Social service agencies can tap second tranche of Invictus Fund
Social service agencies can now tap a second round of funding to transform their service delivery and operations to cope better with future demands, such as by acquiring digital technology.
The second tranche of The Invictus Fund, launched in April, is open for applications from now until Oct 30.
The fund is meant to help social service agencies continue in providing critical services to vulnerable groups amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli announced this to about 500 social service professionals, companies, donors and public sector representatives over videoconferencing platform Zoom yesterday.
He said: "To make the social service sector more resilient and able to cope with future demands, we need to enable our social service agencies (SSAs) to transform to SSA 3.0 - driven by committed social service professionals who are augmented by volunteers and organisations enabled by technology."
As of Sept 21, $9.2 million has been raised from members of the public, with Budget 2020 providing an $18.3 million top-up.
Mr Masagos noted the Community Chest has seen a significant drop in donations to its funded programmes that are not directly related to Covid-19.
"In fact, we project a 20 to 30 per cent drop in donations in 2020. If this continues, it would become a longer-term funding issue for the sector," he said.
The first round of funding from The Invictus Fund saw close to $6 million disbursed to 89 SSAs in June, said the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), which manages the fund.
Vulnerable seniors and clients also received prepaid cards to ensure connectivity to critical services, and front-line practitioners and clients were given care packages to improve their well-being.
One SSA that benefited is Lutheran Community Care Services, which digitalised its work processes with the funding.
Its clients can now submit child adoption applications digitally, and they can access support via virtual interviews through videoconferencing tools.
NCSS has set up a one-stop technology hub, Tech-and- GO! (www.go.gov.sg/tng), to help the SSAs with their transformation.