How to Become a Licensed Foster Home/Family in the Philippines 

1.     What is foster care ?

This is providing temporary family care for infants, toddlers and even minors who have been surrendered, abandoned, separated from their biological families because of abuse, etc..

Under Philippine laws, surrendered and abandoned children are placed under the legal guardianship of the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD). Anybody who is involved in this kind of alternative care should coordinate with the DSWD.

2.     Requirements

The DSWD requires foster homes/families to be licensed , as required by law ( Art. 67 of PD 603 ). A social worker assists a potential foster home/family in fulfilling the license requirements.

How can one become a foster parent :

  • One does not have to be rich but should have a steady income to meet the family's own needs.
  • Must be legally married between 25 to 60 years old ( singles may qualify on a case to case basis ).
  • The foster family should be physically and emotionally healthy.
  • Other members of the family must agree to being a foster family.
  • Should have a genuine interest in parenting a non related child, temporarily helping him grow, provide normal family life, care and love.
  • Should be able to prepare a child to go back to his biological family or move into an adoptive home when the time comes.

After deciding to really become a foster family, certain procedures

/requirements must be met . First and foremost of these is the Home Study.

What is a home study ?

This is a detailed study of the applicant's character,background,motivations,experience with children, and competence to act as foster parents . The home study will also take into consideration the family's ability to cope with separation , foster care being temporary in nature. The home study is carried out in a serires of home visits and interviews by the social worker . Children and other members of the family are also interviewed.

Why is a license important ?

It protects the foster family from any liability unless the injury was due to extreme negilgence on the part of the foster family.

1.     Can a foster family coose a child to be fostered ?

The choice will only be limited as to the sex and age of the child. A child is selected and matched on the basisi of the capacity of the child to benefit from the resources of the family. Ideally, a foster family should be provided information on the child, a picture and medical report. In some cases , pre placement visits are arranged.

Foster parents may also meet with other foster parents so that experiences of long-time and experienced foster parents are shared.

2.     What are the responsibilities of foster parents ?

  • The primary responsibility of foster families is to nurture the child, although temporary, like their own.
  • If you feel the child can already understand, speak of the time that he will join his adoptive family. Explain the difference between your role as a foster family and a permanent family.

This way , you will help the child let go if it is time to go.

Foster families are also encouraged to keep a photo album and records which could be sent to the child when he joins his permanent family.

1.     What is the length of placement ?

Length of placement is variable. There are no hard and fast rules, but there are indications on how long the stay might be. For surrendered babies, adoptive placement may take anytime. If the baby/child has been recently abandoned, the child must wait for at least six months before legal determination of abandonment can be initiated. Adoptive placement can not take place unless the child is declared abandoned by the court.

If the placement is out of the country, the length of time may be longer.

For older children, other factors are considered. Firstly, older children are more difficult to place. The older the child gets, the harder to find a temporary home.


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