Evaluating programs to support special needs caregivers

African psychologist holds hands of girl patient, closeup view

Caregivers of dependents with special needs and disability are often highly stressed and require support and community as they care for their dependents. CaringSG started a ground-up caregiver-led initiative, Project 3i, with aims to connect, enable and empower caregivers as well as build an inclusive community for families in Singapore. Project 3i collaborates closely with community partners, professional allies and public stakeholders, and is supported by the National Council of Social Service, Tote Board and Temasek Foundation.

CEI has been commissioned to conduct a formative evaluation on three new programs in Project 3i: CAREconnect, CAREbuddy and CAREwell. These programs provide holistic support at the level of community, family, and individual caregiver. This is carried out through community events and workshops, setup of practical and emotional support through their network of experienced and new caregivers, and targeted, intensive support through multi-disciplinary healthcare teams. Through this formative evaluation, we aim to understand ‘how does it work’, ‘for whom’ and ‘what needs to be in place for it to scale’.

This project is timely as caregiving stress is a growing topic of importance in Singapore. The findings will inform CaringSG and the wider sector about these programs' potential to provide much-needed support for caregivers, and also identify potential areas for service improvement prior to scale-up.