SGfuture dialogue held on the future of social services in Kembangan-Chai Chee

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Volunteers in the Kembangan-Chai Chee area could soon have a database of needy residents in the area to make sure the services that they provide do not overlap.

This was one of the ideas to improve volunteer services at Kembangan-Chai Chee that were raised on Tuesday (Feb 23) at an SGfuture dialogue.

The session, organised by the National Council of Social Services (NCSS), was attended by 50 representatives from voluntary welfare organisations, government agencies and corporations who have worked in the area.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, guest of honour, said sessions such as these will help Singapore figure out the kind of future the country wants to build.

"It is about what we want to be, who we want to be as a society. The kind of values we hold on to, the kind of character, the kind of qualities that we have both individually and as a society," he said.

Participants at the dialogue, held at the Future of Us exhibition, discussed the needs of the Kembangan-Chai Chee community and threw out suggestions on how to meet those needs.

Among participants' suggestions are: To rope in general practitioners in the area for the elderly's health needs instead of ferrying the seniors to doctors further away, and to have a registry of all elderly befrienders in the area who can then be matched by an agency to those who need help.

Some of these ideas may well be implemented.

Mr Rahul Shah, a grassroots volunteer with the Kembangan-Chai Chee Social Team, said feasible ideas may be turned into pilot programmes for the area.

The information sharing portal, for example, is something grassroots are already looking into.

"An information sharing mechanism will help with overlaps in key areas," he said.

kxinghui@sph.com.sg