Families and communities are the bedrock on which Singapore society and social policies are based. To individuals, families and communities are the primary sources of emotional, social, and financial support. At the broader national level, they are critical in contributing towards social stability and national cohesiveness, as they help to develop socially-responsible individuals and deepen the bond Singaporeans have with the country.
Through the lens of communitarianism, the family is a vital node in Singapore’s social safety net, being the “default” safeguard for individuals who are in need of social support. Beyond the family units, the community is also critical in social provision, in instances where individual and family efforts may be insufficient.
Looking ahead, these are the “likely known” trends that will shape the future of Singapore’s families and communities:
- Evolving structures of families with increasingly diverse needs (e.g. vulnerable families and multi-stressed families); and
- Rise in government’s social spending, coupled with the economic pressure of a shrinking workforce.
This theme seeks to explore and solution towards interventions that would better support vulnerable groups in Singapore, through building resilient families to serve as reliable sources of support for vulnerable individuals and empowering the community in coming together to form a broader network of support around these individuals. Interventions could include exploring alternative modalities of organising community support and delivering social care, and broader strategies that contribute towards economic inclusion and social mobility.