Child abuse in S’pore continues to increase after record high cases in a decade in 2020; majority cases of neglect

The number of reported cases of child abuse in Singapore continues to rise, to a record high in a decade in 2020, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said in investigation released on Monday (April 11).

Since 2015, MSF has introduced stricter screening tools and training for professionals such as social workers, educators, counselors and health professionals.

The tools and training allow them to quickly pick up safety concerns for a child and seek the appropriate intervention.

Over the years, MSF has also built up efforts in public education on child protection and domestic violence, which has helped to discover more cases of care.

In February 2021, MSF officially launched the National Anti-Violence Helpline (NAVH) for reporting cases of domestic violence, abuse and neglect.

The hotline operates on a 24/7 basis, where members of the public can report suspected cases of abuse or ask general questions.

MSF noted that there was an increase in the number of requests received in 2021, mainly due to more people becoming more aware of domestic violence and calling the NAVH.

“The increase in the number of cases investigated by MSF Child Protective Service (CPC) in 2021 was in tandem with the increase in demand, and this was mainly due to the increased number of referrals from MSF CPS’s partners in the community,” said MSF. .

CPS investigated a total of 2,141 cases of abuse in 2021, a jump of 63 percent from the 1,313 cases in 2020.

A majority of the cases investigated were cases of neglect, which saw the sharpest rise of 2020. Such incidents were infertile children, poor supervision or emotional abuse or medical neglect.

Photo: taken from MSF website

Said increase was mainly due to an increased number of referrals from CPS’s partners in the community, such as Family Service Centers, Schools and Child Protection Specialist Centers, MSF noted.

Members of the public can ask questions or report suspected cases of abuse at 1800-777-0000. / TISG

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