DSWD explores adoption services, alternative child care programs within facilities

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has held a dialogue with its partner-stakeholders to discuss the agency’s proposed implementation of adoption and alternative child care programs and services in all residential-based facilities dedicated to children nationwide.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the agency has been advocating for the inclusion of adoption and alternative child care to the menu of programs offered by residential care facilities to provide children at these centers with additional opportunities as they leave.

“We are asking you to diversify and add to your existing mandates the adoption and alternative child care program. We will only give the children two new programs that will serve as an exit mechanism for their reintegration into a new family,” Gatchalian pointed out.

“It is an option that should be ready in your arsenal of interventions,” he added.

Gatchalian said the initiative is being carried out in collaboration with the National Authority for Child Care (NACC), a DSWD attached agency.

“The law creating the NACC took effect already with the whole mandate to find the children their adoptive families. But we are not saying that our other exit mechanisms are bad. We are just saying add two more,” he added.

Gatchalian also noted that the consultation with the stakeholders is part of the efforts of the DSWD and NACC “to come up with a policy that will strengthen the adoption and alternative child care system in the country.”

He vowed to assist and capacitate child care facilities run by the DSWD, local government units, and private organizations in implementing the programs through the DSWD Academy and NACC regional counterparts.

Under the initiative, identified facilities without existing adoption and alternative child care programs will receive technical assistance from DSWD’s Standards Bureau to comply with the licensing and accreditation requirements, as well as technical expertise from NACC to establish such programs in their facilities.