Overview of the Sector Landscape

As our nation progresses, the social service needs have also evolved. In view of this, NCSS conducted the Quality of Life (QOL) Study in 2016 to examine the various communities in need through a person-centred and holistic approach. These are some of the trends and changing needs across the various groups we support at Community Chest.

Adults with Disabilities

A quarter of Singaporeans will be at least 65 by 2030, and households are shrinking. As home caregivers get older and fewer in numbers, our ability to promote physical and social inclusivity together will be critical.

  • PWDs felt moderately INCLUDED IN SOCIETY, indicating room for improvement.1
  • The Enabling Masterplan 2030 (EMP2030) aims to increase the employment rate of working-age PWDs from 30% TO 40% BY 2030.2
  • Presently, out of 32,000 working-age (15 to 64) PWDs in Singapore, ONLY ONE IN THREE ARE EMPLOYED.3
  • By embracing lifelong learning, PWDs can KEEP PACE WITH THE CHANGING ECONOMY and remain independent.2

1 Understanding the Quality of Life of Adults with Disabilities (published in 2017).
2 Enabling Masterplan 2030.
3 Unlock the competitive advantage of a disability-inclusive workforce, Heidrick & Struggles.
Children with Special Needs and Youth-at-Risk
Whether it is to receive education or support for mental and emotional well-being, early intervention programmes can empower children with special needs and youth-at-risk to achieve their potential and be better equipped for the future.

  • Currently, APPROXIMATELY 7,100 STUDENTS with moderate to severe special needs (20% of all students reported with special educational needs), attend 24 SPED schools.1
  • The remaining 28,400 STUDENTS with mild special educational needs attend mainstream schools, with inclusive classroom practices.1
  • The number of Special Educational Needs Officers deployed to schools with higher needs has INCREASED BY 46% SINCE 2017.1 By the 2030s, there will be 28 SPED schools catering to different profiles of students.
  • For children and youth with health/developmental conditions, POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING AND SOCIAL INCLUSION are the most important factors for their quality of life.2

1 Parliamentary Replies: Support for students with SEN in mainstream schools who are not found suitable for government-funded SPED or cannot afford private education (8 May 2023).
2 Understanding the Quality of Life of Children and Youth (published in 2022).
Families in Need of Assistance
Uplifting individuals in need in society begins with equal education opportunities and stable employment. Just coping with rising costs is not enough. The goal is to empower them to live better and secure their future.

  • Issues that lower-income individuals and families face are complex and multifaceted and require HOLISTIC AND COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT, to help them make lasting changes in their lives.1
  • Additional support for families in need must be prioritised to help them achieve STABILITY, SELF-RELIANCE, AND SOCIAL MOBILITY so that they can have dignity and aspire to a bright future in Singapore.1
  • The KidSTART programme, which has HELPED MORE THAN 6,200 CHILDREN since 2016, will be rolled out nationwide by 2026.2
  • Under the Community Link programme, OVER 2,400 VOLUNTEERS have been recruited to better support families with children in rental housing.3  

1 Budget 2023 Speech.
2 The Straits Times, Priority pre-school enrolment among moves to aid needy families, 28 March 2023.
3 Press Release: Strengthening families to help them achieve stability, self-reliance and social mobility, Early Childhood Development Agency, 2 March 2023.
Persons with Mental Health Conditions
Studies have revealed the need to provide more support for persons with mental health disorders, heighten awareness of the treatments available and actively encourage individuals to overcome the stigma and seek help.

  • ONE IN THREE YOUTH have experienced mental distress, yet only one in 10 parents recognised the symptoms.1
  • TWO IN FIVE EMPLOYEES agree that their organisation provides adequate support for their mental well-being.2
  • MORE THAN THREE-QUARTERS of Singaporeans with mental disorders do not seek professional treatment.3
  • Young people aged 18 to 34 had the HIGHEST PROPORTION OF MENTAL DISORDERS.3

1 Youth Epidemiology and Resilience study, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine).
2 Attitudes towards Persons with Mental Health Conditions (published in 2022).
3 2016 Singapore Mental Health Study, Institute of Mental Health.
Seniors in Need of Support
With a better understanding of their changing needs, we can provide a better support system and opportunities for active participation. We can be a more caring nation by being their social connection and sense of purpose.

  • By 2030, ONE IN FOUR SINGAPOREANS will be aged 65 and older, amounting to over 900,000 seniors. This is a two-fold increase compared to 2015.
  • In 2022, the proportion of citizens aged 65 and above increased to 18.4% IN 2022 from 11.1% in 2021.1
  • 40% OF SENIORS (AGED 80 AND ABOVE) perceived themselves to be lonely.2
  • With an ageing population and family sizes shrinking, the old-age support ratio will decrease from 4.8 in 2018 to an estimated 2.7 in 20303. 1 in 2 Singaporeans are also expected to have some form of disability and require long-term care4. As such, demand for caregiving will likely grow in the near future.

1 Population In Brief report, National Population and Talent Division.
Transitions in Health, Employment, Social Engagement, and Intergenerational Transfers in Singapore Study, Duke-NUS Medical School’s Centre for Ageing Research and Education, 2016 - 2017.
3 Speech by Mr Edwin Tong, then-Senior Minister of State for Health, in response to motions on support for caregivers and ageing with purpose on 13 February 2019.
4 Speech by Mr Gan Kim Yong, then-Minister for Health, for the parliamentary debate on Eldershield Review Committee report on 10 July, 2018.