Foster Connections@MCYC was officially appointed as a Fostering Agency by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in September 2015.
Our mission is to provide quality care and support to foster parents; and, connecting them to a wider network of resources. Foster families will be equipped with essential knowledge to provide quality care for foster children in a safe, nurturing and caring family environment. Together, we will work towards ensuring the well-being and holistic development of the foster children and their eventual reintegration with their natural families.
We also aim to broaden outreach and recruitment efforts and raise the awareness on the need of fostering in Singapore.
WHAT DO FOSTER PARENTS DO?
Children are placed in foster care when they are no longer able to stay safely with their own natural families or next-of-kin. Children placed on MSF’s fostering scheme require a safe, stable and nurturing home environment to grow and reach their potential. Foster parents provide these loving homes for these children and give them the care that will help them heal and grow. By being a foster parent, you will be providing a loving and caring family environment for vulnerable children in need of care. Foster parents can make a very positive impact in the lives of these children.
REASONS WHY CHILDREN COME INTO CARE
Children come into care for the following reasons:
• Children are victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
• Children are victims of neglect or abandonment
• Parents have passed away
• Parents have been incarcerated
• Parents suffer from physical or mental illness and are unable to care for their children
• Parents are facing financial difficulties or experiencing crisis in their lives
WHO CAN FOSTER?
Many of these children have been through a difficult time in their lives and need a safe environment to build a happy childhood.
Other criteria include:
- A resident of Singapore
- Preferably be married
- At least 25 years old
- Medically fit to care for children
- Minimum monthly household income of S$2,000
- Attained secondary school education
- Have experience caring for and living with children and/or exhibit strong parenting skills
- Prepared to protect and maintain child’s privacy
- Where appropriate, support the child in returning to his/her family
- Willing to provide and ensure a child-safe home environment for the foster child
- Ensure the children attend all necessary medical appointments, counselling and physiotherapy sessions, etc.
- Willing to work with MCYC, MSF and other professionals for the best interest of the foster child
Please note that the criteria listed above only serves as a guide. MCYC/MSF will assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.
- We support foster parents through regular home visits, telephone contact, specialised training and parents’ support groups.
- We also offer a 24/7 emergency hotline, volunteers to provide respite care, and a monthly fostering allowance to cover the daily expenses of the child such as food, clothing, education, tuition, transport expenses etc.
- MSF also provides every foster child with a Medical Fee Exemption Card (MFEC) to cover all medical expenses at polyclinics and Government hospitals. Foster parents who wish to place the foster child in a student, child, or infant care centre, subsidies will be provided as well.
HEAR THEIR STORIES
Become a foster parent
- Send your contact details / request for an application form here [link to form] and we will get in touch with you.
- You may also write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 6715 3725.
- Family Supporter
- Provide educational support, befriend the foster children and maintain regular contact with foster families, take the foster children for outings etc.
- Child Minder
- Help in areas such as planning and running programmes and looking after foster children while the foster parents attend parenting workshops and training sessions.
- Transport Minder
- Ferry foster child to therapy sessions, access sessions and other approved appointments.
- Outreach and Event Volunteer
- Support Foster Connections@MCYC at our publicity events/activities by distributing flyers and engaging the public to create more awareness about the Fostering Scheme.
Currently, we need more Transport Minders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fostering different from adoption?
Yes. A foster child keeps his/her own identity and continues to be a legal child of his/her natural parents. Foster parents help to care for these children until they are ready to be returned to the care of their own families.
Adoption, on the other hand, is a legal process where an adopted child assumes the rights of a natural child of the family. The family would assume the same responsibilities as they would for their own children.
Who are the children who require foster care?
Children who require foster care may have been hurt by abuse or neglect, or are unable to be cared for by their parents who may be ill, incarcerated or have passed away. As a foster parent, the love and care you provide to these children in a family environment will be vital to their healing, growth and development.
Can I adopt my foster child?
How long does a foster child usually stay with a foster family?
