The NCSS Story
Our Humble Beginnings
Before 1958, social services were hampered by the lack of proper co-ordination and support. With the formation of the Singapore Council of Social Service (SCSS) on 22 Dec 1958, a structured umbrella body brought together all organisations and individuals with interest in community service and social welfare.
In 1983, Community Chest, a centralised fund-raiser, was established to relieve Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) of fund-raising activities so that they could concentrate on providing better care and services for the needy. 1984 saw the initiation of the SHARE (Social Help and Assistance Raised by Employees) programme, the Volunteer Action and Development Centre, and the Sharity programme.
In 1992, SCSS was restructured to become the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), setting the momentum for social services to leap into the 21st century.
Our Key Milestones
Madam Halimah Yacob became the first Advisor of NCSS.
NCSS celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a series of events and activities, including a public exhibition showcasing the social service journey in Singapore.
Mr Hsieh Fu Hua succeeded RADM (RET) Kwek Siew Jin as the President of NCSS.
SSTI launches its Alumni to foster a culture of support among the SSTI graduates, and enable them to tap on the rich resources of knowledge and expertise within the sector.
NCSS set up the Family Service Centre (FSC) Advisory Council to provide strategic guidance to FSCs to enable their services to be more accessible and relevant to the needs of the community. NCSS also established a Committee for Practice Standards to improve the level of services provided by FSCs.
NCSS launched the Social Service Talent Development Scheme to develop a pipeline of well-qualified, highly experienced and well-rounded professionals who would provide leadership for the sector. The scheme has two development tracks - to groom future leaders and another to develop social work specialists.
Community Chest partnered Marina Bay Sands to organise the inaugural vertical marathon of the ComChest HeartStrings Walk 2011 @ Marina Bay, where participants climbed 57 storeys of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
NCSS and the Ministry of Education launched a new framework for vocational mainstream education to help students with special needs gain competencies and skills to make a smooth transition to employment.
NCSS collaborated with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, FSCs, Community Development Councils, Housing and Development Board and the Ministry of National Development to launch Project HOME, a pilot project to reach out to needy families staying in Interim Rental Housing, giving them timely access to appropriate assistance so that they can work towards settling their arrears and achieving financial independence.
Launch of the Special Needs Trust Company, a non-profit trust company to take care of financial needs of persons with disabilities in collaboration with the then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS).
Jointly implemented the Accreditation for Social Workers and Social Service Practitioners with the then MCYS and the Singapore Association of Social Workers to ensure professional standards among social work practitioners.
The Social Service Hub @ Tiong Bahru, NCSS’s first shared office space for VWOs, was launched.
NCSS led a sector-wide celebration of 50 years of social service.
The NCSS 50th Anniversary Carnival benefited 15,000 people. Reached out to 320,000 TV viewers through ‘Heart@Work – The NCSS Story’.
'For All We Care – 50 Years of Social Service in Singapore, 1958–2008’, a commemorative book detailing 50 years of growth and development of social service in Singapore was published.
Celebrated Community Chest’s 25th Anniversary through events such as Heartstrings Walk 2008 and the opening of ComChest Green.
Appointed seven agencies as Centres of Specialisation to build a body of knowledge and expertise in a specialised sector, with the aim of transferring knowledge and expertise across that sector.
Introduced the Sabbatical Leave, and Professional and Leadership Development Schemes to enhance the standards and development of social workers.
Implemented several new key service initiatives, which included:
|Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession for persons with disabilities; and|
|The setting up of five Multi-Service Clusters in all Community Development Council districts.|
Launched the Advanced Diploma in Early Childhood Intervention (Special Needs) in collaboration with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and MSF.
Implemented outcome-oriented contract framework.
RADM (RET) Kwek Siew Jin succeeded Mr Gerard Ee as the President of NCSS.
Introduction of the new NCSS logo.
Implemented 10 new services, which included:
|Asian Women’s Welfare Association Centre for Caregivers; and|
|Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore Children’s Wing.|
Implemented the Therapy Hub concept.
Launched ‘Youths Embrace Social Services!’, a competition to engage youths’ interest in social services.
Launched the Seniors Helpline to provide counselling, information and referral services for older persons.
Organised the first Disability Awareness Public Education Campaign.
Launch of the Disability Portal.
Launch of the Social Service Training Institute.
Volunteer Action for Social Service was relaunched as NCSS Volunteer Circle.
100% implementation of the Programme Evaluation System by NCSS-funded programmes.
Mr Gerard Ee succeeded Dr Robert C K Loh as the President of NCSS.
Commenced implementation of the Info-Communications Technology Masterplan, leading to enhanced service delivery in the social service sector.
Inaugurated the President's Social Service Award, conferred by the President of Singapore to outstanding volunteers.
NCSS moved from Penang Lane to the heartlands at Ghim Moh.
Ms Jennie Chua succeeded Dr Richard Eu as the Chairman of Community Chest.
Implemented the Programme Evaluation System to put in place a system to monitor and assess social service programme outputs and outcomes.
Launched the Social Service 21 Vision to develop and re-position social services for the 21st century.
Launched the Community Chest’s Corporate Community Involvement Programme to forge longer-term partnerships with corporate supporters.
Set up the Executive Directors' Network to provide heads of agencies a platform to discuss and exchange ideas on management and leadership issues.
Commemorated 40th anniversary of structured social service.
Established the Network of Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.
Organised the first Mental Health Campaign.
Set up the first Nursing Network for 21 VWOs.
Commemorated the 10th anniversary of Community Chest.
Appointed by the then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports as the national co-ordinator of Family Service Centres.
Established Very Special Arts to introduce new approaches to rehabilitation and the enrichment of people with disabilities through arts, dance and drama disciplines.
The SCSS was restructured as the NCSS with a new logo and identity.
Dr Robert C K Loh presided as its first President and Dr Richard Eu was appointed Chairman of Community Chest.