If my sponsored child contacts me on Facebook or another social network, is it okay to respond?
Please do not respond. While communication via social media might seem to save time and money, the risks this channel presents overshadow the potential benefits.
Compassion does want you to have the best relationship possible with your sponsored child, but we cannot guarantee everyone’s safety if we are not aware of what’s being communicated. While we trust that those who sponsor with Compassion are doing so out of a love for Christ, we have an obligation to protect the children in our care from sponsors who may not have the child’s best interests in mind. Because of this, we must be aware of what’s being communicated to ensure the child’s well-being.
Here are some additional factors we’ve considering when creating our letter only communication guideline:
- It’s not uncommon for someone who knows a child is sponsored to create an account on a social network and posing as that child, contact his or her sponsor asking for money. In this situation, the child may be facing the threat of physical harm if the money is not provided.
- We cannot protect your privacy or your sponsored child’s if we are not involved in the correspondence.
- By serving as the conduit for communication between you and your sponsored child, we are able to watch for any content that may be inappropriate or culturally insensitive – no matter how well intentioned or innocent a comment may be.
Should you receive a friend request or a message from anyone claiming to be your sponsored child on Facebook or another social network or through any medium other than your letters from Compassion, please do not respond but rather contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-563-5437.