Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong asked the Minister for Social and Family Development what additional respite options and support for caregivers in the community are planned to help them care for loved ones with disabilities.
Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: The respite care options currently available for caregivers of persons with disabilities include Special Student Care Centres that provide before-and-after school care services for children in Special Education schools aged seven to 18 years, Day Activity Centre part-time and full-time programmes for adults with disabilities aged 18 years and above, and short-term residential respite care at Children Disability Homes and Adult Disability Homes.
Caregivers of persons with disabilities may also be eligible for the Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) levy concession which reduces the levy for hiring an MDW from $300 per month to $60 per month. They may also benefit from the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG), to defray caregiving costs. The HCG quantum will be increased from the current $200 a month, to up to $400 a month in 2023.
As mentioned in the recently launched Enabling Masterplan 2030 (EMP2030), we will be piloting Enabling Services Hubs, or “ESH” for short. The ESH pilot will offer a drop-in respite care option for caregivers, as well as social and learning activities for persons with disabilities. This will not only enable persons with disabilities to maintain their community living skills, but also free up their caregivers for a few hours during the day. We are working on setting up the first ESH and will share more details when ready.
In line with the recommendations of the EMP2030, we will continue to work with social service agencies and other stakeholders to enhance respite options and support for caregivers of persons with disabilities. As we progress towards being an inclusive society, let us all look out for persons with disabilities and their families around us, and offer them our care and support as well.
Ministry of Social and Family Development
12 September 2022