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DSWD releases guidelines on program for teenage moms

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released the guidelines for the national implementation of the Psychosocial Support and Other Interventions for Adolescent Mothers and their Families Project or ProtecTEEN, an agency official said on Monday (April 22).

“This project is the Department’s response to Executive Order 141, series of 2021, adopting as a national priority the implementation of measures to address the root causes of the rising number of teenage pregnancies and mobilizing government agencies, and part of the Social Protection Program for Adolescent Mothers and their Children (SPPAMC),” Asst. Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group (DRMG) Irene Dumlao explained.

Asst. Secretary Dumlao, who is also the DSWD spokesperson, said the ProtecTEEN is in line with the national priority to prevent teenage pregnancy and provide interventions for adolescent mothers and their families.

“ProtecTEEN adopts a social welfare model of intervention that aims to protect the rights of adolescent mothers and their families as well as to safeguard and enhance their psychosocial well-being,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

The DSWD official said the program also aims to improve the capacity of teenage mothers to perform their expected duties as parents of their children through the provision of direct social services and assistance, referral to other concerned agencies, and organizing peer advocates.

“The ProtecTEEN Project utilizes a child-friendly, gender-responsive, and rights-based approach to help adolescent mothers, their spouses or partners, and their families to create a supportive atmosphere at home, and an enabling environment for shared parenting,” Asst. Sec. Dumlao pointed out.

This initiative of the DSWD targets to serve adolescent mothers aged 10 to 19, including their partners, parents, children and other household-members.

After the successful pilot implementation of ProtecTEEN in Antipolo City and Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, the project will now cover all local government units (LGUs) and national government organizations (NGOs) that are willing to adopt the program.

Among the interventions that will be provided to help adolescent mothers are family healing sessions; family case management; employment, livelihood, and educational assistance; capability building activities; and referrals to other LGUs or NGOs.

“The project will also conduct advocacy initiatives to address discrimination and social stigma among adolescent mothers, as well as empower them to seek reproductive health (RH) services and other related interventions,” Asst. Sec Dumlao said.

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