What is being done about the stigma that single mothers face to create an environment of greater empathy and support for single mothers to raise their children?
Singapore’s government acknowledges the challenges single unwed parents face, especially balancing their dual responsibilities of raising their children and working.
To support unwed parents in their caregiving responsibilities and to extend government benefits that promote their children’s development. There are subsidies for education, healthcare, childcare, and infant care and a concession on the foreign domestic worker levy.
In 2016, the government extended Child Development Account benefits to children of single unwed parents, including the $3,000 First Step Grant and government-matched co-savings.
16-week maternity leave was also extended to single unwed mothers in 2017. These programs are to support the child’s development as well as the needs of the caregiver.
In addition, the government will support and promote flexible work arrangements (FWAs) and other work-life harmonies (WLH) practices for all workers, including single and unwed parents, to help them manage their work and personal responsibilities.
Through the Tripartite Standard (TS) on FWAs and TS on WLH, employers are supported in implementing FWAs by sharing best practices and recognizing progressive employers and practices.
Unwed single parents may, however, face greater challenges. In the community, there are Social Services Offices and Family Service Centers (FSCs) for those who require financial assistance or social support.
In addition to providing professional case management, the Social Work practitioners in the FSCs can bring in other relevant agencies to address the family’s needs holistically.