In Need: Muslim Foster Parents
A Child in Need
The Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam said, “The best house of Muslims is one where an orphan is cared for’’. We cannot change their past but we can do something about their present, and their future. By providing them with care and love that they, as a human being deserve, a whole new world of hope and opportunity awaits them.
Some children in Singapore do not have a safe home to grow up in or parents to care for them. These children could have been abused, neglected or abandoned. In other cases, their parents are unable to care for them due to health or social issues.
Where possible, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will place these children in foster homes as a temporary arrangement until they can be reunited with their families.
Changing lives: Fostering a child
“It was heart wrenching for me when I saw these children not getting the care and love that they deserve,” says Foster Mother, Mdm Rasniti, 37 years old, who has been caring for an 8-year old boy for the past 7 years.
She happened to chance upon an article in the newspaper about a child who had been abandoned in a dustbin. That story made her decide to help vulnerable children in order to change their lives for the better. While finding out how she could contribute, Mdm Rasniti learnt about the Fostering Scheme and immediately applied to become a foster parent as the objectives of the scheme echoed the same goals she had in mind for the children.
“Children need our love in order to be nurtured well and regardless of the differences in race, language or religion, we should lend a helping hand, it will change their life,” says young Foster Mother, Mdm Roszalita, 34 years, who is currently caring for a 2-year old boy.
“Islam has always stressed the importance of helping the poor and needy people. One can always give charity and love to the child by opening up your home to them – this is something which is priceless,” says Mdm Roszalita.
Since its inception in 1956, the Scheme has provided more than 5000 children with alternative care arrangement. Foster parents allow these children to be able to grow in an environment that allows them to reach their full potential that would not be possible if they remained in their original circumstances.
If you love and want to help children in need, here is what you should know about fostering a child in Singapore:
- Is fostering the same as adoption?
Fostering is not adoption. Adoption is a legal process where an adopted child assumes the rights of a natural child and the family would have to bear the same responsibilities as they would for their own children. However, foster children keep their own identity and continue to be a legal child of his/her parents.
- Do I have to pay for the child’s expenses?
Foster parents receive a monthly allowance of $936 for each child they foster. The allowance covers the cost of basic necessities such as food, clothing, education, transportation and pocket money. If the child has special needs, the monthly allowance is raised to $1114.
- What types of support does MSF provide for foster parents?
Training is provided for foster parents, and there is an emergency 24-hour hotline provided to all foster parents. Foster Parents can also contact a Foster Care Officer directly for help and support. In addition, there are also other medical and infant/childcare subsidies in place. In caring for foster children, foster parents are not left alone. MSF has a support network in place to assist all foster parents.
- Is there a criteria for people wishing to apply as foster parents?
Foster parents should meet the basic criteria highlighted below:
- Residents of Singapore
- At least 25 years of age
- Medically fit to care for children
- Preferably married couples
- Preferably experienced in caring for and living with children, with strong parenting skills and commitment to the well-being of the child
If you can offer a child a home and encouragement for a brighter and more secure future, please call MSF at 6354-8799 or visit www.msf.gov.sg/fostering to find out more.
Come down to their roadshow to find out how you can help change the lives of these children at the Fostering Service Roadshow.
Event Name: The Fostering Services Roadshow
Date: 8 – 11 October, 2015 (Thursday to Sunday)
Time: 11am – 9pm
Venue: Toa Payoh HDB Atrium (near Burger King)
Nearest MRT: Toa Payoh MRT Station (NS19, North-South Line)
Ticket Price: Free