Training and Designation of DepEd Child Protection Specialists
August 17, 2016
DepEd Memorandum No. 131, s. 2016
TRAINING AND DESIGNATION OF DEPED CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALISTS
Bureau and Service Directors
Schools Division Superintendents
Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools Heads
All Others Concerned
1. Pursuant to DepEd Order (DO) No. 40, s. 2012 entitled DepEd Child Protection Policy, DO 55, s. 2013 entitled Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, and DO 18, s. 2015 entitled DepEd Guidelines and Procedures on the Management of Children-at-Risk (CAR) and Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL), the Department of Education (DepEd) shall provide special protection to children gravely threatened or endangered by circumstances which affect their normal development and over which they have no control, and assist the concerned agencies in the rehabilitation of affected children.
2. To further strengthen the implementation of DepEd policies on Child Protection and to reiterate DepEd’s zero tolerance policy for any act of child abuse, exploitation, violence, discrimination, bullying and other forms of abuse, the Department shall train and designate Child Protection Specialists (CPS) who shall provide technical advice to the schools and their respective schools divisions on complex or serious Child Protection cases brought to their attention and recommend actions to address the same based on existing Child Protection -related laws and pertinent DepEd issuances. The CPS shall likewise assist in the referral of cases to other government, nongovernment or other agencies for appropriate interventions or further case management.
3. The responsibilities and tasks of the CPS shall be as follows:
a. Network-Building. The CPS shall network and liaise with the different government and nongovernment agencies involved in Child Protection for the referral of complex and serious child protection cases. The CPS, in coordination with the Division Focal Person for Child Protection (DFPCP), shall likewise develop and update a directory of resources which can easily be accessed and used by the parties in the referral of cases. In particular, the CPS shall:
i. identify the different government agencies, nongovernment institutions or organizations and local government entities (e.g. Barangay Councils for Child Protection (BCPCs), Women and Children’s Protection Desks (WCPDs), Local/City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs/CSWDOs/ MSWDOs), Child Protection Units (CPUs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and child-focused nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and introduce themselves and their role as CPS. The CPS shall gather relevant contact information of the concerned agencies, as well as provide their own contact information for case referral and effective coordination; and
ii. coordinate with the DFPCP for the creation of a directory of resources of the different agencies and institutions where services and various forms of assistance may be provided to the affected children. The directory shall specify the contact persons of the agency, the services offered and the requisites to avail the same. The directory shall be regularly updated and shall be made readily available to all schools and the schools division offices at all times.
b. Providing Technical Advice and Referral of Cases. The CPS shall provide timely advice to the school or schools division relative to complex and serious child protection cases such as, but not limited to, child abuse, discrimination against children, child exploitation, violence against children in school, corporal punishment, bullying or peer abuse and similar acts of violence or abuse defined in DO 40, s. 2012 and DO 55, s. 2013. The CPS shall likewise assist in the referral of Children-at-Risk (CAR) or Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) to the proper agency for further assessment or intervention, in accordance with DO 18, s. 2015. Child protection cases shall be referred to the designated CPS from the schools division where the case occurred.
For purposes of this policy, complex child protection cases are those which involve two or more victims or two perpetrators, while serious child protection cases shall be those which result in serious physical injuries or death, those which involve any kind of sexual abuse, or those which require professional or medical intervention.
The CPS shall:
i. recommend actions to be taken by the school head (SH) or the schools division superintendent (SDS) or assistant schools division superintendent (ASDS) in line with the different child protection laws and appropriate DepEd child protection issuances;
ii. assist the SH, SDS or ASDS in the referral of the case to the proper agency or institution for further assessment, case management, or availment of services; and
iii. coordinate with the DFPCP in the development of a unified procedure for case referral and extension of services within their respective school divisions.
c. Monitoring of Actions Taken. The CPS shall follow up with the SH, SDS or ASDS on the recommended actions and the actual actions taken on the cases reported to them. The CPS shall likewise assist in the monitoring of the cases referred to other appropriate agencies for further assessment or case management.
The CPS shall:
i. coordinate with the SH, guidance counselors or designated guidance teachers (GC/Ts) or Child Protection Committees (CPCs), whenever appropriate, on the implementation of the recommended actions on the cases referred to the CPS. The CPS shall monitor the progress of the victim and the child-perpetrator with respect to the actions actually taken to address the incident. The CPS may request for status updates on the cases from the SH, GC/Ts, CPCs or the DFPCP as necessary; and
ii. coordinate with the different government agencies and nongovernment organizations on the actions taken and the status of the cases referred for further assessment, intervention and case management; and
iii. submit an annual report of cases handled or referred to the region-based CPS. The regional office shall consolidate the reports from the CPS within their region and a consolidated report to the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs 30 days after the end of each school year. The template for the annual consolidated report is contained in Enclosure No. 1.
d. Special Assignments. The CPS shall perform such other tasks as may be assigned by the DepEd Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs, their respective regional directors and SDSs, in urgent child protection cases and whenever necessary.
4. To qualify as CPS, the participant should have completed the First Level National Training of Trainers (NToT) on Child Protection conducted from 2013 to 2015 and the Second Level National Training of CPS. Upon successful completion of the trainings, the participant shall be designated as the CPS within their respective schools divisions or regions. The list of the first batch of designated CPS is contained in Enclosure No. 2. The DepEd Central Office shall likewise provide a directory of designated CPS and update the same as necessary.
5. The CPS shall be entitled to service or leave credits for services rendered in such capacity, subject to the guidelines provided in DO 53, s. 2003 entitled Updated Guidelines on Grant of Vacation Service Credits to Teachers, DepEd Memorandum No. 291, s. 2008 entitled Guidelines for the Implementation of CSC Resolution No. 080096 on Working Hours for Public School Teachers, and DO 16, s. 2009 entitled Addendum to DepEd Memorandum No. 291, s. 2008.
6. Expenses incurred by the CPS in the discharge of their functions shall be charged to the schools division or region Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE), as the case may be.
7. Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.
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