May 8 2012

How we decide which child is most in need of sponsorship

By Veronica Batton, CFCA writer/editor

With so many families brimming with potential but in need of help, how does CFCA select prospective sponsored members?

Nicole Miller in CFCA's child services department

Nicole Miller, who works in CFCA’s child services department, with pictures and family profiles of children awaiting sponsorship.

With so many children and aging waiting to become sponsored, it can be difficult to determine who needs sponsorship the most. The CFCA projects in the 22 countries where we work determine who is eligible to participate in the Hope for a Family program.

Families learn about the CFCA Hope for a Family program through friends or CFCA’s presence in the community.

Our field staffers approach the families and determine whether their children or aging family members are eligible for the program.

Some of the criteria that project staffers assess, besides economic need, include the family’s willingness and commitment to actively participate in the program and work toward becoming self-sufficient.

If the family meets the criteria to participate in the Hope for a Family program, the CFCA social worker will compile a family profile for the child, youth or aging person to be sponsored.

The complete information then goes to the CFCA office in Kansas.

Every child, youth and aging person accepted into the CFCA sponsorship program is living in poverty and in need of sponsorship, and we determine who is in the most need based on who has been waiting the longest for a sponsor.

We have two waiting lists: one for children and one for aging members.

When a sponsor asks us to find them a child or aging member who is in the most need, we turn to these waiting lists.

Marcia Willman, CFCA child services director

Marcia Willman

Marcia Willman is the director of child services at CFCA. Marcia and her team work diligently to connect sponsors with new friends every day.

The typical length of time someone will be on the waiting list varies depending on how many new records we receive from the projects as well as other factors.

“Ideally children would be given a sponsor and begin receiving sponsorship benefits as soon as they join the program,” Marcia said. “Realistically, a typical wait of four to six months is common. Occasionally, children wait more than a year to be sponsored.”

Children or aging persons who are new to the program are generally sponsored at church presentations across the country, or their profiles are placed on our website to seek out new sponsors.

However, there are also children and aging persons on the waiting list who had a sponsor at one time, but are not currently sponsored.

Those who have lost their sponsor are placed at the top of each waiting list.

Individuals who have lost their sponsor will still receive all of the sponsorship benefits that CFCA has to offer. CFCA will continue to support them until we find another sponsor.

When a sponsored friend leaves the program, CFCA allows sponsors the opportunity to choose their new sponsored friend.

Heidy, CFCA sponsored child in Guatemala

Heidy, a child sponsored through CFCA in Guatemala.

If sponsors have no preference, we will send them a child or aging friend who has been waiting the longest amount of time for a sponsor.

Want to help us find sponsors for those still waiting?

It’s easy to help us find sponsors with our “Tell a story” campaign. Through the campaign, you can be a voice for a child in poverty.

CFCA sends information to you about a child who is waiting for a sponsor. You share the child’s story with people you know and try to find a sponsor.

No matter the outcome, you can be assured that you did your part by telling a child’s story. You gave a child a voice.

Learn more about our “Tell a story” campaign.

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