Monday, October 8, 2012

Filipino Street Children

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 will coordinate with local government units (LGUs) in giving permanent homes to street children and reunite them with their families under the Modified Conditional Cash Trasfer (MCCT) program.

Aileen Lariba and Brigieda Tampus-Garon of DSWD 7 said MCCT is designed for families in need of special protection (FNSP).

Lariba and Garon said the government wants street children and children of families in difficult circumstances to go back to school or to attend special training modes.

They cited observations by the Philippine National Police (PNP) that street children are vulnerable to abuses and may become criminals in the future.

The DSWD also aims to help homeless families that are not covered by the CCT, families with children who are disabled, families of child laborers, and families displaced by demolition and natural disasters.

Lariba and Goron said that because this expanded program is good only for six months, the conditions are: weekly attendance to the family development sessions (FDS) for the first two months, twice a month attendance to family counseling sessions (FCS) for the next two months, and once a month attendance to both FDS and FCS for the next two months.

The other conditions are for target children to attend an alternative mode of learning or a formal school and visit health centers.

They must also be living in a permanent home after six months of social preparation.

Once the target families become eligible for the program, they will receive P300 a month per child for education grant for a maximum of three children and P500 a month per household for health grant, or a maximum of P1,400 a month.

Lariba said the problem of street children is everybody's business, including LGUs, civil society, the church and the families of the street children.

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