Social service challenges - 'Integration, and developing new generation of professionals'

Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development, gestures during a visit to the KLC School of Education on July 18, 2013. Mr Chan said on Sept 19 that integration of services and developing a new generation of social service professiona
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development, gestures during a visit to the KLC School of Education on July 18, 2013. Mr Chan said on Sept 19 that integration of services and developing a new generation of social service professionals such as social workers and psychologists are some challenges the sector will face in the future. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG  

Integration of services and developing a new generation of social service professionals such as social workers and psychologists are some challenges the sector will face in the future, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing.

For example, in terms of integration, agencies need to work together to "provide holistic help" to those in need as they often need help in more than one area.

"There is much more that we need to do, and much more that we can do," said the minister, who was the guest of honour at an inaugural symposium organised by Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centres and Singapore Institute of Management University on Thursday.

About 200 social service professionals took part in the symposium, which aims to provide a platform for those in the industry to discuss emerging trends and challenges the sector face and to share best practices.

A major bugbear for the sector is the shortage of manpower. according to the Ministry of Social and Family Development, there is an annual shortfall of about 150 social workers.