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Manila Times: Foster Children

Posted by FAN Admin in Connections, International/Adoption Philippines, News on 05 23rd, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009

DOUBLE TAKE
By Eric F. Mallonga

Foster children

CHILDREN have a right, as recognized under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to a family. This means that children have a right to a family environment, with adults responsible for the child’s growth and development. Thus, nurturing child care is deemed of utmost importance for children to possess the qualities of independence, maturity, responsibility, and values that are necessary once they are emancipated from their childhood. Such caring nurturance is supposed to be provided by a family, where responsible, loving, and mature adult(s) are obligated to imbue the children under their care with such qualities.Unfortunately, in an impoverished third world country like the Philippines, children are left to their own resources. Children live on the streets, in the parks, in the cavities of the rocks along breakwater walls, under bridges and flyovers, forever condemned to eat inedible food salvaged from trash bins around the metropolis. While Congressmen spend their development assistance fund on their attendance at the matches of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and absent themselves during daily sessions of Congress, the plight of children remains deplorable. There are very few bills on children that have been filed in Congress, mostly pending for the past 12 to 14 years, simply because the legislators consider their own aggrandizement of utmost importance over the plight of our children.

And so, the Foster Care bill, which intends to uplift the plight of children through placement in foster families, has remained unattended for the past 14 years.

Foster parenting is an alternative form of placement for children without a family. It is totally distinct from adoption, which provides a child with all rights, including succession or inheritance rights, of a legitimate child. Adoptive parents possess equal parental responsibility as biological parents. On the other hand, foster care is a short-term option while determining the long-term life plan of the child in question. Thus, certified, stand-in “foster parents” possess responsibility for the minor child or young person who has been removed from birth parents or other custodial adults by state authority.

Three permanent life plans have to be determined by state authority while the child is in a foster home.

First, reunification or reintegration with the biological parent(s). Efforts must be exhaustive to rehabilitate a biological family so they can provide proper nurturance for their child. A parent who has physically abused a child can oftentimes be rehabilitated through anger management training and providing regular monitoring and counselling in weaning away the parent from a mode of corporal chastise­ment to positive parenting. In cases of sexual abuse, a parent deserves incarceration or exile as sexual compulsions are almost untreatable, and any form of reunification will only endanger the stability and security of the child.

Second, the state must consider, as the next strongest alternative to reunification, the conversion of the foster parents into a legally-permanent guar­dianship or adoption. Foster parents, who have come to love their foster child as their own with the strong bonds of friendship, affection and nurturance developed during the course of the fostering period, must be deemed the alternative family.

Third, if the foster family does not manifest their willingness or capacity to take in their foster child on a more permanent basis through guardianship or adoption, then permanent placement of the child can be made with another more legally permanent family, again through guardianship or adoption.

The Foster Care bill being pushed by the Parenting Foundation founded by British-educated psychologist Pazi de Guzman promotes different kinds of foster arrangements in view of the deinstutionali­zation trends in caring for children. Foster arrangements, being family-oriented and State monitored, are deemed much superior to institutional care in orphanages, especially in the run-down, neglected, and deleterious environments provided by government welfare units and agencies in their reception Centers. To the child, who feels imprisoned and abused in such reception Centers, the streets and parks offer a better alternative than such Centers masquerading as children’s homes.

In light thereof, de Guzman pushes for a more enlightened approach in the promotion of foster parenting. Licensing foster parents must be expeditious once there is a determination of their skills and capacities to take in children, especially those with behavioural problems requiring specialized treatment.

Foster parents must also be financially subsidized, especially for the child’s medical contingencies. Monetary reimbursements are not the primary aim of foster parents, and this is part of the assessment that social workers and psychologists conduct in their licensing of foster parents. The primary standard in the determination of foster parents has been their capacity for nur­turance and their skills in parenting. But financial subsidies are important.

These are among the aspirations of the Foster Care bill that, of course, our congressmen are not aware of as they are more concerned about their pretentious display of nationalistic fervor at boxing matches in Las Vegas as they freely spend people’s money for their entertainment and pleasure.

ericfmallonga@yahoo.com



May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Connections on 05 13th, 2009

It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is celebrated in May to commemorate the contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. In 1990 Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month long celebration and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.”[1]
Reference
here

Here are some APAHM event listings:

Asian Heritage Street Fair (CA)

May 16th 11:00am-6:00pm
Civic Center of Little Saigon
FREE ADMISSION

Singgalot: The Ties That Bind
Odegaard Undergraduate Library
Seattle University of Washington
May 16 – August 16, 2009

Singgalot: The Ties That Bind Today there are more than 2.5 million Filipino Americans in the U.S. Yet many, including Filipinos themselves, aren’t familiar with the details of their history in America: their experiences, rich traditions and culture. “Singgalot” is their story. In 2006, the Smithsonian Filipino American Centennial Commemoration marked 100 years of Filipino migration to the United States with insightful exhibitions, special programs, and an extensive curriculum guide. The exhibition was by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program and organized by SITES.
www.lib.washington.edu

Pacific Rim Street Festival (CA)

May 17, 2009 from 10:00am -5:00pm i
Old Sacramento/Westfield Downtown Plaza.
Sacramento, CA

Voices Old and New
May 17, 2009 1:00-2:00pm
Angel Island, CA

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and the Angel Island State Park will hold a poetry reading at the historic U.S. Immigration Station, Angel Island on Sunday, May 17 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The Immigration Station was the point of entry for over one million immigrants from over 80 nations between 1910 and 1940. This “Ellis Island of the West” is known for the Chinese poems and other inscriptions written and carved on the barracks walls. Immigrants spent weeks and months undergoing interrogations to verify their legal right to enter the United States.

DC Asian Pacific American Film

View website for upcoming screenings

Check out these useful websites to learn about AAPHM:

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – official website

This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Infoplease

Infoplease is a comprehensive reference source that combines the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas, and several almanacs loaded with statistics, facts, and historical records. A single search engine allows you to search all these sources at once. The Asian section gives an overview of various Asian populations – giving information on history, special features etc…..

Wing Luke Asian Museum (WA)

Believing that the culture and traditions of Chinese and other Asian immigrants should be preserved and taught, Wing envisioned a place to present the history and important issues of Asian Americans. The Wing Luke Asian Museum was founded to fulfill that vision.

Imdiversity

Asian Pacific American Heritage (and History) Month @ AAV
Features, links, news, activities for kids, historical interest, books, and more

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program (DC)

The Smithsonian Institution, the nation’s premier complex of museums, has embarked on an historic journey to incorporate the meaningful elements of Asian Pacific American (APA) heritages into its museum and offices.