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(NAR) VOL. 11 NO.1 / JANUARY – MARCH 2000

[ DSWD DEPARTMENT ORDER NO. 02, S. 1996, February 21, 1996 ]



It is the right of every child to grow up and be nurtured by his own family. Family life coupled with a satisfactory relationship between parents and the child results into wholesome personality development of the child.

The biological family is responsible for providing family life to a child and for this reason should be fostered and nurtured, whenever possible. There are instances, however, when this may not be possible. When problems of broken home, unwed motherhood, abandonment illness, extreme poverty and others seriously disrupt the family to fulfill its primary function as the basic institution in rearing a child to adulthood, then substitute parental care becomes necessary. The child has to be cared for elsewhere, temporarily, before his return to his biological family or to a more permanent placement.

While there are residential facilities available a child grows best with a family where all his needs are met. Studies have shown that institutional life has had adverse effects for most children especially infants and pre-schoolers. Over-dependency and anti-social behavior, personality disorganization and emotional disorders are often associated with adults who grew up in orphanages and institutions.

Placement of children in a substitute parental arrangement is essential for their continuing growth and development away from their own homes.

Adoption, foster care, kinship care and legal guardianship are alternative family care arrangements which provide family life to an abandoned, neglected or parentless child to ensure his physical, intellectual and social well-being.


This project shall primarily focus on the development of local adoptive and foster families for abandoned, neglected and orphaned children. Other forms of alternative family care maybe developed, e.g., legal guardianship and kinship care to prevent institutionalization of children. However, there are certain instances wherein a child can benefit more from residential care like when a controlled or therapeutic environment is needed.

A.        General Objective:

The project aims to provide family life to abused, abandoned neglected and orphaned children through adoption, foster care and other alternative family care.

B.        Specific Objectives:

1.    To provide the public information on local adoption, foster care and other alternative family care; for abused, abandoned, neglected and orphaned children.

2.    To develop a pool of local adoptive families, licensed foster families and other forms of alternative family care nationwide.

3.    To maintain a data bank on children needing alternative family care and families qualified to provide such care.


1.         Advocacy, Networking and Social Mobilization

1.1.   The use of other governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, volunteers and support groups as partners in mobilizing people and the community to introduce and advocate amendments to existing laws, policies and procedures related to adoption and other child placement issues.

1.2.   Education, information and dissemination activities which are aimed at raising the awareness of the public on adoption and other alternative family care through the following:

a.         Development and production of information, education and communication (IEC) materials such as brochures, posters and flipcharts.

b.         Use of tri-media (radio/television/movie plugs, magazines, etc.)

1.3.   Conduct of consultation, dialogues/meetings with agencies and groups involved in adoption, foster care and other alternative family care, e.g. child caring/child placement agencies, hospitals, lawyers and judges, etc.

Key partners in advocacy, networking and social mobilization activities are Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF), The Adoptive Families Foundation (AFF), the Association of Child Agencies and the media.

2.         Development and Maintenance of Adoptive and Foster Families

2.1.   The continuous recruitment, development, assessment and maintenance of adoptive and foster families even while there are no children who are presently in need of alternative family care in order that there is a ready pool of foster and adoptive families from which to select to meet the needs of a specific child when the need arises. Relatives or godparents of abandoned, neglected and orphaned children shall be encouraged to be foster/adoptive families or legal guardians of a child.

2.2    The strengthening of qualified adoptive and foster families through a continuing development program aims at sustaining and enhancing their motivations and interest and developing further their capabilities as foster and adoptive families.

3.         Training and Capability Building

3.1.   Conduct of regular case conferences and other staff development activities, e.g. trainings seminars and workshops to further enhance the skills of the direct service providers in the case management of abandoned, orphaned and neglected children.

3.2.   The Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) and the Child Welfare Specialists shall be provided a venue to further enhance their capability in the assessment of families and children in matching or family selection.

4.         Data Banking and Research

4.1.   A data banking system shall be installed at the Bureau and at the Field Offices to have a central data on the following

4.1.1    Abandoned, neglected and orphaned children
4.1.2    Institutions/centers
4.1.3.   Approved adoptive/foster families and legal guardians

4.2.   A research on socio-cultural factors and impediments affecting adoption shall be conducted.

5.         Monitoring and Evaluation

5.1.   The Bureau shall develop a monitoring (Appendix A) form and provide technical assistance to the Child Welfare Specialists.

5.2.   Monitoring shall be conducted by the program staff of the Bureau once a quarter and the Social Welfare Specialist once a month for the succeeding phase or as the need arises.

5.3.   A year-end evaluation shall be conducted by the Bureau in coordination with the Field Offices to determine the extent of the implementation of the project and to determine areas for technical assistance and modification of policies and procedures.


