A new ‘Financial Capability and Asset Building’ curriculum is being developed by the Next Age Institute, a partnership between the National University of Singapore and Washington University in St Louis of the United States to help social workers in Singapore learn financial planning and management skills.
The topics covered as a part of the curriculum would include planning for retirement and children education, managing household finances and debts. Since this curriculum has been designed in the U.S, the institute is working towards adapting the training programmes to the local context in Singapore.
This news comes amidst studies that show economic stress taxes the brain to not allow individuals to focus on being more self-disciplined, think ahead and make sound life decisions.
Associate Professor Corinne Ghoh, co-director of the institute, said: “While more families are receiving financial help from the Government, poor decisions made on financial matters have, in some cases, rendered families homeless. Many low-income families may find it a challenge to navigate through the plethora of financial resources, loans and products.”
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Conveying an affirmative nod, Dr Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development said at an event to introduce the curriculum on February 21, “Social workers can play a pivotal role… integrating financial planning in their interventions with vulnerable families, and in the long term, helping them realise their aspirations,” Straits Times reports.
To invite more ideas on the formation of development programs to be included in the curriculum as per the local context, a panel was set up last month comprising of people from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the Singapore Association of Social Workers and Institute for Financial Literacy. Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Citigroup, has pledged US$130,000 (S$180,000) to the development of the course.
This program will be piloted with about 100 social workers next year along with social work undergraduates. The organisers intend to eventually include this curriculum as a part of the ongoing professional education efforts for social workers in Singapore.
Also read: Financial Security is a Top-Of-Mind Issue for Employees in Asia Pacific
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