May 22, 2024

LAGAWE, Ifugao – Social workers from the different Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices were  recently oriented on the Alternative Parental Care Program of the government  to  equip them  with better knowledge and skills towards better implementation of the program.

Social Worker Mae Fidchaykas of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera discussed foster care program while Feliza Singlan explained the adoption policies and procedures including Republic Act 11222 or the Simulated Birth Rectification Law.

They explained that foster care refers to the provision of planned temporary substitute parental care to a child by a foster parent which is an important step towards the child’s return and re-integration to his or her biological parents or placement with an adoptive family.

A foster parent is a person duly licensed by the DSWD to provide foster care under Republic Act 10165.  He or she must be at least 16 years older than the child unless the foster parent is a relative, must be a person of legal age who may either be married, widowed, separated or single. He or she must demonstrate financial and emotional stability and must have sufficient resources to be able to provide for the family needs.

The foster parent’s family must be in good health, emotionally stable and physically fit; has genuine interest parenting a non-related child, should be willing to help a child reunite with his or her birth family or move into an adoptive family when the time comes.

An alien possessing these qualifications and who has resided in the Philippines for at least 12 continuous months and maintain such residence until the termination of placement by the DSWD or the expiration of the foster care license may qualify as a foster parent.

The advantages of foster care are that the foster child is temporarily provided with one-on-one family care for a given period and the foster child experiences a caring and nurturing family life provided by a licensed foster family on a temporary basis towards permanent placement.

Children available for foster care are those zero to below 18 years of age who are under the following circumstances: abandoned, surrendered, neglected, dependent or orphaned; a victim of sexual, physical, or any form of abuse or exploitation; with special needs; family members are temporarily or permanently unable or unwilling to provide the child with adequate care; awaiting adoptive placement; and who have to be prepared for a family. Also qualified for foster care is a child who needs long-term care and close family ties but who cannot be placed for domestic adoption; one  whose adoption has been disrupted; and  who is under socially difficult circumstances such as but not limited to a street child, a child in armed conflict or a victim of child labor or trafficking.

Through foster care, a foster child is temporarily provided with one-on-one family care for a given period and the foster child experiences a caring and nurturing family life provided by a licensed foster family on a temporary basis towards permanent placement.

Other topics discussed include preparation of home child study reports, parenting capability assessment report and self care and compassion. – Daniel B. Codamon