Day 7 of the 2022 Privilege Commission Debate: What you need to know
SINGAPORE — The Appropriations Committee’s deliberations resumed for the seventh day on Thursday March 9, allowing parliament to review each ministry’s spending plans following the release of the budget statement last month.
Members of Parliament (MPs) table ‘cuts’ to speak on matters within the purview of the various ministries.
Among the heads of government who took questions on Thursday March 10 were ministers overseeing the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) as well as the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
They announced several new initiatives, including mentoring for newlyweds and support to better rehabilitate perpetrators of domestic violence.
The MCCY also announced a new Para Sport Academy, which will provide aspiring para-athletes with a clear pathway to recreational participation in high-performance sport, as well as a new fund to promote transformative efforts in the arts and culture community. .
Here’s what you need to know.
Journey with You initiative for newlyweds: To support couples as they begin their married life, the ministry will partner with selected celebrants in a pilot program to mentor these couples during their first year of marriage.
This is after the success of a similar program for the Malay-Muslim community called Bersamamu. Mr. Masagos Zulkifli, Minister of Social and Family Development, said that with the foundations of a strong marriage, couples will be more confident and ready for parenthood.
For families with complex needs: The Strengthening Families [email protected] Service Centre, which supports families by bringing together marriage and divorce support programs and family counseling, will be expanded to 10 centers by the end of the year to respond to families showing signs of early stress.
For households with more complex needs, such as those involved in domestic violence, the ministry accepted 16 recommendations from a domestic violence task force and will implement them over the next few years.
Assessment of adoption practices: A Child Adoption Bill will be introduced this year following the Ministry’s consultation with various stakeholders and review of best practices around the world. Some practices it intends to adapt include requiring pre-adoption assessments and criminalizing undesirable practices.
Support to better rehabilitate the perpetrators of family violence: Psychologists trained in forensic science will be deployed to community agencies specializing in domestic violence by the end of the year. This is part of the Government’s approach to better rehabilitate the perpetrators of such offences.
The Women’s Charter will also be amended to allow for the establishment of mandatory assessment and treatment orders for abusers with mental health issues that contributed to the risk of domestic violence.
Improved SupportGoWhere portal: From the second quarter of 2022, people in need can apply online for the ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance program. The site allows Singaporeans to check their eligibility for different schemes, apply for assistance directly and receive updates on their application. MSF said that other programs will be gradually implemented thereafter.
Packages for the ComCare program: Families or individuals whose ComCare applications are approved will automatically be eligible for assistance programs from other government departments. They will not need to submit separate applications or additional documents. The first set of programs, which supports school children, will be rolled out in the second quarter of this year.
Support for people with disabilities: MSF Parliamentary Secretary Eric Chua said there is now a gap in services for adults with disabilities who do not attend any regular disability service after graduating from special schools. To fill this gap, the ministry will lead regional hubs.
The Enabling Services Hubs, co-funded by the Tote Board, will give people with disabilities over the age of 18 more options for flexible social and learning activities.
At the same time, Enabling Business Hubs will support people with disabilities who are employable and need longer-term, personalized support to work. Details on these pilots will be released later this year.
FoodConnect: The ministry launched the FoodConnect directory and database in February this year, as many charities and community groups show up to offer food support to families in need.
This platform allows households and social service agencies to search for food support organizations based on their location and food needs so that families can receive food that meets their needs.
Scaling ComLink: The Community Link (ComLink) program, which supports families and children living in public rental apartments, will be expanded and launched in 10 more cities over the next few months. It was launched in 11 cities last year.
To date, 74 ComLink programs have been introduced, including sports programs to engage young people, as well as support groups for parents.
Expansion of the Youth Mental Wellness Network: Recognizing that mental well-being is not just important for young people, the ministry will expand this network, which has developed and rolled out more than 20 grassroots projects over the past two years, to more segments of the population to s tackling mental health issues.
Extension of the Enduring Power of Attorney (LPA) Application Fee Waiver: Application fees for people wishing to apply for an LPA or appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf if they become mentally incompetent will be waived until March next year. This is in addition to the launch of a new online system from the Office of the Public Guardian, which allows people to apply for an LPA digitally.
Padang will be classified as a national monument: The National Heritage Board will do so on National Day, as the monument has witnessed many significant national events, such as the site of the first National Day Parade on August 9, 1966.