Social workers trained to handle rugby-sniffing street children

Social workers trained to handle rugby-sniffing street children

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the region has recently concluded the three-day training of social workers and house-parents managing the local government’s Social Development Center (SDC), a facility that caters to street children in this city.

The SDC has been established to respond to the need of providing temporary shelter and rehabilitation to street children in this city.

DSWD Assistant Regional Director Zenaida Arevalo said the three-day training held from August 22 to 24 at the DSWD Conference Room is one of the series of activities lined up for the operationalization of the program.

The training was focused on understanding oneself as service provider; situationer and dynamics of street children in Zamboanga City; theories on personality; the Filipino child under stress; handling basic medical and health needs of street children/rugby-sniffing children; substance abuse and its effects; trauma and recovery; basic principles and techniques in case management & group work; task and responsibilities of service providers; accreditation guidelines; and work-planning.

"Other capability building activities have already been programmed to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitude of the SDC staff in effectively handling the rugby-sniffing street children, like training on counseling and case management, demonstration of caseload inventory/reviews, and conduct of case conferences," Arevalo said.

The program is a pilot test for social technology developed by the DSWD in Region 9. It was approved for implementation in coordination with the local government.

However, despite its presence, as well as of other non-government organization (NGO) centers, street children still abound in this city’s streets.

While some of these children try to fend for themselves through vending, helping park vehicles, or as baggage carriers, others are led to substance abuse through rugby sniffing.

Statistics shows there are more children who are into substance abuse in this city as shown by the reports of the Task Force for Street Children.

As a response, a Comprehensive Program for Rugby-Sniffing Street Children was developed by the DSWD in Region 9, since there is no specialized program addressing this problem, although it’s classified with the regular street children programs and services.

This comprehensive program seeks to address the rising incidence of rugby-sniffing children, mitigate its negative effects, and to restore normal and healthy life for the rugby-sniffing children.

The technology involves the following components: physical rehabilitation (medical, detoxification, nutrition); psychological services (counseling, psycho-therapy, trauma management); social services (sports and recreation, education); spiritual (value formation, spiritual development).

The SDC is the implementing arm of this comprehensive program, with the DSWD providing technical inputs. (PNA)

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