DSWD Davao to open helpline project for children at risk

October 22, 2009 11:16 pm 

DAVAO CITY, Oct. 23 – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will launch Project Helpline for Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) on October 27 at the regional office in this city.

DSWD regional director Ester Acebedo-Verzosa said Project Helpline will be manned by a social worker trained on handling CICL Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Versoza said the Project Helpline was conceived with the following:

— make the public understand fully the intention of RA 9344, and appreciate and support its implementation;

— provide assistance to duty bearers in carrying their responsibilities under the law; and

— help children at-risk, CICL and their families understand the law, their duties and responsibilities, and improve their situations through provision of skills.

Versoza said at least 50 social workers from the regional and local government offices, members of Davao media, lawyers from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), law enforcement officers and interfaith members will witness the launching of the project.

She said Project Helpline provides over-the-phone assistance like counseling and referrals to children at-risk, CILC, service providers and stakeholders on problems and concerns relative to the implementation of Republic Act 9344 or the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act.

She said DSWD Davao can be contacted thru telephone number (082) 224-2643.

However, the Social Technology Bureau of DSWD Central Office handles the Project Helpline nationwide which was opened last July with telephone number (02) 931-9141.

A consultation-dialog on Republic Act 9344 which mandates intervention program for children at-risk as well as diversion program to CICL for rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream will be followed after the event, she said.

Versoza said issues on management and handling of children at-risk and CICL will be tackled during the discussion. (PNA) FFC/CDD/lvp

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