CaregiverAsia and Great Eastern sign an MOU with Extra•Ordinary People to kickstart a first-in-market ExtraOrdinary Care Program that will encompass an insurance protection plan, therapy services and childminding services for families of children living with disabilities.
The Extraordinary Care Program (EOCP) supports children with continued long-term therapy and professional care services through an insurance pay-out of SGD150,000 in the event of accidental death or permanent disability of the parent or guardian. This pay-out will ensure that the child receives regular therapy and care services for up to 15 years. Additionally, the EOCP will provide families with immediate access to complimentary hours of care services and comprehensive therapy services at highly subsidised rates.
According to online aggregator of on-demand health and caregiving provider Caregiver Asia CEO Yeo Wan Ling, the concept of the Extraordinary Care Program, was conceived just three weeks ago; resulting in over 50 enterprises and individuals to pledge support for more than 300 networks of families within the first three days of going to market.
“Singapore has more than 30,000 students with special needs and it is proven that early intervention and continued long term therapy is key to ensuring a life that is healthy and happy. There is, however, a market gap in products that ensure that financial safety nets are available for children to continue with their therapy when their families go into financial duress. As such, we are so pleased, to partner with Great Eastern and Extra•Ordinary People to provide this ground-up enterprise-led initiative to launch the Extraordinary Care Plan, which will benefit thousands of families,” says Yeo.
Yeo says CaregiverAsia will work with the Caregiving@SouthWest initiative to train and augment the pool of Caregivers available to work with special needs families.
Guest of Honour for the MoU signing, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Ministry of Communications and Information Senior Minister of State Sim Ann says while many important social services are publicly funded, there are also meaningful opportunities for corporates to contribute to social good.
“This can be done not only through outright donations in cash and in kind, but also through offering services at low-bono rates. Today, three organisations from the private sector and people sector have come together to do something for families of children with special needs. This collaboration embodies the spirit of SGTogether and SGCares. I hope to see more corporates stepping forward to forge similar partnerships with the people sector, bringing us towards a more inclusive and compassionate society,” says Minister Simm.
Commenting on the partnership, Great Eastern Managing Director Digital for Business Ryan Cheong says he is thrilled to be part of a program that creates products to protect the community in meaningful and relevant ways.
“We believe that we should continue to look towards contributing to an inclusive society. The launch of the EOCP is a small step in this direction,” says Cheong.
The EOCP will launch with Extra•Ordinary People as its inaugural therapy partner. A Singapore-based charity, Extra•Ordinary People provides child-centric and multi-disciplinary therapy services for special needs persons through their one-stop integrated therapy centres in Joo Chiat Place and Beach Road. The program is open to all integrated therapy service providers, and its Co-Founder Wee Boo Kuan says he hopes to see more providers come forward with their services in future.
“This is a much needed initiative. Therapy services are crucial in the continued wellness for persons with special needs, and unfortunately, this is also one of the first things to go when families face financial difficulties. The financial pay-out, together with the weekly medical escorting services that come along with it, will ensure that families have both the financial means and the peace of mind to make sure that their children continue with their therapy,” says Wee.
In addition to securing the means to long term therapy, Yeo says the EOCP is also designed to assist parents in safe escorting of their children to the therapy sessions by means of the accompaniment of trained Caregivers skilled in working with special needs children.
In preparation of the increase of demand for such Caregivers, CaregiverAsia will augment its pool of freelance Caregivers by working closely with the South West Community Development Council (CDC) on the Caregiving@SouthWest programme. According to the Mayor of South West District Low Yen Ling, there is a concerted effort to expand support resources for families of children living with special needs.
“Caring for special needs persons require special skillsets and training. Through this effort, we hope to expand the resources and care options for parents with children with special needsto give them greater support and peace of mind. This is part of growing our Caregiving @ South West programme, which will also widen the careers of freelance caregivers as they up-skill their knowledge to include care for children with special needs. This programme is an example of how the private sector can work closely with the community to identify win-win solutions and meet relevant needs together,” says Mayor Low.
According to Yeo, the EOCP comes with 2 hours of complimentary care services and further discounted rates on additional services by CaregiverAsia, plus highly subsidised rates to a variety of therapy services by Extra•Ordinary People.
(Ed. Featured image of Great Eastern Head of Digital Affinity Serene Ng (L) and CareGiver Asia CEO Yeo Wan Ling (R) at the Launch of the Extra•Ordinary Care Program, Singapore, 11 December 2019.)