One Life Fund

Support Children in Out-of-Home Care in Singapore

World Vision's One Life Fund is our commitment to stand in the gap for vulnerable children in Singapore.

From 2023, our featured project under this fund aims to support children in out-of-home care with special learning needs.

In Singapore, children below 18 years old can be removed from their natural families as a last resort for reasons that put their safety and well-being at risk, such as abuse, abandonment, neglect, or the loss or incarceration of parents. These children are then placed temporarily in out-of-home care, where they can be looked after in a safe environment (such as a foster family or a children’s home) until they can be safely reunified with their natural families.

Among these children in out-of-home care, there is an even more vulnerable group who have been identified as having special learning needs, both:

  • Children who have been formally diagnosed with developmental conditions (such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and
  • Children who have not yet been formally diagnosed with developmental conditions, but who have been assessed by professionals in their circle of care to be exhibiting the traits of learning and development delays.

The Key Challenge

Many of these children attend mainstream schools as they do not meet the threshold for admission to special education schools, but they lack basic academic skills, have a limited capacity for learning, and are often burdened with behavioural and psychological co-morbidities, which resulted from previous trauma and impair their learning further. Their weaknesses in literacy and/or numeracy affect their performance in all their subjects, and they fall drastically behind their peers.

Because they are underperforming profoundly and need specialised attention to help them manage their own behavioural and psychological challenges, mainstream tuition is not helpful to them. Hence, there is a need for specialised learning support programmes (LSPs) for these children to cope with the demands of formal education in a manner that is sensitive to their learning and behavioural difficulties. However, the cost of enrolling and sustaining these children on LSPs can be a source of financial strain for their caregivers in out-of-home care.


World Vision's Aim

We are committed to standing in the gap to enable children in out-of-home care with special learning needs to have access to specialised LSPs. Intervening in learning difficulties and strengthening the psychological reserves of these children from a young age will be critical to forestalling educational disengagement and associated social issues such as delinquency, and to ensure that the gains from these interventions are sustained for the long term after the children graduate from them.

World Vision Singapore will work in partnership with agencies in the out-of-home care sector and accredited LSP providers to implement this project. We will cover the LSP fees of children in out-of-home care who are identified as needing specialised learning support, as well as the cost of learning needs assessment before enrolment and related transport costs for children in residential care, where needed.


Target beneficiaries

To reach out to at least 20 children in out-of-home care attending LSPs every year



Story of Transformation

James*, who is 12 years old this year, is part of the first cohort of children supported by the One Life Fund. His parents were unable to care for him, and he experienced multiple disruptions under his relatives' care.

Apart from being diagnosed with dyslexia, he presents moderate receptive and moderate-severe expressive developmental language disorder. This makes it hard for him to learn in regular classes. He has also exhibited self-harm behaviour.

Through financial support from the One Life Fund and a partnership forged with Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) and Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home (CSLMCH), literacy sessions for children like James are now being held within the premises of the home. This allows them to learn in a familiar and nurturing environment, with dedicated case workers right there to provide support when they need it most.

It warms our hearts to see the transformation James is experiencing through the support he has been receiving. He is now gaining confidence, enjoying social interactions, and showing a growing interest in reading.

*Name changed to protect child’s identity


Through World Vision’s One Life Fund, children like James can have the chance to heal and learn.



Read more about One Life Fund from our FY23 Annual Report.


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