Greater ease at seeking help with shared database for social service sector
Needy Singaporeans will find it easier to get help, with a shared database for the social service sector.
The integrated information system will be developed in two to three years.
The system will allow better integration of services among voluntary welfare organisations and related agencies.
At the annual conference for members of National Council of Social Service on Thursday, Acting Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Chan Chun Sing urged members to think of new ways to deal with future challenges.
Mr Chan said changing demographics, greater economic volatility and rising public expectations will only raise the complexity of the issues in time to come. So there's the need for current approaches to be refreshed in order to deliver better outcomes for those who need help.
One way is to set up a common database - similar to that of the healthcare sector's, where electronic medical records of patients are shared across the hospitals and polyclinics.
Mr Chan says such a system for social services will reduce hassle for those seeking help, and allow for better coordination among agencies in dealing with a case.
"The clients who are seeking help are already in need, so you don't want to make them repeat their stories over and over again, and you also want to make sure that the help by the different agencies are coordinated so that while they overlap each other to cover the gaps, there won't be too much of a overlap whereby we provide repeated services for some areas and other areas of need that are fully covered."
Mr Chan added that issues related to confidentiality and privacy will have to be worked out before the system is rolled out.
"So we will definitely need to respect that so in fact, that's one reason why we will take our time to work through some of these issues as to who has access to the data and who can share those data."
Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for MCYS, Seah Kian Peng says only critical information will be used for the database.
"I think the information that's required, will only be the key and critical information that's needed for this purpose. So I think concerns- the public need to be assured."
MCYS is also looking at different models for funding the infrastructure of VWOs as some are facing challenges in raising funds.
-By Hetty Musfirah
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