Child protection advocate Shirlyn D. Lamsen made a breakthrough for DSWD FO 1 Home for Girls (HFG) after being named by the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) national committee as one of the top three finalists for the Best Social Worker Category. She is the first-ever DSWD FO 1 HFG social worker to compete at the national level for the Best Social Worker award .

With her loyalty as a public servant serving for about 11 years, including 5 years at the Center, Shirlyn has already proven herself through excellent delivery of protective services and consistent display of commendable work ethics. “I care for my clients the way I care for my own children. I do my best to contribute to the improvement of services intended for the residents and my initiatives are geared towards empowering our girl-children. Our residents are more than just clients. They are my children too,”she said.

Enabling role

True enough, Shirlyn exudes dedication as an enabler through various innovations on case management. She exhibited remarkable commitment to upholding the welfare of the vulnerable and disadvantaged children by continuously enhancing case management strategies. Considered as her most significant contribution, Shirlyn spearheaded the crafting of relevant tools to monitor clients’ progress in various aspects which paved the way to the development of a customized social functioning indicator of HFG, a tool that is primarily utilized in determining clients’ rehabilitation. Such innovation and initiative contributed to the realization of the Department’s organizational outcome along with the promotion and protection of the rights of the poor and the vulnerable sectors through center and residential based services.

Child protection advocate

With her endeavor to push the boundaries, Shirlyn took child protection to a higher level by introducing a mechanism in which children are empowered to take the lead in the promotion and

protection of their rights. Believing that every child matters, she initiated the establishment of a customized child protection policy of the HFG which was eventually approved and institutionalized. Consequently, the HFG became a better avenue for self-expression among the residents as they were provided with a more secure environment where their voices are equally heard and valued.

Shirlyn also brought her advocacy outside the four corners of the HFG by reaching out to elementary and high school students. She believes that center and residential care facilities like the HFG can also take an active role in strengthening the advocacy efforts of DSWD with other stakeholders and the community as a whole.

Juggling multiple roles

In a workplace where multi-tasking is a norm not all can deliver excellent outputs, Shirlyn was successful in juggling her equally important roles as a caseworker and a Unit Head. She exhibited excellence by consistently accomplishing well-prepared and well-documented reports as reflected in the complete case folders of clients served. She likewise supervised activities on case management, targeting and monitoring of the Center’s deliverables, accomplishment of major reports, and compliance of the Center to various accreditations/ standards. She outstandingly balanced her role without compromising other important aspects of her responsibility.

Shirlyn continues to introduce initiatives and innovations and strives to become a role model especially to the younger generations of social workers in the Department as the newly-designated OIC-Center Head of HFG. #By: Roulyn B. Bangud, Home for Girls