1. What is 100 Homes?

100 Homes is a Christian movement that seeks to normalise fostering in Singapore. We partner various Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) appointed fostering agencies, a community respite care service, as well as a Christian fostering network to offer a holistic support to churches and families who are considering fostering, respite care or volunteering to help the children in need.

  1. Who are the fostering agencies and partners that 100 Homes works with?

100 Homes partners with 3 MSF appointed agencies – Salvation Army Gracehaven Fostering, Boys’ Town Fostering Services and Epworth Foster Care.

We also partner Sanctuary Care, a community respite care service by Boys’ Town. Additionally, we also work closely with Home for Good Singapore which is a network and community of Christian foster families in Singapore.

More info on each partner can be found on their respective websites.

  1. WHY DID WE CHOOSE THE NUMBER 100?

The number one hundred is inspired by the parable of the lost sheep found in the bible. The story speaks of a shepherd who owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away. Jesus shares how the shepherd loves each sheep so dearly that he leaves the ninety-nine on the hill and goes out to seek the one that is lost. When the shepherd he finds the missing one, his joy surpasses just seeing the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

In a similar way, we want to declare that every child is precious and every life matters. We want to inspire and call the church of Singapore to seek out the vulnerable children around us so that these children may get to experience the love and care of a family.

  1. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOSTERING AND ADOPTION?

Yes, a foster child remains as the legal child of his or her natural parents while an adopted child assumes the rights of a natural child of the family. Fostering is a temporary care arrangement and the ultimate goal is to reunite the child with his or her natural parents.

  1. WHAT IS RESPITE CARE?

Broadly, there are 2 types of respite care.

(i) Under the MSF fostering scheme, respite care refers to care given for brief periods of time when foster parents are unable to care for their foster child. For example, when the foster family is on overseas trip or if someone in the family is unwell and additional support is required during this period. The eligibility criteria for respite carer in this category would be the same as a foster parent.

(ii) Under Sanctuary Care, their Acute Respite Care (ARC) program provides community-based respite care services where interim support is offered to parents as they work towards resolving their own crisis (e.g., health issues, incarceration). This temporary care arrangement gives time to the families in crisis to make necessary arrangements to strengthen their long-term caregiving capacity without having to worry about the care and safety of their children.

The duration of respite care can range from a few hours up to 90 days. Some families require a one time care while others will benefit from a recurrent arrangement spread over a longer period of time. The children’s age in this program generally range from newborns to 8 years old.

Fostering

  1. WHO ARE THE CHILDREN WHO NEED FOSTER CARE?

In most cases, children are in foster care because they have been abused, neglected or aban-doned. Some of them also have parents who cannot care for them due to imprisonment, physical or mental illness or death of parent(s). These children can be as young as newborns and up to the age of 18 years old.

  1. HOW LONG DOES A FOSTER CHILD STAY WITH A FOSTER FAMILY?

The duration of foster care can range from a few months to a few years and varies from child to child depending on his or her family situation. The end goal of fostering is to reunite the children back to their natural families.

  1. WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE FOSTERING?

Here are some questions to help kick-start your consideration to foster:

  • Are my family and I ready to accept a foster child into our home?
  • Are we ready to commit to love the foster child as our own family member, to give them love and hope for an undefined period of time?
  • Are my spouse and I willing to work with the fostering agencies, social workers and other professionals for the child’s best interest?
  • Are we mentally prepared for the child to return to his / her natural family when the time comes?

  1. CAN I CHOOSE WHICH CHILD TO FOSTER?

You may indicate your preference on the gender and age of the child you wish to foster during the application process. Matching of the child will depend on his / her needs as well as your ability to care for the child.

  1. WHAT IS THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA TO BE A FOSTER PARENT UNDER THE MSF SCHEME?

As a foster parent, you should:

  • Be at least 25 years old and married
  • Be a resident of Singapore
  • Be medically fit to care for children
  • Have a minimum household income of $2,000 and a PCI of at least $700*
  • Have a secondary school education
  • Be willing to ensure a child-safe home environment
  • Have experience in caring for children

*PCI = Per Capita Income (Total household income / Total number of people in the household)

The criteria listed above serves as a guide and all applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the approved fostering agencies. The assessment process will also include multiple interviews, home visits and medical screenings.

