Family service centres: Government sets up new centres in three neighbourhoods

Three new family service centres will be set up in Ang Mo Kio, Potong Pasir and Jurong this year, bringing the total to 44.

Five other centres will be expanded and the Government will also look into opening more centres in areas such as Bedok, Geylang and Bukit Merah if the number of cases there continue to increase, said Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.

These centres are usually the first stop for residents who need social support or information and referral services, and they handle some 28,000 cases a year.

Mr Chan, who was speaking at the FSC Seminar 2013 at Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel on Friday, said the functions of these centres and the newly announced social service offices will not overlap.

Twenty social service centres - one-stop centres that will link residents with social services near their home - will be set up in the next two to three years.

He spelt out areas that the family service centres and social service offices can work together to ensure the needy get help quickly and easily.

Among other things, the offices will be the main co-ordinating point which refers cases that need intervention beyond financial help to the family service centres.

This will tighten the referral process and reduce confusion on the ground, he said.