Fostering In Singapore: What You Need To Know To Care For Kids In Need

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Although just a temporary care arrangement, fostering can be very rewarding for both the foster family and foster child.
By Seraphina Khoo
December 30, 2020

Fostering or Foster Care is a fabulous way to teach our very own kids about love, compassion, and caring for those in dire need. Before taking the big leap, it’s best to find out all that you can about fostering in Singapore – the schemes available, eligibility criteria, application procedures, training sessions, and financial support for foster parents.

What exactly is fostering or foster care? ​

It is essentially a temporary care arrangement between a foster parent and a foster child under the age of 18. The aim of foster care is to provide the child with a stable family life and event reunite the child with his/her natural parents.

Why would children be placed under foster care?

Kids under the age of 18 might be placed under foster care due to several reasons:
  • They have been abused, neglected or abandoned.
  • Their parents are unable to care for them as a result of:
    • Imprisonment;
    • Physical or mental illness; or
    • Death of one or both parents.
  • What fostering schemes are available in Singapore?

    There are two schemes available here – the MSF (Ministry of Social & Family Development) Fostering Scheme and Community-based Fostering Agencies.

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    • MSF Fostering Scheme

    The MSF Fostering Scheme provides alternative arrangement for kids who require a temporary home and an opportunity to grow up in a normal, stable family environment. Foster families not only cater to their physical needs but also emotional needs as well.

    Eligibility Criteria
    Applicants must:
  • Be a resident of Singapore
  • Be at least 25 years old and married
  • Be medically fit to care for children
  • Have a minimum monthly household income of S$2,000 and a per capita income (PCI) of at least S$700*
  • Have attained secondary school education
  • Have experience caring for and living with children and/or exhibit strong parenting skills;
  • Be willing to provide and ensure a child-safe home environment for the foster child.
  • Be willing to work with MSF and other professionals for the child’s best interest.
  • Application Procedures
    1. Online application – Click here for the online application form. Login to your Singpass, click on “I want to apply to be a volunteer” followed by “Foster Parent volunteer scheme”.

    2. Submit required documentation via email – Download the application form form and send the completed form to [email protected]
    Community-based Fostering Agencies

    Fostering has long been the handled by the MSF, but in order to provide better respite care for foster children and support foster families, partnerships have been forged with community agencies namely Epworth Community Services, Boys’ Town Sanctuary Care, PPIS Oasis, and Gracehaven Fostering. Visit their individual websites to find out more about their services and application procedures. Eligibility criteria is generally the same as those listed above for the MSF Fostering Scheme.

    Enjoy a pampering facial in Auriga Spa at Capella Singapore (Image from Capella Singapore's Instagram page).
    Not too sure how to go about fostering a child? Not to worry as training sessions are available to equip you with all the skills you need. Image Credit: Renz Kenneth

    What training sessions are available for first-time fostering parents?

    Under the MSF Fostering Scheme, a Foster Care Officer will be attached to every foster parent to provide guidance and support. Through regular phone calls and home visits, the officer will maintain regular contact to ensure that all your needs as a foster parent and the foster child’s needs are met. First-time foster parents also can sign up for training sessions in specific areas of fostering like Bonding and Attachment, Grief and Loss, Managing Challenges, Managing Closure, and more.

    Each Community-based Fostering Agency is also equipped with support services for foster parents and families. They also offering specialised training and support groups plus a 24/7 hotline in case of emergencies.

    Is there financial support for caring for a foster child?

    For sure! Both MSF and Community-Based Fostering Agencies all offer financial support to assist in the financial cost of caring for a foster child. Support includes Fostering Allowance as well as Childcare, Student Care and Medical Subsidies. This financial allowance ranges from S$936 or S$1,114 (for a child with special needs). This is to ease the daily expenses of the child and cover basic necessities such as food, clothing, education, tuition, transportation costs, and more.

    Each Community-based Fostering Agency is also equipped with support services for foster parents and families. They also offering specialised training and support groups plus a 24/7 hotline in case of emergencies.

    Where to find them:

    Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
    512 Thomson Rd, #11-00 MSF Building, Singapore 298136
    +65 6354 8799
    [email protected]

    Epworth Foster Care
    Block 153, Bukit Batok St 11, #04-284, Singapore 650153
    +65 6715 3725
    [email protected]

    Boys’ Town Sanctuary Care
    624 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 678212
    +65 6221 0588  |  +65 9177 3112
    [email protected]

    PPIS Oasis
    Blk 41, Chai Chee Street, #01-16, Singapore 461041
    +65 6817 6150
    [email protected]