Child Protection

Protecting children is our highest priority

Compassion’s commitment to child protection

We believe that children should be known, loved and protected. As an expression of that belief, Compassion places the care and protection of children above all other considerations. Because children living in extreme poverty are among the most vulnerable in the world, Compassion has established clear policies that are designed to promote the safety and protection of every child in our programme.  

Compassion’s approach to child protection is based on the following convictions

  • Children are valuable to God, are uniquely created individuals and are worthy of dignity and respect.
  • No violence against children is justifiable, and all violence against children is preventable.
  • It is everybody’s job to protect children.
  • Everyone involved in the protection of children should always act in the best interest of children and be held accountable if they do not.
  • Government authorities have a role to play in the protection of children from maltreatment, and to respond if children are harmed. Compassion promotes local legal systems as the most appropriate legal outlets for redress of criminal cases of child abuse, while also recognising that parents and Compassion play an important role in these efforts.

How Compassion protects children

Our approach to child protection begins with preventing abuse. When a child is abused, we intervene quickly and seek to provide restoration and healing to children impacted by abuse and alerting the relevant local authorities. Compassion also believes in empowering children to be active agents in their own protection and advocacy.

To accomplish these goals, Compassion provides: 

  • Age-appropriate child protection curriculum for all beneficiaries.
  • Training for caregivers in child protection and abuse prevention.
  • Training for staff members, leaders and volunteers at the church partner in child protection. We have safe practices for responding appropriately to incidents of abuse.
  • A Code of Conduct regarding the safety and protection of children.
  • All Compassion employees and sponsors who visit their sponsored children must present an extract from the criminal record.

Your role as a sponsor in protecting children

As a sponsor, you are part of Compassion’s movement to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
If your sponsored child says something in a letter that makes you feel abuse is happening or likely to happen, please contact us via email or call us at +46 823 62 00.

Communicating with your sponsored child

Being involved in the sponsor-child communication process allows us to help protect your privacy and your sponsored child’s privacy. It also allows us to help you navigate cross-cultural sensitivities. For example, we can help you avoid unknowingly writing something inappropriate or offensive.

 Communication guidelines:

  • We will not deliver any letters to or from the sponsored child that contain personal contact information (address, phone, email, etc.) or inappropriate content.
  • Do not contact your sponsored child via social media. With more social media and internet access, we realise that sponsors and sponsored children may be able to connect online. The convenience this offers comes with increased risk to privacy and safety for both sponsor and child. Therefore, it is important that all communication go through Compassion.
  • If you are contacted by your sponsored child outside of Compassion’s correspondence process, for example via phone, email, Facebook or Twitter, please do not respond. Also, please let us know about this by calling +46 823 62 00 or emailing Sponsored children and their families are prohibited from direct communication as a condition of participation in our programs. By letting us know when it happens, you allow us to notify the right people in the field who will work with your sponsored child’s family to reinforce our communication policies.

Visiting you sponsored child

We require background checks through extracts from the criminal record for all who wish to visit one of our Compassion centres or meet their sponsored child. This applies to all visitors, including donors, sponsors, artist, pastors, Compassion employees and Board members.

Our child protection policy guides interactions between sponsors and children occurring on both group trips and individual visits. Any visitor who will interact with Compassion-assisted children must have approved arrangements through Compassion. Compassion’s centres will not accept unapproved visitors. This helps us to protect the children in the Compassion programmes from potential abuse.

All visitors must sign Compassion’s child protection policy and agree to abide by it before a visit can be arranged. Compassion reserves the right to deny a visit request that would not be in the best interest of the child.

  A sponsor will never be left alone with a sponsored child. When a sponsor meets their sponsored child, it might feel natural to share contact information or to request such information from the child or the child’s family. However, any direct communication not facilitated by us could potentially expose the children or sponsors to unnecessary risk. As a result, personal contact information cannot be exchanged.

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