A few months ago we reported that there were going to be some changes in the Homes. In this article acting CEO, Glenn Manuel tells us some more about how the Homes are going about making these changes.
Hi Deacon Glenn, can you first tell us about the reasons why children come to stay in the CCM Homes?
The CCM girls and boys Homes have always functioned as orphanages. Due to poverty many have been neglected and some have also been abused, sexually or physically. But most of the children we care for actually do have parents. Very few are orphaned.
Why have the changes been implemented now?
It has always been the policy of the government welfare agency (DSWD) for children not to stay too long in an institution and now they are strongly imposing it. We need to be seen to be making an effort to conform to this, in order to obtain accreditation and license.
What is their reason for this?
They believe that children who are in an institution for a long period have difficulty and problems trying to adjust to reality when it is time for them to leave.
So what are the DSWD requiring?
They recommend that children should only be staying in an institution for 6 months to a year.
How have these changes impacted the CCM homes?
We do understand that we cannot just send children out. Our primary focus is the welfare of the children. The cases of each individual child need to be examined very closely before making any recommendations.
Is the government able to offer support to families in poverty?
The government is trying to do more to support families living in poverty and CCM social workers can try to link them to the opportunities that the government is offering.
This sounds like a lot more workload for the social workers and staff?
Yes this really is a double edged approach, we are caring for the child and at the same time seeking to prepare the family. It is a very new concept for us and we need to take time. We are showing to the DSWD that we are trying to comply with their recomm-endations. We have already updated our Manual of Operation which is a good start!
How can the families be supported?
Well the Social workers are already making more visits to the families and looking for more ways we can help. Where it is required we can organize seminars for parents and counselling but all of this takes time.
How would these changes affect the children?
When a child is admitted to CCM an initial assessment is made and after this there are several options.
For cases of neglect and poverty then we would work with the family. We’d hope to prepare the family and reconcile the child back with them within 2 to 3 years. For some children we would pursue adoption or fostering. (This would just be for the children who are below 12 years though.)
For more complex cases involving sexual abuse, these often involve lengthy court cases. These kind of cases need special handling and care. If necessary we will transfer children to an institution that is able to support them more effectively. There will be some special cases where children do not qualify for any of those options and in those cases, they may stay longer in the Homes.
Thanks Deacon Glenn.
It’s good that the Social Workers are examining closely what is in the best interest of each individual child.
While they are in the Homes they are safe and well provided for by our social workers and house-parents. They are able to hear the word of God in devotions and at church each Lord’s Day.
Although we need to be seen to be conforming to the polices required by the DSWD let’s remember that this is an amazing opportunity that we have to share God’s love and God’s Word with them.
We are looking forward to working more closely with their families and for opportunities to share God’s Word with them also.
Let us pray for Deacon Glenn in his important role.