Basic Guidelines in
Handling Children in
Need of Special Protection
- Ms. Josielyn D. Hugo, RSW
What is CNSP?
In the Philippines, social workers and
other caregivers tend to categorize CNSP
into street children, child laborers, abused
children and other categories.
The Children in Need of Special Protection are those found
in one or several of the following situations:
Hazardous and disabling labor conditions
These children are exposed to hazards such as heavy
workloads, long working hours, deplorable working conditions,
exhaustion, stress and boredom. They are often underpaid, and
enjoy no benefits.
Commercial sex exploitation
This refers to children involved in prostitution, pornography and
Physical and sexual abuse / violence at home and in
the community, or by the authorities.
One major reason why children leave home is physical
and/ or sexual abuse/ violence at home.
Discrimination, inappropriate and deficient laws and
judicial processes and practices for CICL.
Various studies presented a general profile for children
in conflict with the law CICL: they are usually boys, aged
14 to 17 years old and, charged usually with theft and
robbery. Many of them are street children, are members
of street gangs and/ or into substance abuse.
Ages 0-6 years old, suffers from physical and mental
disabilities. These children largely come from poor
families who are unable to provide basic needs even to
their “normal” children.
Children affected by the conflict often face severe food
shortages, lack of clean and potable water, and most
live in poor and unsanitary conditions in evacuation
2.5 million, children from indigenous/ ethnic
communities live in economically disadvantaged and
environmentally deteriorating remotes areas, where
they lack access to basic services and education.
Basic Guidelines in Handling of
Children in Need of Special Protection
- The first thing we do in our interventions is to ensure that the child is
physically safe and this usually involves taking the child out of a
- When we think about the issue of a child’s safety it means that we also
have to consider the emotional and psychological safety of the child.
- We need to go deeper than rapport. In gaining the trust or tiwala of
children, it is important that we let them feel that “we are not other
people” or hindi tayo ibang tao.
How do we ESTABLISH TRUST?
To be accepted as they are
Playing with the children
- It is very helpful that we partake in an activity that
is important to them, and one such activity is play.
Pakikipagkuwentuhan ( talking and telling stories)
- Free-flowing and informal, pakikipagkuwentuhan
can be an effective strategy in building trust.
- Open-mindedness is a most effective tool: Try not
to be judgmental if we hear about practices of which
we disapprove. We can later offer advice when we
have already established a trusting relationship.
Things to consider in ESTABLISHING TRUST:
- Through non-verbal communication and consistency in behavior,
children as much as adults are able to see whether someone is
sincere or not, pakikiramdam is put into use.
- Reliability means being prompt for our appointments with children,
being present at times they need us, whether for comfort, laughter,
In our interactions with children, we should remain conscious of our
comfort levels and of those of the children. We cannot force children
to play, eat, or share their stories with us if they do not feel
comfortable with our presence.
What do you do when the child shares a PAINFUL EXPERIENCE
Acknowledgement is enough when a painful story is shared
Offer comfort and support
A child may relate several or a series of stories that her or she
Closing discussion needs sensitivity
Process what happened.
Ask the child about how she felt about sharing her experiences
and share what you felt.
Talk about what will happen next.
End with a simple ritual like a song, a prayer, a hug or a promise
that you will be there to help.