Vulnerable populations such as the elderly and children with special needs in the country will get some front row treatment this year as the government looks to establish policies that will not only benefit these populations but also their care and support group (family and caregivers), as well.
This development will extend help and assistance to some of the country’s often-overlooked groups of people which are also part of the society the government aims to give importance to.
Gov’t to Extend Training and Support Programmes for Caregivers and Children with Developmental Needs
Caregivers of children with developmental needs aged two or younger, will soon benefit from a targeted support and training programme from the government starting July of this year, as shared in a report by Today Online.
The initiative, known as the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) Under-2s, will target children with moderate to severe developmental needs which include the autism spectrum disorder, global developmental delay, as well as muscular dystrophy.
At present, all children aged six and below are categorized into a standard programme, where they receive the same model of EIPIC intervention across various ages and needs.
Under the EIPIC Under-2s programme, however, caregivers and parents will be included and be taught intervention strategies which include how to feed, dress, and communicate with their child using flashcards or visual cues, among other things, to help them achieve developmental milestones.
Other than being better tailored to suit the needs of children aged two and below, the programme will also require the compulsory involvement of caregivers unlike before.
Similarly, another programme, called the Developmental Support Plus (DS Plus), which primarily caters to children who have made sufficient progress under the EIPIC, will also be introduced this July.
Introducing the new programmes last January 28 (Monday), the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) shared that fees across all early intervention programmes for most income groups will be cut down by as much as 30 to 70 percent on average from April 2019.