  1. IS THERE A TRIAL OR ORIENTATION PERIOD BEFORE I DECIDE TO FOSTER?

There is no trial period before fostering. To alleviate concerns before stepping into fostering, we en-courage interested individuals and families to attend one of the Fostering Info Sessions co-organised by our partnering foster agencies. At these sessions, you will get to meet existing foster families, hear about their journeys and ask any questions you might have. You can contact any of our foster agency partners or leave your contact details in the form below to find out when the next session is happening.

  1. WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT WILL I RECEIVE AS A FOSTER PARENT?

Rest assured that your are not alone on your fostering journey. Here are some of the support you will receive:

  • Formal induction and training sessions with resources and toolkits to equip you with useful knowledge and skills for your fostering journey.
  • Dedicated foster care officer who will provide support as well as a 24 hour emergency hotline if needed.
  • Childcare leave benefits.
  • A monthly allowance to cover your foster child’s food, clothing, transportation, school fees and other daily needs.
  • Subsides for childcare, student care and medical needs.
  • Option to be connected with Home for Good Singapore, a network of Christian foster families. The network provides fellowship, prayer support, encouragement and a community to journey together.

Community Based Respite Care

  1. WHO ARE THE FAMILIES AND CHILDREN WHO WILL NEED COMMUNITY BASED RES-PITE CARE ASSISTANCE?

Often, the children who need help come from low income families who have low levels of social support. The parents may have difficulties finding accommodation or employment and are in need of help while they address these issues.

There are parents who may be facing incarceration or require admission to hospital while others are single mothers who want to keep their infants long term but need extra support during the first year or so. Generally, Sanctuary Care serves newborns and children up to the age of 8 and occasionally older children too.

Typically, these children have loving parents and caregivers who would like to continue caring for their children but are temporarily unable to due to issues such as medical emergencies or sudden job loss. Their parents could also be overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities and require extra support. All cases are voluntary in nature, hence parents are required to consent to respite care placement before a child is placed under the care of a respite carer.

  1. DO RESPITE CARERS RECEIVE A MONETARY ALLOWANCE?

Respite carers do not receive monetary allowance. However, Sanctuary Care is able to provide interim support for certain necessities such as milk, diapers, clothing, toys, utensils and sterilisers for emergency placements or, in the case of short term placements, till the necessities can be purchased.

  1. WHAT IS THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA TO BE A RESPITE CARER?

As a respite carer with Sanctuary Care, you should:

  • Be 28 years old and above
  • Have a minimum household income of $3,000 (nett)
  • Be medically fit to care for children
  • Be residing in Singapore for at least the next one year
  • Have experience in caring for children
  • Be willing to provide a child-safe environment
  • Be willing to work with the Sanctuary Care Team and other professionals

Volunteering

  1. I AM UNABLE TO BE A FOSTER PARENT. ARE THERE OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT?

Yes, there are many other ways you can support. Here are some suggestions:

Volunteer with your skills and resources
Help is always welcomed! You can be a befriender, mentor, a tutor, organise playdates or a transport minder. More details for each volunteer opportunity is addressed in the next few questions. The needs and opportunities do vary by seasons so do drop us a text for the most updated list.

Be a voice for fostering in your church and community
Help us to raise the awareness on fostering and spread the word for us to anyone who has the same heart for the vulnerable children. Invite us to your church to share more about fostering with your pastors, ministry leaders, congregation and even cell groups.

Pray for them
Pray for the children, their families as well as the fostering community. Join us for a monthly Love Singapore Fostering prayer session that happens every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 12-1pm. Contact us for the prayer meeting details and zoom link.

  1. WHO ARE THE CHILDREN THAT I AM ASSISTING?

Under the MSF fostering scheme, often these children have been placed in foster families because of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Some have been placed because their natural parents cannot care for them due to imprisonment, illness or death.

Besides the immediate care provided by the foster family, additional help is often needed for respite, academic support, transportation and helping the child develop emotionally and socially.

  1. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A VOLUNTEER BEFRIENDER AND IS TRAINING PROVIDED?

