In an effort to promote deeper understanding and appreciation on the alternative family care program, The Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) held first Regional Congress on Foster Care and Adoption with the theme “A family for every child.” On November 6, at Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila.

The congress aims to strengthen partnerships between DSWD-NCR, child-placement agencies, local government units, hospitals, family courts, the academe, and religious sector. Also, the said congress wants to instill positive perceptions about fostering or adopting a child by addressing issues and concerns related to alternative family care program.

Regional Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, said that the congress will be a great venue to educate member of the professional community on the process of adoption and foster care and sharing on foster care and adoption journey. “It will be a good opportunity to advocate the need for more foster and adoptive families to provide permanent homes to children,” she added.

Activities during the congress include sharing of testimonies from foster and adoptive families and children to inspire the participants about their journey in fostering or adopting a child. Moreover, three licensed child placing agencies were faster care subsidy Ceremonial checks as provided for in Republic Act (RA) No. 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012.

They were DSWD-NCR Foster Family, NGD Foster Family and Child Placing Agency.

As of September 2014, some 69 children are experiencing joy and security of a caring family through foster care, while 47 licensed families are authorized to foster children in Metro Manila. Further, 171 children are looking forward to their placement families while 65 approved prospective adoptive couples are awaiting for their child.

Speakers to the congress were Glenda M. Berla on her adoption story, Social Welfare specialist on children, Regional Situationer on children needing alternative Parental Care Programs and Service; Director Ma. Alicia S. Bonoan, DSWD-NCR Director, Governments response, strengthening alternative parental care programs and services; Mark Diamante, Foster child NORFIL, testemony of a foster child; Ma. Frankie P. Carrion, adoptive foster and adoptive Parent, sharing on Foster Care Journey; Mr. & Mrs. Jimmy Alapag, Foster Parents sharing on Foster Care Journey; Ma. Herminia B. Arcanghel, OIC-Head Foster care section, overview of the foster care subsidy and Ma. Hazel T. Milifante, Chief Protective Services unit, Commitment setting, “The Starfish Story”. (PsciJourn MegaManila)