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One-stop portal to provide info on social services

Social Service Navigator lists 1,800 programmes from NCSS members

Rahimah Rashith on 25 Jul 2018

The Straits Times


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A one-stop online portal allowing users to look for information on social services was launched yesterday, the first time comprehensive information on such services has been consolidated into an online platform.


Users can look for social services according to target group, programme type, area and organisation using the Social Service Navigator website.


For example, one can find the daycare centre for seniors nearest one's home through the portal, or look for information on schemes and subsidies.


The portal was launched by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) at the Social Service Summit attended by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who was the special guest.


NCSS chief executive Sim Gim Guan said at the event at Fairmont Singapore: "This will significantly reduce the time social service professionals spend searching for suitable programmes for service users, even as it allows us to address the needs of our clients more holistically."


The portal lists about 1,800 programmes from NCSS members.


Singapore Muslim Women's Association chief executive Mohd Ali Mahmood said social workers can use it as a quick guide and source of reference. "The Social Service Navigator helps in being the one-stop portal for social workers as well as beneficiaries to use."


Also launched at the event was iShine Cloud, a collaboration between Singapore Pools and NCSS.


A non-profit IT company, iShine Cloud provides a suite of social service sector-specific software via a secured cloud-based platform at a subsidised rate. The platform will include Microsoft Office 365, back-end IT operations, shared storage, donor management systems, accounting and human resource systems. The cloud service is for charities, as many of them have inefficient IT operations or have yet to digitalise their systems.


Launching iShine Cloud, Mr Lee, who is also Second Minister for National Development, said: "Initiatives such as the iShine Cloud can also help our sector adopt IT and improve our work processes by aggregating common needs across VWOs (voluntary welfare organisations).


"This allows us to achieve economies of scale and optimises resources not only within our VWOs, but across the sector."


At yesterday's summit, 800 social service professionals, corporates, donors and government leaders discussed sustainable funding in the charity sector. A variety of funding approaches were explored at the summit. The potential of social impact bonds and endowment funds was also discussed.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.


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