Epworth Foster Care

Epworth Community Services was appointed by the Ministry of Social & Family Development (MSF) in September 2015 to set up the first Fostering Agency in Singapore, Epworth Foster Care.

MSF hopes that by having Foster Agencies in the community, there will be better support foster families and more foster parents being recruited.

Our mission is to provide quality care and support to foster parents; and, connecting them to a wider network of resources. In this way, foster families are equipped to ensure the well-being and holistic development of foster children in the safe, nurturing and caring family environment; while the reintegration of these foster children with their natural families are being worked at.

  • 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?
    The most important criteria to be a foster parent is to be able to love these
    children and the desire to help them in their time of need. 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; and
    • Ensure the children attend all necessary medical appointments, counselling and physiotherapy sessions, etc.
    • Willing to work with Epworth, MSF and other professionals for the best interest of the foster child

Please note that the criteria listed above only serves as a guide. Epworth Foster Care/ MSF will assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

  • Support Available
    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
  • Get Involved
    • Become a foster parent
      • Send your contact details / request for an application form via the enquiry form (link to enquiry form) and we will get in touch with you.
      • You may also write us an email at fostercare@epworth.sg or contact us at 6715 3725
    • Volunteering Opportunities
      • 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 Epworth Foster Care 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.

  • Resources
    Tips For Foster Parents By Timmy and Cindy
  • Contact Us
    Tel: 6715 3725
    Email: fostercare@epworth.sg

    Google Map

FAQs

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.

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.

Fostering is a temporary care arrangement and our goal is to reunite the child with their natural parents. Foster children remain the legal children of their natural parents. However, in the rare event that a foster child has been abandoned or his/ her parents cannot be found, the foster parents may adopt the child if they meet the necessary criteria.

Fostering is a temporary care arrangement and our goal is to reunite the child with their natural parents. Typically, the shortest that a foster child stays with a foster family is about 6 months. However, the length of stay varies as it is dependent on the natural family’s ability to care for the child. Where reunion with the natural family has not been possible, there have been instances where the foster child has stayed on with the foster parents on a longer term basis. In all these considerations, the best interest of the child is the utmost priority.

We welcome applicants interested in fostering children of all ages. However, there is a shortage of foster parents who can care for children 7 years and older, as well as children with special and/or medical needs.

You can indicate the age and gender of children whom you feel you can best care for. Foster parents will be matched to a child according to the child’s needs and their ability to care for the child.

Please leave your contact number and email address via the enquiry form (link to enquiry form). We will get in touch with you shortly.

  • Copy of NRIC/Employment Pass/Dependent Pass of Male and Female Applicants
  • Copy of Birth Certificate/NRIC/Dependent Pass of Immediate and Household Family Members (including tenants and domestic helpers).
  • Copy of latest Payslip of main income earner. Employment Letter/Income Tax Return Form may be provided if payslip is unavailable.

When you apply to be a foster parent, you and your household members have to be assessed on your ability to meet the needs of the child. You will also undergo medical and other screenings. Home visits will be conducted to assess the home environment. The assessment process may take 2 – 3 months to complete. Once approved, you will be supported for the task and journey of fostering by going through a series of training.

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 safety requirements if you are caring for foster children from the age of toddlerhood to 12 years of age. If there are no window grilles and you are not able to install any, MSF will only be able to youths above the age of 12 years with you.

Yes. As we would like to minimise disruption to a child’s stay with the foster family as much as possible, expatriates who apply to be a foster parent should be set to remain in Singapore for a minimum of 3 years.

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.

Being patient and caring towards the child is very important to helping such children. Training will be provided for foster parents on topics such as helping children with trauma and attachment issues, or with emotional and behavioural needs. If a child requires professional help, their Child Protection Officer can refer them to a psychologist or counsellor at MSF or at a social service agency.

Before placement, Epworth social workers would normally work with the foster parents to assess if the placement of a particular child is a good fit. If there are issues, the social workers will work closely with the child and the foster family to try and resolve any issues which arise. If needed, other professional services such as counselling or psychological
assessments and interventions will also be provided. If all else fails however, alternative
care arrangements will be made for the child if that is assessed to be the best option. However, such changes are disruptive to the children. It is advised that foster parents think carefully and discuss with family members before accepting the placement.

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.

HOW TO DONATE

The important work of Epworth Community Services is funded primarily by generous well- wishers who strongly believe in our cause.

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