DSWD encourages foster parenting in the Cordilleras

BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 28 (PNA) – With data showing an increase in the number of “neglected children”, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Cordillera Regional Office is encouraging foster parenting for couples and individuals alike to be able to provide family care to children in this sector.

Metzi B. Aglayen of the Adoption Resource and Referral Section (ARRS) of DSWD-Cordillera, today, Wednesday, October 28, said Republic Act 10165 also known as “The Foster Care Act of 2012”, strengthens foster care as a nurturing alternative parental care for abandoned, neglected, orphaned children and other children with special needs.

The state recognizes that a child will benefit more from foster care than institutional care, Aglayen added.

Foster care refers to the provision of planned temporary substitute parental care to a child by a foster parent who is duly licensed by the DSWD to provide it, Aglayen explained.

Applicants for foster care must be of legal age or at least, 16 years older than the child; must have a genuine interest, capacity and commitment in parenting and is able to provide a familial atmosphere for the child.

An applicant must have a healthy and harmonious relationship with his or her family members; of good moral character; physically and mentally capable.

Children who are eligible for foster placement include children under the custody of DSWD or any child placement agency and are not ready for adoption, but need individual attention in a family setting; abandoned by parents in hospitals or other places or with relative who are not qualified or incapable to care for them; those awaiting adoptive placement or child with disrupted adoption; and those who need special care and protection due to sexual or physical abuse.

Aglayen explained that the process begins with the assessment of applicants, to be conducted by the social workers, before issuing a license.

A foster parent may only have a maximum of three foster children. Foster parents can avail of additional tax exemption of PhP25,000 depending on the length of foster caring, Aglayen said.

A foster child will be entitled to a cash subsidy from the agency and is an automatic beneficiary of PhilHealth with health insurance benefits.

The foster parent may also receive cash subsidy depending on the assessment of the social worker, Aglayen explained. (PNA)