Concern for the well-being of children is the cornerstone of Compassion’s ministry. We do everything within our power to ensure that no harm comes to any child registered in our program and to protect our children from any form of child abuse or exploitation. We believe the vast majority of our sponsors and donors share these values. Regrettably, some people might possibly seek to use Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program for wrong motives.
Protecting the most vulnerable
We believe all children should be known, loved and protected. We also believe that child protection is central to God’s heart. So, we consider the love, care, and protection of children as our top priorities.
Children in poverty are at a higher risk of abuse and trafficking. As an organization working to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name, Compassion is serious about keeping children safe.
Our sincere faith and the Bible motivate us to live out God’s mandate to care for and protect His little ones.
Our key beliefs on child protectionOur approach to and philosophy for child protection is based on the following strongly held convictions.
- No violence against children is justifiable, and all violence against children is preventable.
- Children are valuable to God, are uniquely created individuals and are worthy of dignity and respect.
- It is everyone’s job to protect children.
- Everyone involved in the protection of children should always act in the best interests of children and be held accountable if they do not.
- Parents and caregivers hold first and primary responsibility for the care and protection of children. However, we recognize that because of individual life circumstances, not every parent is equipped to effectively protect their children, and all parents need support in child protection.
- Children are both vulnerable and strong. We view children as active contributors to their own protection. Children must be empowered to fully engage in the work of child protection — their own protection and the protection of their peers. At the same time, children must be protected and cared for by the adults in their lives.
- Sponsors have a responsibility to protect children, as does anyone in a relationship with a child.
- Government authorities have a role to play in preventing child maltreatment, and to respond if children are harmed. Compassion promotes local legal systems and local authorities as the most appropriate legal outlets for redress of criminal cases of child abuse, exploitation and neglect, while also recognizing that parents and partners play a critical supportive role in these efforts.
How does compassion protect children
Our approach to child protection begins with preventing abuse whenever possible. When there is reported child abuse, we intervene quickly. We seek to provide restoration and healing. We also work to empower children to be active in their own protection.
We enact our approach through:
- Age-appropriate child protection curriculum for every beneficiary in our programs.
- Training for care providers in protecting children and preventing child abuse.
- Training for staff members, leaders and volunteers at our partner churches. They are trained in child protection, safe practices, and responding quickly and appropriately to reported child abuse.
- Training and accountability through our global Code of Conduct regarding children.
- Child protection training for all Compassion staff.
- Background checks for anyone who may interact with a child in our programs, including:
- Our employees in Canada and our field countries.
- Global Partner staff
- Frontline church partner staff and volunteers.
- Independent contractors representing Compassion.
- Canadian volunteers in specific roles.
- Supporters who travel to visit their children in-country.
- Removing personal information that could be used to identify and locate Compassion-assisted children. Child first and last names are not used in printed materials, online, or in sponsorship correspondence.
What is a sponsor’s role in protecting children?
You, your child’s family, our church partners and our staff work together to form a safety net for your sponsored child.
As a sponsor, you are part of Compassion and part of a movement to protect children. You belong to a community of child advocates who believe in the example Jesus set.
Jesus demanded that His disciples protect children. In Matthew 18:6, the Bible is unwaveringly clear in Christ’s mandate to protect children.
If your child says something in a letter that makes you feel abuse is happening or likely to happen, please call us at (800) 563-5437 or contact us via email. Your child, and each child we serve, is surrounded by loving Christian adults trained in child protection. They know the warning signs of child abuse and know what to do when they see them.
“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4, NIV).
These guidelines are intended to protect children in Compassion child development centers, as well as Compassion sponsors, from abuse and wrongful allegations of abuse. For everyone’s protection, it is important that sponsors avoid even the appearance of inappropriate conduct. They should be concerned about perception and appearances in their relationships with minors and children.