November 10, 2017
About 81 house parents and social workers from the National Capital Region (NCR) completed a training on quality house parenting under a development cooperation project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japanese non-profit group ACTION (A Child's Trust is Ours to Nurture).
The training is part of the second phase of a 3-year project Ensuring Children's Potential for Development and Independence through Improved Residential Care Practices.
"JICA aims to contribute to the Philippines' socio-economic agenda of uplifting vulnerable sector including children. Upholding quality child care standards and building the capacity of house parents meant we are together in building a better and safe place for the next generation," said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito.
The project aims to benefit about 2,800 children in 17 residential care facilities in the NCR.
The first phase of the project, completed in 2015, helped establish a training system for house parents and social workers to promote quality care standards in pilot child care facilities. The training was based on Regional Administrative Order 148, or the House Parenting Standards in Centers and institutions for Children Operating in Central Luzon.
The training was eventually mainstreamed to other facilities not only in Region 3 and NCR, but also to selected house parents from Visayas and Mindanao.
Under the training, house parents learn their rights and responsibilities to the children under their care. They are also provided with various rights-based and child-centered techniques and strategies in handling children in need of special protection.
Mr. Hajime Yokota, ACTION's founder and Executive Director hopes that the project will pave the way for the institutionalization of a standard training program on house parenting that may be implemented for residential care facilities (RCF) in the entire country to ensure that children in RCF receive quality child care services.
"The training helped me learn the rights of children and even my strengths and weaknesses as a house parent. I realized that house parents are important part of the multidisciplinary team and that we should possess a huge heart for children so we could do our best to help them," said Santiago Cinco Jr, a house parent and training participant from Pasay City Youth Home.
A 2011 Philippine study Child Protection in the Philippines: A Situational Analysis noted that children at risk from poverty and hunger are vulnerable to violence, exploitation, abuse, and discrimination. Upholding standards in child care in residential facilities in the Philippines can therefore be a game changer for impoverished children so they may become independent and productive members of society.