Alternative family care is provided to children in especially difficult circumstances whose parents are unable to provide for their basic needs either temporarily or permanently brought about by problems in family relationships, illness, extreme poverty, lack of parenting preparation, etc. aggravated by lack of family support.

Alternative family care may be provided through the following social work interventions under the child care and placement services:

1.         Adoption — is a socio-legal process which enables a child who cannot be reared by his biological parents acquire legal status wherein he can benefit from new relationships with a permanent family. Adoption establishes a parent-child relation resulting in the same mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their biological parents.

2.         Foster Family Care — is the provision of planned substitute parental care to a child on a temporary basis by a licensed foster family when his/her biological parents are unable to care for him/her for a certain period of time. The child maybe placed on a short term (6 months) or long term (1 year or more) placement depending on the child's needs.

3.         Kinship Care — is a form of foster family care to provide a planned substitute parental care to a child by a licensed foster family within the extended family and/or with godparents system of a child when his/her biological parents are unable to care for him/her for a certain period of time. It is congruent with family preservation with emphasis on maintaining biological ties and avoiding out-of-home care. Further, it prevents the institutionalization of a child. The placement maybe longer than a regular foster care due to blood relationships.

4.  Legal Guardianship — is a socio-legal process of providing a child substitute parental care thru the appointment of legal guardianship over the child and his/her property until the child reaches the age of majority. This does not give a child equal rights and status as that of the biological child like the right to a name, inheritance, etc.


This project shall be implemented nationwide.

1.         Family Recruitment and Development — Recruitment and development of adoptive/foster families may be done through the following:

1.1.   Interpretation of the service to the community through use of tri-media, e.g. television, radio, posters, magazines, etc., as well as personal contacts to recruit/develop adoptive, foster families.

1.2.   Conduct of regular fora/group orientation on adoption and foster care

The Field Office shall conduct a series of foster care/adoption fora to groups of applicants to provide information about adoption and foster care and other alternative family care. Such fora shall be a tool for self-screening, assessment of applicants and development of adoptive/foster families, kinship care givers and legal guardians.

The following topics shall be discussed:

a.    What is adoption/foster care/kinship care?
b.    The effects of adoption/foster care/legal guardianship and other forms of alternative family care
c.    Requirements to become a foster/adoptive family
d.    The adoption/foster care process
e.    Required documents
f.     The different types of children available for adoption/foster care

2.         Family Assessment — A thorough study and assessment on all adoptive/foster parent applicants and their families is necessary to determine their motivations and whether they fully meet the requirements and to evaluate their capability to provide a safe, secure, and loving home for an adoptive/a foster child.

2.1.   Conduct of Homestudy for Adoption/Foster Care — The Field Office through the Social Welfare Officer II shall conduct planned interviews, home visits and collateral interviews with the applicants, their children, if any and other persons who may have direct involvement with the child. This will provide the social worker the opportunity to know the applicants and their family, to determine whether they fully meet the requirements and their capability to provide a safe, secure and loving home for an adoptive/foster child.

2.2.   If evaluation of the applicant's capability to adopt is favorable, the social worker shall prepare the adoption homestudy report recommending the approval of the prospective family. For a guide, the social worker may refer to the Self-Instructional Manual on Adoption.

2.3.   For foster care, the homestudy shall be prepared by the Social Welfare Officer II or the social worker of the licensed/accredited child placement agency implementing foster care program for the recommendation to license the foster family.

3.         Matching or Family Selection

3.1.   Matching refers to the judicious pairing of a child with a family based on the child's needs and his/her capability to benefit from the placement as well as the capability and interest of the adoptive/foster parents to meet the child's needs.

3.2.   This process shall be done in a regular matching conference at the Field Office by the Child Welfare Specialist Group (CWSG) where the social worker of the child and family are present. If a child is not matched to an adoptive family, all documents of the child shall be forwarded to the Bureau for interregional matching. Children not matched at this level are cleared and endorsed for intercountry adoption. (Please refer to APPENDIX B for flowchart).

3.3.   Only the social worker shall present the child during the matching conference except under extreme circumstances that she cannot attend shall the Executive Director of the child caring agency be allowed to present the case of the child.

4.         Pre-Placement Services — The social worker shall conduct activities to prepare the adoptive family and the child of his/her actual placement.

4.1.   Preparation of Adoptive/Foster Parents — After the matching conference, the adoptive/foster families shall be informed within one week of the child matched with them. Information on the child will be shared to help them understand and make plans for the child which shall include the following:

>         Family background including non-identifying data about biological parents
>         Developmental data
>         Personality and temperament
>         Medical history
>         Report of psychological examination, if appropriate
>         Recent photograph of the child

In addition to the above information the foster parents shall be advised of the following:

>         not to alienate child from parents
>         visiting/contacts with parents, if appropriate
>         conditions of placement including placement plans, if any

4.2.   Preparation of the Child — Preparation for placement shall be consistent with the child's age, understanding and emotional maturity. An older child shall be helped to understand why he/she will be going and what adoption or foster care means.

