This is an Awardee of the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Project TEACH (Therapy, Education, and Assimilation of Children with Handicap)
City Government of Mandaluyong
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Leadership, Social and environmental responsibility, Convergence, Strategic planning and deployment, Customer and citizen focus, Strategic performance management, Knowledge management and information technology, Human Resource, Human Resource Development, Human Resource Engagement, Process management, and improvement
Project TEACH (Therapy, Education, and Assimilation of Children with Handicap) was initiated by then-Mayor Benjamin Abalos, Jr. in 2007 to address the need for early intervention for children with special needs or handicap of families residing in the city’s depressed areas. It was implemented in collaboration with Rehabilitation and Empowerment of Adults and Children with Handicap (REACH) Foundation and various support groups, utilizing a community-based approach in providing education and rehabilitation services to enable these children to be more independent. Gaining independence in self-care and any other daily activities would contribute a better quality of life not only for them, but also for their families.
Background and Problem
Data from the World Health Organization and the Philippine Statistics Authority pointed to an underserved need which indicated that for every five persons with disabilities, there is one child under the age of fifteen or approximately 270,000 who suffer from one form of disability in the Philippines.
Filipino children with disabilities, especially the one’s coming from the poor families and marginalized sectors of the society cannot afford the cost of treatment and rehabilitation. These children receive very little assistance – treatment or in rehabilitation services – which directly impacts their development and future. The assistance is help them become productive members of society.
Solution and Impact
With a very clear objective in mind, the City Government of Mandaluyong gathered potential partners from all sectors to discuss the program, and a multi-sectoral memorandum of agreement was eventually signed that included an operational framework with clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. The document outlined a streamlining of services as well as using an innovative service delivery framework.
The service delivery framework summarized as follows:
- Identification of children who have or who are at risk of having special needs
- Referral of these children to the Barangay Health Center
- Referral of these children to the Barangay Hall
- Referral to CSWD
- Referral to developmental pediatricians and psychologists for proper diagnosis through Mandaluyong Center for Alternative Rehabilitation and Education Services
- Appropriate interventions are then provided through a streamlined network of services. Families are NOT charged for these services but are expected to render community services that match their interests and skills.
- Continuous evaluation and Monitoring
The immediate results of the program resulted in the treatment or rehabilitation of 621 children with disabilities and special needs. However, the most significant impact lays in the ability of the program to provide an opportunity for these children to be more productive members of society.
The identified cases handled were:
- Intellectual Disability 18%
- Cerebral Palsy 16%
- Autism 15%
- Down Syndrome 14%
- Global Developmental Delay 11%
- Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder 10%
- Communication Disorder 7%
- Learning Disorder 4%
- Other disabilities and special needs 5%
In fact, from School Years 2011 to 2019, the program has been able to mainstream some 887 beneficiaries.
Project TEACH was able to generate a 100% satisfaction rating from the parents of children/beneficiaries chosen to participate in the program. This achievement coupled with the mentioned mainstreaming of 887 school-aged children into the normal public-school curriculum, speaks greatly of the potential and continued success of the program.
This endeavor was awarded the following:
- World Bank’s Panibagong Paraan
- Apolinario MabiniPresidential Award
- Department of Health’s Top 3 Most Innovative Health Care Program
- Galing Pook Award
- United Nations Public Service Award
- Two Presidential Awards for the Most Child-Friendly City in the Philippines (Highly-Urbanized City Category).