April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and we wanted to raise awareness on this issue and share how GlobalFingerprints (GF) is actively working to address this global tragedy. The hard truth is that children around the world are maltreated each day often at the hands of those individuals whom the children must depend on for love, protection, and survival. Unfortunately, this includes those in the GlobalFingerprints program who are often in positions of significant vulnerability.
As a global child well-being program, GlobalFingerprints commits to serving the vulnerable, doing everything possible to reduce the risk of harm within our programs. GlobalFingerprints and our National Partners are committed to reducing vulnerabilities as well as preventing and responding to maltreatment; we do this by adhering to the newly implemented Child Protection Policy which requires all GF and National Partner (NP) staff to uphold globally recognized standards of care and protection. We commit to doing all we can to protect children, protect those serving from false allegations, and ultimately reduce the risk of harm to the GlobalFingerprints Participants. Our process includes screening measures for all staff and volunteers, knowledge on how to raise concerns of harm, and training in child safety and protection. With these extra steps, we are communicating to sponsors, staff and volunteers, National Partners, GF participants, families and communities, and potential child predators that we take seriously our call to protect children and our commitment to seeing every child be known, loved, and protected.
While these layers of protection are extremely important, there must also be action. Once you know of the problem, you must not remain silent. The education and training provided guides our staff, both GF and the National Partner staff, in recognizing the warning signs, considering risk and protective factors, and identifying the symptoms that a child may have been, is currently, or in the future is at risk for harm. We are witnessing lives being changed as maltreatment is being recognized and addressed. Take Ali for example:
Ali is one of the sponsored GlobalFingerprints children. Because of being in the program, Ali has regular visits from her Care Worker, Hannah, who began hearing concerns about Ali coming to school late more frequently. Hannah also noticed that Ali did not appear to be happy anymore. Hannah had built a relationship with Ali which empowered Ali to disclose to Hannah that her mother was physically abusing her. Hannah continued working with Ali to build trust and rapport in that relationship and show to Ali that she could trust her to keep her safe. One day Hannah went to speak with Ali’s mother who was very resistant to the conversation. Hannah cautioned Ali’s mother of the steps she would need to take if the physical abuse did not stop which included going to the police. Hannah continued to work with both Ali and her mother. This was when Hannah realized that Ali’s mother most likely had experienced some sort of trauma herself. Hannah also was leading meetings at the school on topics such as parenting and child maltreatment, and she started to notice that the walls that Ali’s mother had built up were starting to break down. Not only did Hannah and Ali have a good, trusting relationship, but soon Hannah and Ali’s mom began building a strong relationship as well. As you can imagine, there is a now lot more trust that has been built between all three of them since having gone through that shared experience. Hannah later shared that before she received the trauma care training required for Care Workers, she used to look at some of these issues as just “bad behaviors”. Now she is looking at it from a different perspective, trying to look at the reasons behind the behaviors including the child’s family and their environment. Hannah and the other Care Workers now see the importance of both preventions as well as the need for ongoing or follow-up support for situations such as Ali’s. Ali’s school attendance not only improved, but she was showing up for school on time as well.
As you can see, the funds that are raised through sponsorship provide regular access for our trained Care Workers to enter the homes of those who are in the GlobalFingerprints programs where they can provide real, tangible support to families who are in need. Consistent family support helps decrease those stressors that may lead to child harm. It is our duty to do all we can to create a culture where children like Ali thrive and develop into all God has created them to be.
So, how can you get involved? Here are 10 ways!
Pray! Pray! Pray! Pray
Pray for the safety and protection of the children in the GlobalFingerprints program
Sponsor a child.
Individual sponsorship directly reduced child vulnerability and increase resilience. You can sponsor a child here.
Host a Sponsorship Event!
We promise it’s super easy! You can get started here.
Financially support the GlobalFingeprints ministry.
Give by visiting give.efca.org
Encourage your church to become a partner church
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how your church can partner on a deeper level with GlobalFingerprints.
Sign up for Missional Kids.
It’s a program designed to involve children six thru twelve in the sponsorship experience. Learn more here.
Partner with a GlobalFingerprints Staff member
All GlobalFingerprints staff raise their own support, if you are interested in partnering with them, you can reach out to them directly or email email@example.com
Complete child protection screenings and requirements
with joy knowing that you are taking steps to prevent child harm!
And then pray some more!
Child sponsorship not only is a method of prevention against child harm and abuse but is a holistic approach that regularly assesses the child’s spiritual, nutritional, medical, and educational needs. While physical needs are important, we believe each child’s relationship with Christ is their most vital need and our mission is to transform the most vulnerable children in the world with the fingerprint of Christ. For $35/month, you can be a part of life change for vulnerable children around the globe. So, are you ready to join us?