A life book of the child prepared by the social worker and child, if appropriate, and which contains pictures/short stories from the time the child was admitted in the institution shall be given to adoptive/foster parents. They should continue the life book.

The foster child shall be helped to understand temporary nature of care and to placement that visits/contacts shall be made possible with the child's family.

5.         Placement

5.1.   Placement refers to the physical transfer of a child either from a child caring agency or a foster home to the adoptive/foster family who shall be responsible for his/her car, and custody.

5.2.   A Pre-Adoption Placement Authority (PAPA;), or a Foster Placement Authority (FPA) shall be prepared and signed by the adoptive/foster families and Social Worker and approved by the Field Director or the Secretary in cases of interregional placement. The Social Worker should discuss the terms of the Authority and ensure these are understood. The Authority should be issued before the child's actual placement.

6.         Supervision of Placement

6.1    After the child has been placed to his/her adoptive/foster family, the social worker shall help the family and the child in the adjustment process and for adoption cases, likewise, facilitate the legal union. This period shall be for at least six months after placement. Reports shall be made by the social worker every after a visit done to the family. Please see the Manual on Adoption for an outline of report.

6.2.   Foster Care — The primary goal of supervision of foster homes is to ensure the foster home continues to meet standards. The social worker should visit the foster home and prepare reports on the child's adjustment in the home, and his/her relationship with his/her foster family and his/her own family special needs, if any and further goals for the placement.

Further, the foster parents should always be kept informed of any changes in the status of a foster child — e.g., plans for adoption or the child's return to his/her own home.

7.         Termination of Placement

7.1.   Disruption of Placement — There is disruption when adoption/foster care placement is not completed or discontinued due to problems either or both on the part of the child and/or adoptive/foster family. Refrain from using the word failure so as not to reinforce feelings of guilt, and inadequacy of the adoptive/foster family, the child or the social worker.

a.  Adoption

Disruption may occur if there is, among others:

>         unsatisfactory adjustment due to poor preparation of the child/family with inadequate support service from the agency
>         neglect, abuse exploitation of child or other situation detrimental to his/her growth and development
>         rejection of child by significant others in household

b.  Foster Care

Disruption may occur if there is, among others:

>         neglect, abuse, exploitation of child or other situation detrimental to his/her growth and development
>         difficulties in adjustment

In case of disruption removal of the child shall be done immediately when placement does not work out after other kinds of assistance to the child and adoptive/foster parents have been tried.

7.2.      Finalization of Placement

a.      Adoption

This is the legalization of the child's adoption in court.

The social worker, if placement is satisfactory shall make a recommendation for the issuance of the Consent to Adoption to the Director/Secretary. The final supervisory report shall support her/his recommendation.

Upon the worker's satisfactory evaluation, the social worker shall advise the adoptive parents to retain the services of a legal counsel to prepare the petition for adoption and represent them in the court proceedings. The petition shall be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the adoptive parents reside.

The home and child study reports shall be updated and original copies shall be submitted to the court before the scheduled date of hearing.

The social worker shall prepare to testify and attend the court hearing on its scheduled date:

a.1. Arrange a pre-hearing conference with the adoptive parents and their legal counsel.
a.2. Review case studies and memorize basic data before the court hearing.
a.3. Be on time for the hearing. If possible be there before the scheduled time.
a.4. Observe proper decorum in court.

If after considering the recommendation and reports of the DSWD and other evidences, the court is satisfied that the petitioners are qualified to adopt, then an Adoption Order/Decree shall be issued. Secure a certified copy of two Decree which shall form part of the case record.

The court shall forward to the Social Civil Registrar a copy of the Decree of Adoption for the amendment of the child's birth certificate. Necessary fees shall be paid by the adoptive parents.

The social worker shall secure a copy of the amended birth certificate which shall form part of the case record.

b.      Foster Care

Termination of placement shall be done by the agency under the following circumstances:

b.1. Return of the child to his biological family, extended family
b.2. Placement for adoption
b.3. Transfer to another foster family or in group care or residential care where the child shall benefit more
b.4. Death of the child

8.         Post Placement Services

8.1.   Adoption: Post-Legal Adoption Counselling

a.         The social worker conducts follow-up visits, provides counselling to the adoptee and/or adoptive family, if indicated
b.         The social worker shall assist the adoptive parents to handle issues, e.g., when the adoptive child is in search for his/her biological parents or just wants to know more about his/her background, roots

8.2.   Foster Care: After Care Services — After the return of the child to his/her own home, the social worker shall be available to ensure the child's reintegration adjustment to his/her family.

a.         Parents are helped to understand and cope with the child's problem in adjustment to his own home. They are helped to adjust to the child's re-entry.
b.         The child is helped to understand his/her return to his/her own home. He/she is helped to work out his/her feelings about his/her return to his/her own home and separation from his/her foster family.


