SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Social and Family Development MSF said on Saturday that it will increase the allowance given to foster families from Sep 1 to better support them in caring for foster children.
The monthly allowance will increase from S $936 to S $1,100 for most foster children, and from S $1,114 to S $1,500 for foster children with special needs.
The fostering allowance is intended to help foster families defray the out-of- pocket costs of caring for a foster child, said MSF in a press statement.
The increase in fostering allowance for children with special needs will help with the children's therapy, intervention and transport needs. It said that this is in line with the ministry's efforts to help children in need grow up in safe and nurturing homes.
The rates will take effect on Sep 1 and benefit foster families caring for about 550 foster children.
This additional support will amount to S 1.5 million annually.
MSF said in 2013 the proportion of children cared for by foster families has gone from 29 per cent to 51 per cent in 2021.
The number of foster families has doubled in the past 10 years, according to the report.
The fostering allowance is part of a series of measures to bolster support in caring for foster children, which includes childcare and healthcare subsidies, childcare leave and support from social workers, said Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli.
The increase in allowance and ongoing efforts to grow the fostering community supports MSF's vision to place more children in family-based care instead of institutional care.
Foster families care for children in need on a temporary basis. When it is safe to do so, the foster children are reunited with their biological families.