Foster licence granted for sick child Baby P

Baby P cradled by his new foster parent, Mama Emilita.

Baby P cradled by his new foster parent, Mama Emilita.

Mercy in Action is excited to announce it has been granted a foster licence by social services for the first Mercy In Action foster family. This will allow Baby P, who has cerebral palsy, to receive round-the-clock care and stay long-term with his amazing foster family while still being supported by Mercy In Action.

One of the first charities throughout the whole of Cebu to receive a foster licence for dedicated foster carers working under their umbrella, Mercy in Action now employees long-time friend Mama Emilita and her husband to foster three-year-old Baby P. The decision means the foster parents will receive support, supplies, finance and medical care for Baby P from the charity and ensures Baby P receives a secure future.

Baby P first came to the attention of Mercy in Action almost two years ago after he was abandoned at a hospital. At that stage, he was moving very little, and doctors originally thought he was malnourished. He was referred to Mercy in Action’s Spring Village – otherwise known as the boys home – where it was hoped he would recover and grow up.

Mama Emilita was employed as a house parent at the boys home at the time. Baby P was very sick when he first arrived, and Mama Emilita cared for him through the night. It was only later discovered that he had cerebral palsy.  Over the next year and eight months, Mama Emilita and her family grew very close to Baby P, and Mama Elilita and her husband came to think of him as their own son.

Baby P and Mama Emilita

Baby P and Mama Emilita

Mercy in Action applied to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for a foster licence for the family with low expectations, as very few charities had applied in such a way at that point. The charity was delighted to receive the official stamp of approval for their first family a few days ago!

Mama Emilita, who has two other sons aged 9 and 12, said she and her husband were “very happy” with the decision. Describing Baby Paul’s personality, she said he likes to laugh, but he can also be very demanding. “When Baby Paul asks for milk, he wants to have milk right away!” she said. “He’s the boss, and he will cry if he doesn’t get milk right away.” She added Baby Paul also likes to stick his tongue out at people, a skill that was taught to him by current boys home house parent Papa Jeffrey!

Mercy in Action director in the Philippines, Emily Rosal, said: “I’m so chuffed it’s gone through. We were told years ago that local social services would not allow foster families to work under their umbrella but now here we are, and the fact that we are one of the first charities in Cebu to achieve this is really exciting.”

Baby P at his session with the occupational therapist

Baby P at his session with the occupational therapist

To get the families foster licence approved, Mercy in Action had to carry out extensive research into Mama Emilita and her family, which the charity then presented to social services. Following this, social services carried out their own inspection of the family environment.

This is what Mercy in Action does best – rescuing children and seeing their lives transformed.

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