New social service office in Pasir Ris officially opened

(From left) Deputy Prime Minster Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari launching the new social services centre in Pasir Ris on Aug 27, 2015.
(From left) Deputy Prime Minster Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin and Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari launching the new social services centre in Pasir Ris on Aug 27, 2015.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - A new social service office was officially opened in Pasir Ris on Thursday.

Based at Pasir Ris Sports and Recreation Centre, it is the 22nd such office to be opened by the Ministry of Social and Family Development since mid-2013.

The offices work with voluntary welfare organisations and community partners in their areas to better coordinate the social services.

Along with family service centres islandwide, the offices will put help within 2km of where 95 per cent of needy residents live or work. Two more offices are expected to be ready by the end of the year.

The Pasir Ris office has been in operation since June, and serves more than 137,000 residents in the area. In July, it piloted an after-school programme to help latchkey children from low-income families, in response to feedback that there was a lack of such programmes.

It worked with the Pasir Ris Family Service Centre to organise the WonderKids programme for eight children, aged nine to 12, living in a rental block in Pasir Ris.

Fifteen student leaders from Hai Sing Catholic School volunteered to help out.

Once a week, for three hours, the children take part in games, study sessions and outdoor excursions. The 10-week programme could be expanded to help more children.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin was the guest of honour at the event. Also in attendance were Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MPs Teo Chee Hean and Zainal Sapari.