Family and children have always been at the core of the UPLB Department of Human and Family Development Studies (DHFDS) in its instruction, research, and extension programs.
DHFDS is one of four academic units of the College of Human Ecology, and is home to the pupils of the Child Development Laboratory, the BS Human Ecology students who major in Family Development, and the graduate students of the MS Family Resource Management program.
In 2018, DHFDS elevated its commitment to family development by launching a unique extension program that presented a different lens in looking after the overall welfare of the family – the Center for Families of Children with Exceptionalities (FaCEs).
Children with exceptionalities are “individuals whose physical, behavioral, or cognitive performance is so different from the norm that additional, educational, and interventional services are required to meet their needs,” according to Katherine Del Rosario, program head of FaCEs and a faculty member at DHFDS.
According to Ria Sanchez, also a faculty member and former chair of DHFDS, having a child with exceptionality brings about a lot of challenges to the family.
“The department believes that like the child, the family itself needs support to further understand the condition of their child, to cope with the demands of having a child with exceptionality, and to be empowered in helping improve the quality of life of their child and the family as a whole,” she said.
On Sept. 14, 2018, the PhP 4.5-million FaCEs building at CHE compound was formally inaugurated in the university. The said building is one of the 37 new university infrastructures that were completed in the past six years.
Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who has fully supported this new public service program, graced the official launch of FaCEs, together with Dr. Sue Liza C. Saguiguit, assistant to the chancellor and a faculty member at DHFDS.
FaCEs has been providing individual assessment and intervention, such as educational support and therapy, art, aquatic, and play therapy, for exceptional children. The center is committed to help families of children with exceptionalities through assessment, guidance, support, and trainings. It will also link with other institutions to address the various needs of these families. (Juan Paolo A. Aquino and Mark Jayson E. Gloria, with reports from Jessa Jael S. Arana