CSWD on rescue, rehab mission of street kids

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

EVERY night, street children are rescued by the City Social Welfare and Development (CSWD) office for profiling and psychological intervention.

Teodoro Sabugaa Jr., officer in charge of CSWD, said his office is monitoring around 40 to 60 street kids who are either abandoned, neglected or have no address.

He said these children are not just being rescued and hidden elsewhere but they are provided a “home” and education.


He also said that the Boys Town shelter in Barangay Lumbia housed around 20 kids who are sent to public schools there.

He said the male children in “Boys town” have untraceable parents and so, they are housed permanently in that facility.

At the Social Development Center, Sabugaa said the girls who are victims of child abuse, abandonment and neglect are housed there.

Sabugaa shared that the first step to the program is the profiling of the street kids and their parents.

He said it is important to account the number of street urchins in the city, rescue them and seek the attention of their parents.


To establish trust with these children is important because they have developed mistrust over time and their transformation could only come when they open themselves to reform, he said.

Sabugaa added there are street kids that they have rescued repeatedly, “but that is okay because sooner or later one of them will open his or her heart for reform through counseling.”

He said the profiling of these kids will be continuous so CSWD can gauge the level of their acceptability to undergo psychological intervention.

He said that by the time they will accept reform, it is best to launch an intervention to their parents because these kids will be returned to their homes.

Intervention on parents

Sabugaa said the next step of their intervention is case management on the part of the parents.

Parents who will claim their children after being rescued will be profiled and scheduled for a dialogue with the CSWD personnel.

Apart from that, Sabugaa said, “on the case management, parents will be invited along with the members of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children where a team of psychologists, police officers and nongovernment organizations to help discuss about the parent’s responsibility.”

He emphasized the importance of the parents’ role apart from the government’s intervention.

During case interventions, the weaknesses and strengths of the parents will also be discussed and highlighting the strengths of the parents can help with the intervention program, he added.

“The accountability of the parents is a primary factor because they are the teachers at home,” Sabugaa said.

The inadequacies of the parents in handling their children will also be revealed during case managements.

He said if the parents lack education, the City Government will help them achieve basic education.

“If the parents can be trained to learn skills then there is the Alternative Education System (ALS) that can help them look for livelihood,” Sabuga-a said.

Education is the bridge between empowering parents and their accountability to the children.


Sabugaa said the CSWD is also eyeing an ordinance that will penalize parents’ negligence over their children.

He said this is a “one of a kind” ordinance that is being implemented in Mandaluyong City.

Sabugaa said it is important to get insights from the ordinance to hold the parents accountable to their children.

He blames negligence of parents as one of the reasons why there are a lot of children roaming the streets.

Sabugaa said the last part of the program is to engage the parents in natural family planning in partnership with the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 05, 2014.

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