Enable and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. 

Caregiver Support

In 2005, then-MCYS piloted the Family Support Group Programme in 3 agencies: the AWWA Family Support Group programme, Down Syndrome Association and Rainbow Centre, for 3 years.
  • This programme provided social and emotional support through peer encouragement to support families of persons with disabilities.

In 2007, then-MCYS launched the Caregivers' Training Grant (CTG), which is now administered by the Agency for Integrated Care.
  • Caregivers can use the grant of $200 per year, per care recipient, to offset the training fees of  approved courses to equip themselves with the necessary skills in caring for the physical and emotional needs of their care recipients.

In 2007, then-MCYS and MOM extended the Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Levy Concession to include persons with disabilities.
  • The FDW Levy Concession supports households who need to hire an FDW to care for young persons, seniors, or persons with disabilities. Eligible households will pay a lower concessionary FDW levy of $60 a month, instead of $300. 

Care and Trust-Planning Services
In 2008, then-MCYS set up the Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC).
  • SNTC is a government-funded trust management service set up for persons with special needs. It works with parents and caregivers to project the future needs (e.g. future accommodation, education, medical) of their beneficiaries and develop a care plan. This prepares caregivers for a time when they are no longer able to care for their dependents.
  • If a trust is set up, SNTC will safeguard the monies deposited and disburse them to the beneficiary according to the caregiver’s wishes.

In 2012, then-MCYS launched the Special Needs Savings Scheme (SNSS).
  • This was set up to encourage parents to use their CPF savings for the long-term care of their children with special needs. Parents can nominate their children to receive monthly disbursements from their CPF savings after their demise.

Stronger eco-system of support for caregivers, with more readily available and accessible information

In December 2018, SG Enable set up the Caregivers Pod at the Enabling Village.
  • The Caregivers Pod is a dedicated multi-purpose space for caregivers to organise peer support group activities and training, and for stakeholders such as social service agencies (SSAs) and community partners to discuss caregiver support matters.
  • The Caregivers Pod also features a VR CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) for caregiver training and respite, a resource area where caregivers can read guidebooks or borrow caregiving-related e-books from the National Library Board, and a lounge with a child-play area that provides caregivers a space for respite.

In 2018, SG Enable launched CARElendar, a mobile app to help caregivers and persons with disabilities find inclusive events.
  • The app connected persons with disabilities and their families to inclusive community activities organised by partners like government organisations, SSAs and social enterprises.
  • After the launch of the Enabling Guide, SG Enable's first-stop resource portal for persons with disabilities and caregivers, CARElendar's function was merged into the Enabling Guide's event page.

In 2018, SG Enable initiated Peer to Peer (P2P) Mentor training for caregivers.
  • The P2P Mentor training coaches more experienced caregivers on providing support to fellow caregivers.

In 2019, SG Enable launched the Enabling Guide as a first-stop disability service and information online portal.
  • The Enabling Guide website provides information on disability schemes and services, and guides persons with disabilities, their caregivers, family members and friends in making informed decisions about different service options across various life stages. The Enabling Guide is also for community leaders, educators, healthcare providers and employers who want to learn about how to better support their constituents, students, patients and employees with disabilities.

Continued efforts to support and spur caregiver-led initiatives.
  • In November 2019, SG Enable supported the Inaugural Care Carnival organised by a group of caregivers. The Carnival sought to equip caregivers with useful skills/strategies to engage their child with special needs at home, and to link them with community partners to increase caregivers’ resources.
  • Nearly 500 participants attended the event, including caregivers, their loved ones, volunteers, and community partners.

In October 2020, SG Enable became the single touchpoint for disability services.
  • SG Enable took over the administration of disability programmes and initiatives that were run by MSF and the National Council of Social Service, including public education efforts on disability issues. The new single-touchpoint structure is aimed at improving efficiency, oversight and coordination of services.

For caregivers of persons with disabilities requiring care, we have developed new measures to (i) relieve caregiver burden through financial support and respite options, and (ii) provide greater peace of mind through future planning support

In October 2019, MOH launched the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) to offset caregiving costs for persons with permanent moderate disabilities living in the community.
  • HCG replaces the Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Grant (of $120 per month) with an enhanced quantum of $200 per month, to defray caregiving expenses such as the costs of hiring an FDW, home and community-based services, and transportation to medical appointments.

On 1 October 2020, MOH launched CareShield Life, a national long-term care insurance to provide basic financial protection should an individual become severely disabled.
  • CareShield Life supports Singapore residents born in 1980 or later. Singapore residents born in 1979 or earlier can choose to join CareShield Life from end-2021 if they are not severely disabled. CareShield Life policyholders will be able to benefit from the following features:
    • Lifetime cash payouts: CareShield Life policyholders can receive cash payouts for as long as they remain severely disabled (i.e. unable to perform at least three or more of the six Activities of Daily Living).
    • Payouts increase over time: Payouts start at $600 per month in 2020 and increase annually until age 67 or when a successful claim is made, whichever is earlier.
    • Use of MediSave for Premiums: Singapore Residents can use their MediSave to pay for their CareShield Life premiums and that of their spouse, parents, children, siblings, and grandparents.
    • Premium Support Measures: The Government will provide means-tested premium subsidies, and Additional Premium Support to help those who are still unable to afford premiums even after subsidies. No one will lose coverage because of an inability to pay their premiums.

On 1st October 2020, MOH launched MediSave Care for persons with severe disabilities.
  • MediSave Care supports Singapore residents aged 30 and above who are severely disabled to make monthly cash withdrawals of up to $200 per month from their own and/or their spouse’s MediSave accounts for their long-term care needs. The maximum monthly withdrawal amount allowed is dependent on the severely disabled individual and/or their spouse’s MediSave account balance.
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