At least 95% of those in need can soon access social services within 2km

At least 95 per cent of those in need will be able to access social services within two km of where they live or work once the network of Social Service Offices (SSOs) is up, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing on Thursday.

"We are using geo-spatial systems to plan for all the centres so that they are more accessible to needy residents," said Mr Chan on the sidelines of the official launch of a new SSO in Choa Chu Kang.

He also revealed that nine new SSOs will be set up this year.

Apart from the previously announced launch of four offices in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Queenstown and Sengkang by June, the other five offices will be in Yishun, Taman Jurong, Bukit Panjang, Clementi and Serangoon.

The SSOs, which are run by his ministry, will work with voluntary welfare organisations and community partners in their areas to better coordinate the provision of social services.

The Choa Chu Kang office is one of 10 SSOs that have been set up since last year to serve various parts of the island. Five of them are co-located with the five Community Development Councils (CDCs). The plan is to create a network of 20 such offices - one for each of the bigger HDB towns.

Health Minister and MP for Choa Chu Kang GRC Gan Kim Yong, who also officiated at the launch, said the new office in his constituency is an "important development" which has a "very good location".

"It is very close and convenient for the residents as it is just across Block 9, a rental block," said Mr Gan.

"It provides a one-stop service in bringing help right to the doorstep of our residents."