Support services are provided to adoptive and foster families who are motivated and capable to provide family care to children but lack the financial and material resources to sufficiently meet the needs of a/an (additional) child. These may be in the form of any of the following:

1.         Financial Assistance for Adoptive Families:

1.1    Only those who will go through agency adoption which is the regular adoption process, shall be assessed and considered in the provision of financial assistance for publication and/or legal services to enable them finalize the adoption of a child.

1.2.   On a selected basis, the adoptive parents may be extended the financial assistance not exceeding P3,000.00 based on the assessment of the social worker. The prospective adoptive parent's counterpart is the additional fees for legal services and other necessary documents in the finalization of the adoption.

2.         Foster Care Subsidy and Other Assistance

2.1.   Based on the home study of the foster family applicant, the social worker shall determine the need for subsidy of foster parents to care for a child. The subsidy is meant as an incentive and not a means to augment their income.

2.2.   Only those eligible for subsidy shall be given P500.00 a month during the stay of a child in their home. These are families who are equally motivated and capable to provide foster care but lack the material resources to sufficiently meet the needs of an additional child.

2.3    Supplies for Foster Children

a.         Licensed foster families shall be given supplies for the child under their care in the form of milk, feeding bottles, toys, medicines, vitamins, school needs, clothing which shall be within the range of P800.00 to P1,000.00/child/month and to be given based on the child's needs as assessed by the social worker.

b.         Volunteer licensed foster families are those who belong to the middle and upper income group who are able to provide for the needs of the child. They are provided minimal child caring supplies and medical needs for their foster child as requested and approved by the Field Office Director. Such families are not provided with monthly subsidies.

2.4.   Other Assistance to Foster Families — Other assistance may be provided to the foster family in the form of medical assistance, legal advice/services, livelihood programs, etc. through referrals to the Department of Health and other GOs and NGOs.


1.         DSWD — Bureau of Child and Youth Welfare

1.1.   Prepares the project proposal and implementing guidelines of the Local Adoption and other Alternative Family Care for Abandoned and Neglected Children project.

1.2.   Develops/produces advocacy/IEC materials such as brochures, posters and flip charts for information dissemination about the project as well as coordination with radio station for airplug on local adoption and foster care.

1.3.   Provides technical assistance and shall provide the necessary funds for the implementation of the project as well as the conduct of training and research in coordination with the field offices/units of DSWD.

1.4.   Monitors and conducts regular evaluation to provide additional inputs for the project and determine its effectiveness.

1.5.   Installs a data bank as to profile of abandoned and neglected children in DSWD institution/centers as well as in the community and of approved adoptive and license foster families.

1.6.   Initiates networking and coordination with other GOs and NGOs to facilitate adoption and foster care program as well as to develop and enrich policies.

1.7.   Coordinates overall implementation of the project.

2.         DSWD Field Office

2.1.   Assumes full responsibility and accountability for the implementation of the project in their respective regions in consultation with BCYW.

2.2.   Provides technical supervision over the staff directly involved in the overall implementation of the project.

2.3.   Supervises the judicious utilization of project funds.

3.         Social Welfare Officer II

3.1.   Prepares home studies of applicants which shall also include an assessment of the applicants eligibility to receive subsidy/financial assistance, if indicated.

3.2.   Conducts foster care and adoption fora monthly or as the need arises.

3.3.   Prepares approved adoptive and foster families before actual placement of child.

3.4.   Supervises trial custody whereby the adoptive/foster family and the child is helped in the adjustment process either to facilitate legal union for adoption cases or to ensure smooth adjustment/relationship of a child to his/her foster family.

3.5.   Assists the adoptive family in the legalization/finalization of the adoption process.

3.6.   Adequately prepares the foster family and the child if appropriate in the separation process by discussing reasons and circumstances of the termination of foster care as well as the future plans for the child.

3.7.   Coordinates and links adoption/foster families to other GOs and NGOs for other support services, e.g., legal, medical, etc.

3.8.   Ensures that foster families receive the necessary support services in the form of milk, feeding bottles, medicines, diapers, etc. depending on the needs of the child under their care.

3.9.   Prepares and submit quarterly reports to the Field Office.

For compliance.

Adopted: 21 February 1996



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