Befriending usually involves weekly / regular engagement with the foster child by bringing them out for playdates and weekend outings (E.g., to parks, malls, Zoo etc). It can also include teaching the child a new skill such as playing a music instrument. Befrienders play a crucial role in shaping mindset and instilling positive values for the child. It also improves the child’s social skills, and increases confidence when interacting with others.

Besides benefitting the foster child, befriending gives the foster parents short respite and break from caring for the foster child. For certain foster families, this is important as it gives time and space for the foster parent to focus on younger children at home.

If weekly commitment is a concern, befrienders can also choose to meet the foster child monthly and perhaps for a longer duration.

The commitment level for a befriender should be at least 1 year so as to allow the child to get acquainted and familiarise himself / herself with the befriender. For starters, the location for outings can be nearer to the home of the foster child and progress further over time.

Volunteers need to complete the screening process before they will be deployed. Training will be covered as part of the volunteer induction process.

  1. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A VOLUNTEER TUTOR?

Academic support is one of the most common need for foster children. Tutoring usually happens once a week, for an hour in the foster home with the foster parent present. A commitment period of 1 year is most preferred so as to provide consistency and stability to see the child through an academic year and monitor progress in his / her results.

The ages of the children who need tuition could range from preschoolers to primary, secondary or even tertiary level. Subjects will also vary according to the needs of the child.

When a volunteer application is received, the foster agency will conduct a screening process to match the needs of the foster child with the volunteer’s preferences on age, subject and location.

  1. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A TRANSPORT MINDER?

At times, a foster child may be placed in a foster family home that is far away from their school. In these situations, transport minders are then required to help transport foster child from foster home to school and back. Other times, transport is needed for parents’ access meetings or medical appointments amongst others. The locations of these appointments do vary and frequency of transport can range from everyday or once in a few weeks.

Owning a car to transport the foster child is not necessary. Travelling on public transport, including Taxi and Grab Family, with a foster child is allowed. As a transport minder, volunteers may indicate which geographical areas they prefer and the foster agency will try to find a suitable match. Transport minders will also be reimbursed for the transport fees.

  1. WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO SIGN UP AS A VOLUNTEER?

The volunteer roles across our different foster agencies are similar. However, the opportunities do vary from time to time depending on the needs of the children. You can contact your preferred foster agency of choice to obtain a volunteer application form. Otherwise, you can also leave your contact details with 100 Homes and we can assign a foster agency to contact you for a follow up.

Here are the steps in the application process:

  • Complete and submit a volunteer application form available from any other the foster agencies or 100 Homes
  • A simple interview will be conducted by the appointed foster agency
  • Once approved, an induction training will be given to the volunteer. The training will include addressing Dos and Don’ts as well as FAQs
  • Once there is a suitable match of foster child to volunteer, the foster agency will arrange for an introductory contact, with a social worker present
  • Have experience in caring for children
  • Thereafter, the volunteer and foster child relationship will begin

The volunteer application process takes approximately 8 weeks including training

  1. WHAT IS THE CRITERIA TO BE A VOLUNTEER UNDER THE MSF FOSTERING SCHEME?

To be a volunteer under the MSF fostering scheme, you must be:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Mature and able to relate well with children, comfortable around children
  • Prepared to protect the confidentiality of children
  • Agreeable to attend Volunteer Trainings
  • Willing to work with other professionals such as Volunteer Coordinator, Social Worker, Child Protection Officer
  • Responsible and patient

  1. CAN MY BIOLOGICAL CHILDREN / FAMILY VOLUNTEER TOGETHER?

Yes, a whole family can sign up together to be a befriender. Together they can bring a foster child out for a meal and an outing.

As a transport minder volunteer, you may also have other family members in the car when transporting the foster child. You can submit the details of your family members too when submitting your volunteer application form.

  1. IS THERE ANY ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR VOLUNTEERS?

If the volunteering happens at the foster family home (e.g., providing tuition), the foster parent will be around to support. In other situations, a social worker, foster agency staff will also be present if the need arises (e.g., when the child needs to have access to their natural parents). A volunteer coordinator will also be tagged to the volunteer to provide any assistance or answer any queries.

Yes, I want to care for the vulnerable children

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