RESIDENTS of Bukit Panjang seeking financial assistance or job counselling no longer have to travel out of the estate to find help, now that a new social service office (SSO) has been officially opened in the area.
Instead, they can head to Block 232, Pending Road, where the office is located. It is the 16th SSO set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, which plans to open 24 offices across the island by this year.
The office will disburse funds to needy residents, and will work with voluntary welfare organisations and community partners in the area to coordinate the social services they offer.
It has also linked up with the Workforce Development Agency to match jobs and provide career counselling.
The office, which is a satellite to the main one in Choa Chu Kang, has handled 387 cases since it started operations in December last year, said general manager Ida Iryanee Nooraman.
The Bukit Panjang SSO is also working with community befrienders to strengthen their capabilities in assisting needy families within the community.
It was officially opened yesterday by Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin, along with Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa.
Also present were Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing, grassroots leaders and charity representatives. Dr Teo said the new SSO at Bukit Panjang will provide "a complete suite of assistance" for needy families in the area.
He said: "What's important is to not only provide financial assistance to needy families, but also look into the situation and needs of families, and see how we can help them become self-reliant."
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