#asinglelove:The Directory


Useful information for single unmarried mothers in Singapore

About Us

In 2016, AWARE embarked on our advocacy journey to support and empower single parents. We did this through the wide-reaching #asinglelove campaign, a collaboration with Daughters Of Tomorrow, which aims to support and empower single parents through our services and programmes, promote more supportive and equitable policies towards single parents and encourage more welcoming and inclusive attitudes towards single parents.

This information portal was created in response to a common issue faced by many single parents we’ve spoken to: how information on what benefits, subsidies and support are available to them are often complicated and dispersed across many official websites. We hope to facilitate the process by compiling all the relevant information on government parenting support schemes, HDB policy and important legal issues that may come up as they raise their children.

But beyond the resources available, and unavailable, to unmarried single mothers, single-parent families in Singapore grapple with a myriad of other pressing challenges.

What are the issues?

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    Public housing access: Our housing rules favour married couples, leaving single-parent families with long waits, frequent house moves, and financial drain

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    Employment: Many divorced parents are women who left employment to meet care needs of their families. Returning to the job market is a challenge when employers disregard caregiving as work experience and are suspicious of single parents

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    Financial stability: Many single parents find it hard to make ends meet and improve their family’s life chances, with little CPF savings and expensive legal fees

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    Childcare: Finding reliable, affordable childcare is a major difficulty for single parents, but essential if they are to find and keep employment

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    Social inclusion: Children of unmarried parents are stigmatised as “illegitimate” (which carries real disadvantages in terms of inheritance law and tax reliefs) and denied Baby Bonus cash gifts

What changes do we want?

  • Housing policies that do not discriminate against single-parent families
  • Equalisation of tax reliefs, inheritance laws and Baby Bonus cash gifts for unmarried parents
  • Supportive employment opportunities for single parents who also have to manage caregiving responsibilities single-handedly
  • Empathetic, judgment-free public attitudes towards single parents and their circumstances
  • Improved social support available more widely for single-parent families

What are we doing about it?

  • Our public campaign, #asinglelove, launched in 2016, bringing powerful stories of single-parent families into the public eye, at MRTs and commercial districts, and provided single parents with back-to-work support.
  • We released an in-depth study with 55 single mothers on their housing challenges. From this, we found that complicated rules that favour married couples leave single-parent families with long waits, frequent house moves, overcrowding, strained family relationships, financial drain, and stress.
  • We organised a public petition calling for concrete changes to housing policies, launched in May 2017. We urged the government to increase the $1500 income cap for rental, remove debarment periods for rental and purchase, allowing unmarried mothers to form a family nucleus with their child, offer a coordinated service for single-parent families in HDB and make housing rules clearer and more accessible. The debarment rule for purchase of subsidised housing has since been amended.
  • Our public petition prompted a parliamentary petition led by MP Louis Ng, presented in September 2017. The petition was sent to the Public Petitions Committee and Parliament was called to ensure that all parents with any care and control of their children are no longer subject to HDB’s debarment rule, and those with legal custody of a child are not discriminated against on the ground of their marital status.
  • We regularly advocate for single parents’ rights, including their right to affordable housing, through eye-catching infographics, case stories of single parents, powerful videos with single mothers, and a series of comics based on real stories of single parents.
  • We provide direct assistance for single mothers, including helping single mothers appeal for housing to MND, organising events and conducting training and workshops for single parents.