Child abuse in Singapore on the Rise!

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The number of child abuse cases has risen yet again.
Last year saw 192 cases of child abuse, up from 2009’s 124 child abuse cases, according to figures cited by The Straits Times on Saturday.
Most of the reports were of physical abuse, according to report. Some seven in 10 cases last year were of physical abuse, up from 50 cases in 2007.
Other forms of abuse, such as sexual abuse (46 cases), physical neglect (6 cases) and emotional abuse (6 cases) did not pose any sharp increase over the years, said the paper citing 2010 figures.
As the number of child abuse cases rise, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is paying greater attention to this area of child protection.
In a speech at the National Family Violence Networking System Event 2011 at Marina Bay Sands on Friday, Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob highlighted a few initiatives the ministry is implementing after the Child Protection Review earlier this year.
A specialist agency on child protection will be developed, and will act as a step-up service for community agencies managing medium-risk cases. It will also act as a supplementary service for high risk clients managed by the Child Protection Service.
Halimah added that the ministry is looking to provide a wider focus on child protection issues by working with other agencies within the Child Protection System.
MCYS will also be implementing a National Out-of-Home Care Service Framework, which will help children who are placed in out-of-home care services. This framework will include support services for relatives providing kinship care, foster care providers and children’s homes providers.
“We know children, because they are young, because of age, inexperience, lack of contact with the outside world, they are a lot more vulnerable. So we need to work with schools, with the hospitals, with other agencies, the prisons, the police and all that,” Halimah told Today newspaper.
“But everything will come under one focal point. For instance, if in a school, a teacher feels a child could be a victim of abuse, what the teacher could do is then refer (the child) to this specialised agency. This specialised agency will do all the follow-up work,” she added.