What is criteria for a child to be accepted into a Compassion Program center? I've looked haven't seen an anything that references this

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What is criteria for a child to be accepted into a Compassion Program center? I have looked all over and haven't seen an anything that references this process.
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Dana Parker

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Posted 8 months ago

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Andrea Watt

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My understanding is that the Center allows the family's in greatest need to register one child younger than 9 and they have to agree to attend regularly and to go to school.
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Dana Parker

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Yes I understand that. In countries with so much "great need", my question is about what criteria constitutes the neediest for admittance. Can you just walk in and say "I have need?" What's the criteria to determine who the neediest are in these areas of extreme poverty? Or is it just a given that everyone has great need, so it's more "first come, first serve" in terms of capacity?
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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It probably varies based on Center. They give each Center great latitude in determining how their project is going to serve their local community. Including how many children to accept from a single family and which children to enroll/try to enroll.  They figure the Centers are the boots on the ground to know how to best help their own local community.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Good morning Dana, 

Compassion registers new children between the ages of one through nine years old (until their tenth birthday). We seek to register children from both Christian and non-Christian families who support participation in Christian activities, and we try to have a gender balance with a female preference, when necessary. 
 
Project leadership, which often includes the pastor and a committee of church leaders, is charged with identifying and selecting the neediest children in their community. This is an advantage because the staff that volunteer at our child centers are from the local community and know the families that may be in need. 
  
When a family or child is identified the church staff members meet with the parents or caregivers, in order to assess the poverty level of the family and the child's ability to benefit from the program. To help them determine if registration into the Compassion sponsorship program is appropriate, they follow the four guidelines below:
 
    1)  Is the child under the age of 10?
    2)  Is the family within the local poverty index?
    3)  Does the child have good access to the church? Generally, we consider a child has "good access" when they live within a 20-minute walk from the church.
    4)  Is there evidence that the child is likely to be non-transient and stable within the community?
 
In addition to the above guidelines, we also give special priority to children who have special needs such as:
 
1. Suffering from chronic illness and/or malnutrition
2. Are orphaned (at least one parent is deceased), abandoned or exploited
3. Have a physical or mental impairment
4. Are not otherwise able to attend school and have potential to progress in school

Please keep in mind that these are very basic guidelines and that the church itself has the final say in which kiddos may be registered. If you were asking because you knew someone in need and wondered if they could be registered, please let us know and we can help walk you through the process of how to refer someone. :)
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Dana Parker

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Thank you, Shannon. I was asking because I had seen random comments on your page and in review areas that claimed that some children served may not be in as much need as to need Compassion's services. They were maybe 2 or 3, but that sparked me to seek an answer for how selection was done, knowing that there must be some kind of criteria followed.

You said children under 9 (or 10). I recently began sponsoring a 14 (soon to be 15) yr old. Does her age indicate that perhaps she had a previous sponsor and, for whatever reason, lost the sponsor and was placed back on the list? I've seen a few older children on the list.
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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1) I think, with the number of kids they serve, there probably are some kids (particularly older) that have improved to the point they don't need the services but have not left the program yet and
2) There are things that, in the US, are expensive, but are much cheaper in other countries and so a sponsor sees Internet access. a TV or a smartphone and doesn't see the context behind it so much.
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Dana, 

I am so sorry to hear that these comments have caused you to so doubt the legitimacy of our program. :( As Shannon pointed out, we entrust the student center leadership with knowing their community and who the neediest families are within the framework outlined above. There is always the possibility that children can get into the program that should not qualify, however, from my experience in visiting many of our centers and children's homes, the vast majority of children in our programs are extremely needy and worthy of our program.  If we know of any specific instances where favoritism or other unjust policies are taking place in the registration of children, we will investigate the matter and make sure that it is corrected. 

Yes, if you are sponsoring a child who is over ten years old, this means that they either had been waiting quite a while for a sponsor or they were previously sponsored by someone else. We register children under age 10 because we want the time with that child to really make a lasting difference in their lives. 
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Dana Parker

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Hi Susan

I never doubted the validity of the program. I chose Compassion because I believe in the legitimacy of the program. It simply made me curious as to the process of selecting children, because I figured that, of course, you must have criteria that you use. I was just unable to find that info as I could with most explanations of how things are done at Compassion. It's all good! :)
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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That is wonderful to hear Dana! If you ever have any questions or want more information on anything, please always free to ask and we would be more then happy to assist! :) Glad everything is cleared up now! 

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