The SLU Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center (SCYWC) provides diagnostic psychotherapeutic intervention and psychological assessment for children with special concerns and those in special situations, and to work hand in hand with families, caregivers, and other helping professionals in providing systemic psychological assistance to children-clients.
The SLU Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center envisions itself as a community of socially involved professionals at the service of the welfare of children. With a Christian spirit of commitment, the staff and volunteers pool together their competencies, creativeness, and willingness to assist children and their families.
The SLU Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center responds to the need for psychosocial interventions for the children in the Cordillera region and nearby provinces, affirming the CICM and Saint Louis University’s commitment to the promotion of children’s welfare.
Like the sunflower, it is our fervent hope that our children will also grow to follow the rays of the sun, and become the best persons that they can be.
SCYWC Psychotherapeutic Clinic
- To provide psychotherapy for children with special concerns or difficulties
- To provide psychological assessment for children-clients
- To work hand in hand with families and other helping professionals by providing appropriate recommendations to help children with concerns
- To conduct capability-building lectures, training, seminars or workshops on child development, concerns, and interventions for children with special needs
- To collaborate with partner-institutions/organizations in initiating activities that further children’s welfare
- To serve the community as a Center for advocacy on the Rights of Children
The SLU Sunflower Centennial Halfway Home for Boys
Nurture with Care
The Halfway Home provides programs and services for boys, 5 to 17 years old, who have experienced abuse, abandonment and/or neglect. It is a home strategically located halfway in their journey of healing and recovery while promoting their reintegration with capable family members, or possible referral to a child-caring institution that will care more permanently for their overall welfare.
Programs and Services Offered
- Basic Home-Based Care (i.e., shelter, food, clothing, medical services);
- Psychological Assessment and Psychotherapeutic Interventions
- Case Management
- Family Counseling and/or Therapy
- Parenting Enhancement Seminars and Workshops
- Educational Assistance (e.g., tutorials, formal education, non-formal/alternative education)
- Spiritual Formation
- Sports and Other Recreational Activities
- Expressive Art Programs
- Legal Consultation
- Follow Up Outreach Programs
SLU-SCYWC Advocacy Program
For five years, the community-based Advocacy Project on Child Protection and Child Abuse Prevention has been operating in some communities of the Cordilleras. This academic year, given the restrictions of the pandemic, advocacy activities were mostly done online. The advocacy activities were conducted in close partnership with the local government units (LGU) and local organizations with same vision of promoting children’s welfare. Some of the Advocacy Programs are:
- Caring for the Carers
- Child Protection Series
- Information-Education Campaign on Child Protection Against Child Abuse
- Celebration of National Children’s Month
- Radio Advocacy Campaign on Anti-Child Sex Abuse
- Obstacle Course Race
The project of establishing a center for psychosocial diagnosis and treatment for children goes back to the involvement of Fr. Geraldo Costa, CICM, in the ministry for street children in Metro Manila.
From 1999 to 2000, Fr. Costa stayed at the Senden Home Residential Center in Binangonan, Rizal. While providing psychosocial assistance to the children in the center, Fr. Costa observed that most of the children possess an “open wound” that hinders them from flourishing to their full potential. Fr. Costa visited several other children’s institutions in Metro Manila seeking to understand what was observed in Senden Home. He noticed that that the “open wound” was a constant in most centers for children in special situations. In interviews with directors and staff of residential and temporary shelters, he noted two main unanswered problems: first, the need to help the children to overcome past traumatic experiences, and second, the need to help the children to recover their personal development, which may have been compromised by the hardships that the children encountered in their young life. In a visit to the United Nations Children’s Fund in Manila (UNICEF-Manila) and to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Metro Manila in 1999, the same concerns were expressed.
In 2000, a study about the needs of the children in special situations in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila, was presented by Fr. Costa to the RP-CICM Provincial Superior. As a response, the Provincial Superior approved a project proposal which would assist the shelters and institutions working with children in need of psychosocial assistance.
From the school year 2001-2002, several steps were made towards the organization of a psychosocial therapeutic center for children. Firstly, weekly therapy sessions were given to the children of DSWD shelters in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Secondly, senior students from the Department of Psychology of Saint Louis University (SLU) started volunteering at the Reception and Study Center for Children (RSCC) of DSWD in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet. Thirdly, active promotion of Children’s Rights in the SLU campus and in the areas of Baguio City and Benguet was accomplished. Fourthly, a small therapeutic playroom in the Home Sweet Home Compound was opened and children who need special attention and who also come from indigent families were welcomed for psychological assessment and intervention.
In the beginning of 2003, Fr. Paul Van Parijs, CICM, then SLU President, proposed to Fr. Costa to stay in SLU and establish the project of a center for psychosocial diagnosis and treatment for children in Baguio City. The center would be working together with the Department of Psychology, the Clinical Pastoral Office, and the Guidance Center of the university. Despite that the first plan was to have the center in Manila, the RP-CICM Provincial Superior approved such proposal. Consequently, the services provided at that time in the small playroom in Home Sweet Home could be extended.
In March 18, 2003, the Child and Youth Wellness Center (CYWC) of Saint Louis University was officially inaugurated in the Home Sweet Home compound. A room of the old Catholic Press was transformed in three small offices and a room for therapeutic sessions.
By the school year 2003-2004, two courses related to the clinical approach in handling children’s cases were offered in the Graduate Program of Psychology, namely, Clinical Interventions for Children (Psych 232), and Psychotherapy for Children (Psych 233). The students enrolled therein had a hands-on application of the theories they had learned by holding actual therapeutic sessions in the Center. The courses are offered every two years, thus, increasing the number of child therapists serving children in need of psychosocial assistance.
In April 15, 2011, the Sunflower on the Hill was inaugurated in Bukal ng Tipan, Maryhill, Taytay, Rizal. The staff and volunteers pool together their competencies, creativeness, and willingness to assist children and families in the areas of Rizal, Antipolo, and other nearby provinces. Meanwhile, the Sunflower Centennial Halfway Home for Boys was officially inaugurated in April 28, 2011. The Halfway Home provides program and services for boys have experienced abuse, abandonment and/or neglect.
In 2015, there was a proposal for an advocacy project focusing on child protection and prevention against abuse in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The project was spearheaded by the SLU Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center in partnership with the Flinders University of South Australia students, the CJ Moran Community Legal Assistance Office of the SLU School of Law, SLU Social Work Department, Municipality of Kibungan, Benguet, and the Municipality of Mankayan, Benguet. As the years passed, other international partners were involved to include the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) and the US Peace Corps (USPC). Indeed, the SLU Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center has grown and is continuously growing. Our history will show how far the center has gone and how far it will go as it continues to make a mark as an institution dedicated to providing assistance to children of the Cordilleras and beyond.
Home Sweet Home Compound
Governor Pack Road
2600 Baguio City, Philippines
Monday to Thursday: 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday to Saturday: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM