Truthfully, there are a lot that goes for being a social worker, yet Ms. Melanie G. Juan has always considered this career as an avenue in putting her skills and empathetic nature towards helping people in need. With her altruism, Ms. Melanie has served the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga for 18 long years. In this span years, her responsiveness to the needs of the staff and people in need have always ushered a significant enhancement in the delivery and services of the department.

Ms. Melanie has been part of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program since 2014. Prior to being designated as the Section Head of Crisis Intervention Section (CIS) last January 2019, she was assigned as the former SWAD Team Leader handling not just one but three CIS Satellite Offices namely Surigao City, Dinagat and Siargao Island.

With her excellence and continuing hard work, she bagged the Best Social Worker of DSWD FO Caraga PRAISE Awardee and Best Social Worker Finalist at the National Level Praise Awards last 2014. Her knowledge and experience fueled with commitment to deliver great service has motivated her in introducing innovations and good practices for the improvement of the program. Through her leadership and dedication combined with great effort and teamwork, client’s satisfaction in the delivery of the AICS services was achieved.

During her stint as the SWAD Team Leader of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, she was able to deliver her performance excellently despite the workload and multiple challenges. Back in the time when she was handling three CIS Satellite Offices, she was also handling several alternative child placement cases and community-based services.

With her consciousness and willingness to support children develop their sense of identity, culture, language, and religion, she developed 11 foster parents with foster care license, giving 11 foster children an alternative family with approved foster placement authority. Other than that, she had also processed 22 adoption cases, 26 domestic adoption, and managed three cases of inter-country adoption. Since then, Ms. Melanie is very generous in providing Technical Assistance to Local Social Welfare Development Offices (LSWDOs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) especially with Adoption and Foster Care Forum as well as handing adoption and foster cases. From time to time, Ms. Melanie’s assistance is constantly requested by the LSWDs and LGUs.

Due to her dedication and hard work, the top management has seen her potential and promoted her as the Section Head of the Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Sections (DRRS) from June 2018-2019. By this, she pioneered the Survey Tool for Risk Resiliency Program on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (RRP-CCAM) which is used to assess the impact on the implementation of Cash for Work for climate change adaptation activities in the recipient barangays. Among the all the regions, Field Office Caraga was the first to have this tool and even the first region to submit a Survey Tool Analysis yielding a commendation from the Disaster Response Management Bureau.

Through her initiative, she formulated the Regional Interim Guidelines on RRO-CCAM since there was yet no guidelines prepared by the Central Office. The interim guidelines were then provided to the implementers and partners to ensure effective and efficient implementation of RRP-CCAM through the Cash-for-Work Modality. She also conducted various capacity building activities to capacitate the LSWDOs, internal staff and members of the response cluster along disaster response operation.

Through her leadership, good ideas and good initiatives have been put on the table to ensure the success of the section, hence, on January 2019, she was entrusted with the busiest section of the Department which is the Crisis Intervention Section. Considering that the CIS has been awarded as the Best Crisis Intervention National PRAISE Award for 2 consecutive years from 2017 to 2018, Ms. Melanie was motivated and made several innovations to initiate further at par services towards the AICS clients.

Despite the work pressure, Ms. Melanie displayed positive disposition at work, having produced her deliverables on-time or ahead of schedule and with quality that is expected or even beyond the requirements. With all the accomplishment she had ushered in the department, never did she claimed it all for herself, but to her colleagues as well, showing her effective coordination and collaboration skills.

Positive feedbacks from costumers and performance ratings of the nominee support her good working relationship with internal and external partners. Hence, the nominee was able to establish good linkages with the AICS service providers, and even established partnership with tertiary hospitals in Cagayan de Oro and Davao City to accommodate patients who will seek hospitalization and medical management. Even now, she ceaselessly extends effort to explore more service providers outside Caraga region for possible partnership for the welfare of the patients who wish to seek medical attention outside the region.

Moreover, the nominee functions as one of the coordinating staff during the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Bayanihan 1 where she coordinates the LSWDOs on the submission of eligible beneficiaries, schedule of payouts and many more which is a contributory factor why Caraga was hailed as the number 1 region in SAP implementation. Because of this, the nominee was selected to be the Team Leader of the Coordinating Team in the Bayanihan 2 implementation.

She was also a salient instrument in the implementation of good practices and innovations as the Head of the Crisis Intervention. Those innovations were able to address the difficulties, issues and concerns encountered along the implementation of AICS program. Being the Regional EO 70 Focal Person, in close coordination with the partner agencies, the nominee was able to meet the objectives in serving the Former Rebels by providing financial assistance in support to their reintegration. The nominee also contributes to the development of Case Management Guide for FRs for being the first region to submit the output on the conduct of Focus Group Discussion to FRs.

Having said all these, Ms. Melanie G. Juan greatly contributed to the excellent performance of DSWD Field Office Caraga, with her utmost compassion, perseverance and hard work, she has proven her place as a salient figure to the department.

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