People decide to become foster carers for different reasons but often it comes down to this: they want to make a difference in a child's life.
Many children need foster care through no fault of their own. They may have been abused or perhaps their birth parents are no longer able to look after them.
Placing a young person in a foster home with the right levels of attention and support, gives them the opportunity to rebuild their lives and find security, stability and the belief that they can have a secure future.
In an effort to raise awareness and activate the community to get involved in fostering, Focus on the Family Singapore has launched a new initiative called “Foster Our Future” to help educate those who are interested in providing foster care about the issues surrounding fostering in Singapore as well as the positive impact it can have on both the child and foster families.
Below is a quick Q&A about fostering in Singapore. If you have other questions, by all means send them to us via the contact form and we will get representatives from Focus on the Family Singapore to respond.
Q: Will I get to choose the age and/or sex of the child placed in my home?
A: You may indicate your preference on the age and sex of the child placed in your home. The Ministry of Social and Family Development will do their best to match you to a child, depending on his/her needs and your ability to care for the child. There is currently a need for more foster parents who are able to care for children who are 7 years and older, as well as children with special needs.
Q: Will I meet the child before he/she is placed in my home?
A: Under the Ministry of Social Development and Family (MSF) fostering scheme, once your application to become foster parents is approved, the caseworker will bring him/her to your home. For more information, please email [email protected].
Q: How much does it cost to be a foster parent?
A: According to the current fostering scheme, MSF will provide you with a monthly allowance of S$936 or S$1,114 (For a child with special needs). The allowance will cover the daily expenses of the child including food, clothing, education, tuition, transport, etc. Childcare and medical subsidies will also be provided.
Q: Can single people apply to be foster parents?
A: According to the application eligibility and process guidelines stated by the MSF, there is a preference of having married couples foster a child. However, this criteria only serves as a general guide and applicants, will be accessed on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Why are the children in foster care?
A: Children require foster care because (i) their parents are unable to care for them, at least for a period of time, due to physical/mental illness, incarceration, or life circumstances; or (ii) they have been mistreated or abandoned by their parents. We hope to provide loving and supportive homes for these children through foster care so that they can experience the love of a family.
Alternatively, you can visit this link to download the Foster Our Future eBooklet to find out more about the issue of fostering.
You can also watch this locally produced video featuring foster families sharing about the joys and the struggles in their fostering journey, and how their lives have been changed forever when they made the decision to open their hears and their home. Or read inspiring fostering stories at family.org.sg/FosterOurFuture.
Community Ambassador; as someone who was raised in a rather privileged family, I hope to address the inequity in educational outcomes based on the circumstance of birth. Bounced around between Australia and Singapore a fair bit.