Taguig Representative and senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano on Friday led the launching of Taguig City’s Foster Care Orientation and Recruitment program, which seeks to encourage foster parenting among more Filipino families.
The institutionalization of foster care in the country as a preferred way of caring for abused, abandoned, or neglected children is mandated by Republic Act 10165 or the Foster Care Act of 2012.
The principal author and sponsor of the measure, Cayetano said she drew her inspiration from her own experience in fostering and eventually adopting her son, Rene Lucas Cayetano.
“Ang wish ko ay mapalaki ang lahat ng bata sa uri ng pamilyang kinalakihan ko – a family full of love, where the parents have a sense of responsibility to prepare their children for a better future” the congresswoman said.
Cayetano lauded the Taguig city government, under the leadership of Mayor Lani Cayetano, for serving as a model-city in promoting the importance of foster care through its orientation and recruitment program for foster parents.
“I worked on the Foster Care Act for quite some time until it became a law. We really need to see it working in our local government units,” she said.
RA 10165 stresses that in most cases, foster care is more beneficial than institutional care, in that it provides children with the proper attention and love that only families can give.
For her part, the congresswoman stressed that there is a need to encourage more Filipinos to consider being foster families to neglected or abandoned children, and to subsequently train them on child care and development.
According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), about 1.8 million Filipino children are abandoned or neglected due to several reasons, including extreme poverty, natural disasters, and armed conflicts.
On the other hand, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) 2017 annual report showed that only 5,819 children were placed in residential care facilities run by the agency. The rest were either placed under institutional care or ended up on the streets.
Apart from the launching of the orientation and recruitment program, Cayetano also witnessed the christening of three babies residing at the Taguig Lingap Center, the city’s temporary shelter for children at risk and the elderly.