Davao City – The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration – Regional Welfare Office XI in cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development conducted a three-day training on the Art of Counseling as an Effective Tool in Case Management last November 4-6, 2015 at the Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City. OWWA Care Providers, OFW Help Desk Coordinators, PESO Managers, OFW Family Circle (OFC) representatives and some LGU personnel from Compostela Valley Province, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental attended the said training.

The art of counseling blends therapy through the provision of app and practical solutions to problem brought to fore with interviewing and listening skills. It provides a unique perspective to human storytelling and emotional hearing.

Generally, the training program is designed to capacitate LGU partners specially the OFW Help Desk Coordinators and PESO Managers with the necessary skills and knowledge on the art of counseling to enhance case management. It specifically aims to invoke proper attitude of the counselor to determine appropriate setting in the conduct of  counseling, to gain confidence in dealing with difficult clients and/or welfare case, to be made aware of the dos and don’ts and the extent of counseling, to determine appropriate interventions in any given case or situation, to identify the need for follow-through sessions, and to be able to write/document a case report.

In his welcome message, OWWA XI Regional Director Eduardo E. Bellido encouraged the participants to listen well to the resource speakers for this is very vital in their role as Counselors. “As  government servants, you should be equipped with the basic skills of counseling because it will make your work easier and for you to be able to deliver appropriate services to clientele ”, Dir. Bellido said.

Trainers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided inputs needed for the training. Ms. Amelyn Laro thoroughly discussed self-awareness while Prof. Raquel Nunez explained the concepts and principles of case management as well as the active listening, interviewing and counseling skills. Ms. Erlinda Añonuevo, on the other hand, clearly discussed stress management and coping mechanism.

Aside from the intensive lectures and workshops, simulation/role playing with actual OWWA cases made the training more interesting and provided greater appreciation on the topics learned by the participants. “I realized that the training is really an effective tool in handling various cases and clients in our respective municipalities. We are very thankful to OWWA and DSWD for the very informative and useful inputs they have provided to us”, said former Caraga Mayor Stanley Mori (now the PESO Manager) while Mr. Jovanrey Lamparas, PESO Manager of Maragusan, Comval Province, said that, all the topics discussed and the role playing of the actual cases helped them how to become an effective counselor. “With this training, I learned that, we have to be professional in giving advice to our clients and never make any conclusions. Furthermore, we learned that, confidentiality is very essential in the counseling process”, he said.

The three-day training has made the participants more adept to handle cases in their respective municipalities. They can now provide the right environment for counseling services that will help mitigate the effect and symptoms of emotional distress among OFWs and their families.