Where is the greatest need for foster parents now?
Can I choose the children I want to care for?
Application and Pre-requisites
Where can I find the application form?
What supporting documents do I need to submit together with my application form?
2) Copy of Birth Certificate/NRIC/Dependent Pass of Immediate and Household Family Members (including tenants and domestic helpers).
3) Copy of latest Payslip of main income earner. Employment Letter/Income Tax Return Form may be provided if payslip is unavailable.
How long will my application take to process?
Is having window grilles a pre-requisite of being a foster parent?
It is important for us to ensure a child-safe environment for foster children, as it is a huge responsibility to care for someone else’s children, especially in the light of several tragic cases of child deaths due to falls from windows. As a result, installing window grilles at home is one of our mandatory safety requirements if you are caring for foster children below 12 years of age. If there are no window grilles and you are not able to install any, MSF will only be able to place youths above the age of 12 years with you.
I am an expatriate. Can I apply to be a foster parent?
Can the foster child travel with their foster families?
Travel consent is subjected to the approval of the birth parents. Should consent not be granted, the foster child will be placed in the care of another MSF-registered foster family or MSF-approved respite carer for the duration.
How do I help a foster child who might be traumatised or who may have emotional problems?
What if I can’t cope with the behaviour of a foster child or if the foster child cannot fit into my family?
I spank my children if they misbehave. Can I spank my foster child too, since I am caring for them?
Physical punishment for foster children is not condoned. As these children may have gone through trauma, physical punishment may invoke unhappy memories and negative emotional reactions in the child. Instead, using positive parenting techniques such as setting boundaries, explaining consequences, time-out sessions and removing privileges will encourage good behaviour with the child.
If you have trouble coping with the behaviour of the foster child, our social workers can work with you to resolve any issues that the foster child may be presenting.
“Assigned as Kenneth’s Family Supporter at Foster Connections@MCYC, I would meet him for about two hours weekly. I was initially very nervous as I was unsure whether Kenneth and I could get along. The social worker, however, assured me that they had paired me with him as they felt that we had many common interests. True enough, we were able to get along very well. Each session, we would chat a little about his hobbies, and I would then help him with his school work.
Kenneth has very low confidence in his abilities, especially in his studies. It was only recently that I found a way to teach him methods to verify his work in order to gain confidence in himself. It worked, and my greatest reward was to see him smile with confidence, knowing with certainty that his assignment was correct.
I’ll say that it has been quite a rewarding challenge being a “big brother” to Kenneth. Perhaps part of the challenge comes from being inexperienced with interacting with children, and perhaps another part comes from having to figure out methods that would work for him. Although it has only been six weeks, I feel that I’ve matured a lot through my interactions with him. Having him in my life has been a profound change, because I now see myself as being responsible towards someone, and as someone that he can look up to as a role model.
I’m glad I signed up to be a Family Supporter!”Mr Sim Yeow Huat Jonathan, Fostering Volunteer
“FosterConnections@MCYC was introduced to us when we had a change of Social Worker from a Foster Care Officer (Ministry of Social & Family Development [MSF]) to Ms Sarah Wong (MCYC) in September 2015. This was when we found out that MCYC is not just a place or an organisation but offered extensive services such as counselling, conducting of parenting programmes and a place where you can seek help or advise.
Ms Sarah is a dedicated and approachable social worker whom I can count on when I needed a listening ear. The regular home visits conducted helped to build a stronger relationship between us. When we are faced with urgent issues, we would usually get a very quick response from her. It is very reassuring as a foster parent to know that she is always there for us. She would also constantly remind us to attend trainings whenever possible or when there are scheduled parenting trainings/ workshops. We have benefited from attending these workshops by MSF and we now know how to better manage these tricky situations.
It helps that we can always get the necessary help from our officers as it makes us feel supported as a foster parent. We are glad to be associated with MCYC and we truly appreciate their service to us and the community.”Mdm Siti Raziah, Foster Parent