They used to roam the streets, begging for alms, playing, or worst, joining activities of syndicates. They are the 24 street children who are provided with pyschosocial interventions while temporarily placed at DSWD’s Haven for Children in Dagupan City.

While at the Haven for Children, various activities keep them busy while restoring their social functioning. These activities include productivity skills development, homelife, spiritual, educational, medical, referral, and simulation therapy activities.

These children are now equipped with livelihood skills such as fish processing, basic baking, and shellcrafting with the trainings conducted during the first 6 months of this year. Social Worker Juliet Sicat said shellcrafting is the most favored activity since it encourages creativity and fun among the residents.

Seventeen (17) schoolers continue their schooling at Federico Intergated School at Bonoan, Dagupan City; four clients are enrolled at SPED-Dagupan City; and six clients are engaged in Functional Literacy in the Center. This is among the rights of these children realized while in the Center.

Just like counseling, games and simulation therapy are among the frequently facilitated activities by houseparents and social workers. The former is conducted to immediately check the children when violations happen such as disrespecting visitors or center staff or hitting fellow residents.

In situations where the children mention their longing to see their parents, the houseparents and social workers immediately call the attention of parents through Local Social Welfare and Development Officers in their respective areas.

With love and respect, positive things happen

Children have various dynamics of learning and socialization. Because of this, Center Head Rosemarie Rosales always reminds the staff to provide the services to the children with more patience, love, care, and understanding anchored on the zero-child-abuse policy.

One child who learned simple good grooming is good enough inspiration to the social workers and houseparents handling the case management of the residents.

When asked about the services in the Center as to their significant help, “Nakagiginhawa ng sarili at nakatutulong upang makalimutan ang bad memories (Services provide relief and help us forget bad memories),” said Matthew, one of the residents who used to receive whipping from his father that led him to leave his parents and roam the streets.

The most important values learned in the Center according to Matthew are being respectful and being loving to other people. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Information Officer II)