Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman will lead the Ceremonial Signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the “Foster Care Act of 2012” or Republic Act No. 10165 at the DSWD Central Office, Batasan Hills, Quezon City on November 19, 2012.

The Foster Care Act of 2012 adheres to the State policy to provide every child who is neglected, abused, surrendered, dependent, abandoned, under sociocultural difficulties, or with special needs with an alternative family that will provide love and care as well as opportunities for growth and development.

Likewise, the State recognizes that in most cases, a child will benefit more from foster care than institutional care

Secretary Soliman said that with the passage of the Foster Care Act of 2012, the government will now be able to provide temporary care for children who cannot live with their own parents because of neglect, abuse or a family crisis.

“This law supports the DSWD policy on de-institutionalization of children, wherein immediate transfer of children from institutions to an alternative family or independent living is encouraged,” she emphasized.

Foster care is a very nurturing alternative parental care for abandoned, neglected, orphaned children and other children with special needs, among others, Secretary Soliman added.

The law also provides assistance and tax incentives to foster parents, child caring agencies, and donor institutions.

Under the law, those who wish to become a foster parent must be: of legal age; at least sixteen (16) years older than the child unless the foster parent is a relative; must have a genuine interest, capacity and commitment in parenting and is able to provide a familial atmosphere for the child; must have a healthy and harmonious relationship with each family member living with him or her; of good moral character; physically and mentally capable and emotionally mature; have sufficient resources to be able to provide for the family’s needs; willing to further hone or be trained on knowledge, attitudes and skills in caring for a child; and must not already have the maximum number of children under his foster care at the time of application or award.

Further, the law provides that a foster parent may adopt his or her foster child if they possess all the qualifications as provided for by Republic Act No. 8552, otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 or Republic Act No. 8043, otherwise known as the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995.

RA 8552 specifies that a Filipino citizen of legal age, of good moral character, has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude, emotionally and psychologically capable of caring for children, at least sixteen (16) years older than the adoptee, and who is in a position to support and care for his/her children in keeping with the means of the family, may be eligible for domestic adoption.

Under RA No. 10165, foster parents will be with the support care services such as counselling, training on child care and development, respite care, skills training and livelihood assistance.

In addition, foster parents may be entitled to personal tax exemption and additional exemption for dependents.

Further, the law also states that a non-government organization (NGO) accredited by the DSWD  which provides foster care to children shall be exempted from paying tax on its income as an organization under the provision of Section 30 of the Tax Code of the Philippines.

Qualified NGOs may likewise apply as a donee institution that will entitle them to receive donations. ###