NACC seeks support from Mindanao LGUs to establish foster care families

DAVAO CITY (PIA) — The National Authority for Child Care (NACC) has sought support and partnership with the local government units (LGUs) from Mindanao in establishing foster care families for abandoned children in their localities.

NACC Undersecretary Janella Ejercito Estrada raised this call to local officials during the 1st National Congress on Adoption and Alternative Child Care for Mindanao on May 7 in Davao City.

Estrada emphasized the need for foster care families in every town in the country to serve as “emergency placements” for abandoned children.

“Yung pinaka-main na partnership namin with the LGUs is yung (Our main partnership with the LGU is the) foster care program,” she said in an interview with the Davao media.

“Tinatap namin ang LGU para makapag-create sila ng sariling foster families para may mga emergency placement tayo sa mga batang tinatapon or iniiwan,” Estrada said.

(We tap the LGU for them to create their own foster families, so we can have emergency placement for the abandoned children.)

She added that most of these abandoned children are from the LGUs, and it is essential that LGUs have programs and facilities where they could temporarily put these children while waiting for someone who could legally adopt them. 

Estrada said that they also have urged the LGUs to establish at least ten foster care families as they begin crafting their programs for abandoned children in their localities.

“Siguro pag-uwi namin sa aming LGU, sisimulan natin ang paghahanda at paghahanap ng possible na magiging foster care parents,” she said.

(Maybe when we go back to our LGU, we can start preparing and looking for possible foster care parents.)

In response to NACC’s call, Mayor Jason John Joyce of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental province, expressed his full support for the NACC programs, particularly the foster care program.

Although cases of abandoned children are rare in his municipality, Joyce said he is still willing to establish an adoption and alternative child care program in preparation for a possible situation in the future.

He said that in the provinces, the orphaned or abandoned children are usually being taken care of the relatives, such as the grandparents, aunties and uncles or other relatives.

“Pero dapat maging handa ang lahat ng LGUs, kahit wala pa masyadong cases for adoption because darating ang panahon, especially sa hirap ng buhay, meron talagang mga bata na mapapabayaan,” Joyce stated.

(But the LGUs should be ready, even if there’s not much cases for adoption yet, because time will come, especially due to hard life, there will be children who will be taken for granted.)

The local official is optimistic that their partnership with NACC would help them identify and implement programs for abandoned children and strengthen their current programs for the children in Jose Abad Santos.

“Pero dapat maging handa ang lahat ng LGUs, kahit wala pa masyadong cases for adoption because darating ang panahon, especially sa hirap ng buhay, meron talagang mga bata na mapapabayaan,” Joyce stated.

(But the LGUs should be ready, even if there’s not much cases for adoption yet, because time will come, especially due to hard life, there will be children who will be taken for granted.)

The local official is optimistic that their partnership with NACC would help them identify and implement programs for abandoned children and strengthen their current programs for the children in Jose Abad Santos.

NACC aims to increase the number of available licensed foster families in every LGU who will provide planned, temporary, and substitute parental care to children in need of special protection and children with special needs.

As of first quarter of 2024, NACC data showed that there are a total of 888 foster parents in the country taking care of a total of 1,115 children. Of these children, 740 are subsidized by the NACC.

NACC is a newly created attached quasi-judicial agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) formed through R.A 11642 that oversees the domestic administrative adoption, inter-country adoption, foster care, simulated birth certificate rectification, foundling recognition and protection, and other methods of alternative childcare. (RVC/CLC/ASO/PIA XI)

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