Social services, assistance schemes should be based on social behaviours

Designing social services and assistance schemes should be based on a more in-depth understanding of human instincts and social behaviours, said Acting Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday.

Besides helping people with their immediate needs, these individuals should be helped to get back on their feet, to "stand tall and be independent again" so they can look after ourselves, he added. Social assistance programmes must also be sustainable over the long term, so as not to burden the current or future generations.

Mr Chan was addressing about 300 social service practitioners, policymakers and academics at a MSF-Civil Service College Singapore (MSF-CSC) Social Sector Conference on Tuesday.

The one-day conference was attended by overseas guests including keynote speakers, chairman of the New South Wales Public Service Commission Advisory Board in Australia, Professor Peter Shergold, , and director of the Behavioural Insights Team at the UK Cabinet Office, Dr David Halpern.