BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has noted a slight decrease in the number of children turned-over to the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) in 2017.
DSWD-CAR OIC-Regional Director Janet P. Armas said that from 91 children in 2016, only 84 children have been served in the said center from January to December 2017.
“It is good that we have observed a slight decrease in the number of children being turned-over to the RSCC. This might mean that people are now becoming more responsible, or they are now availing of services from other institutions”, Armas added.
The RSCC is a government child-caring institution that serves the abandoned, foundling, neglected, surrendered, abused, lost and found and dependent children with the provision of social protection and temporary care. The children are loved, cared for, given attention, ensured of their safety and provided their basic needs by the staff who act as surrogate parents.
In 2016, there are 16 abandoned children, 23 neglected children, 25 dependent children,10 foundling, and 17 children under difficult circumstances. Meanwhile in 2017, the center was able to serve 7 abandoned children, 16 neglected children, 28 dependent children, 10 foundling, and 23 children under difficult circumstances.
Children whose parents could not provide the needs of their children due to illness or absence of gainful employment are referred to as dependents. Neglected children are those who are left to beg on the streets or children who got sick due to lack of attention from their parents while abandoned children are those left behind by their parents or relatives.
“We can see a significant decrease in the number of abandoned and neglected children, however there is a slight increase in the number of dependent children. With this, we are continuing our efforts to implement other programs and services of the Department that might help the families raise their children. However, we would like to highlight that our main goal is to leave no child inside the center and we can do this through legal adoption”, Armas added.
Legal adoption is one of the alternative parental care service provided to children in difficult circumstances. Other alternative parental care services include foster care, kinship care, legal guardianship, or family/relative reintegration.
“This February, we are again observing Adoption Consciousness Month celebration with the theme Spreading Unconditional Love through Legal Adoption. We hope that more people can support alternative parental care, especially legal adoption because through this, we are securing a child not just a permanent home but a family”, Armas said.
Adoption is a socio-legal process of giving a permanent home to a child whose parents have voluntarily given up their parental rights. While foster care is a temporary planned substitute family care for a child. Kinship care and legal guardianship may also fall under foster care where as relatives and/or pre-identified individuals are given authority to look after the children.
“We still have children in our centers who need a family. We hope that we can help them have the love and care that they deserve”, Armas shared.
Individuals who are interested in the alternative parental care service may visit the Adoption Resource and Referral Section of DSWD-CAR at # 40 North Drive, Baguio City or call (074) 444-32-09 or +63939-770-74-37 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva