Yes, your sponsored child will initiate correspondence with you. You will receive an introductory letter 6-8 weeks after you begin your sponsorship. Once you receive that letter, that is the perfect time to begin writing back. Your sponsored child will always respond to your letters.
While there are cases where children reside in prison with a parent, the issue of children in prison is not extremely widespread despite attention given to it by media. Women in prison make up less than 5% of a prison population, and a very small percentage of these will have children with them. Rarely, if ever, will men have their children with them. Different country systems have different rules on whether children can accompany their parent to prison, and most countries have adopted policies recommended by the UN on this. These situations are so limited, that it is not a major focus of our program reporting. However, in the few situations where we do find children living in prisons with their parents, in unacceptable conditions, our staff works to place children appropriately, or address their immediate needs.
Our National Ministries work with local churches to help provide regular monitoring and services to the children and families in the program. Local church leaders are engaged to help lead Bible studies in many of the communities where our children live, and while church attendance is not a mandatory part of the program all caregivers are informed of the Christian roots and principles of the program and those who are working within the program. While church attendance is not mandatory, it is encouraged as part of the program.
Prison Fellowship is an organization with Christian values but does not require conversion to Christian beliefs in order for children or their families to receive the help they desperately need. Our organizational motivation is driven by the love of God and we work through the local churches to enhance the work to and with the children. Where appropriate, and if they child wants it, they provide religious counsel and nurturing.
When one child is sponsored, the entire family benefits through food packs, family visits by the case worker, and being monitored for safety as a family. The entire family is also connected to their local church.
The benefits a single sponsored child received (in addition to the above) include health check-ups, education (school fees, uniforms, supplies), as well as the benefit of building a relationship with a sponsor who cares about them.
At this time the program continues for sponsored children as long as they need it through the age of 18.
Child eligibility criteria encourage caregivers to take an active role in ensuring the safety and health of the children. It is required that the child have a confirmed caregiver, please of residence, and guardian permission to be in the program.
Training is provided to both caregivers and children on health, safety, hygiene, and child rights.
Program staff help facilitate both phone calls and visits to incarcerated parents.
The Child’s Journey provides support for the entire family and helps build stronger family unites by showing caregivers support and encouragement too.
It means so much to your sponsored child to receive a letter from you. You can send an email or drop a handwritten letter in the mail. Just follow these three easy steps:
Write your name and return address on the back flap of the envelope, along with your child’s name and ID number. Our field staff with translate your letter, hand deliver it to your sponsored child, and help the child write back to you. Communicating with your sponsored child is a powerful way to offer hope and build an emotional bond that will mean the world to both of you.
The program goals are to ensure the safety, improve the health, advance the education, and build the spiritual resiliency of these children.
The mission of The Child’s Journey is to help children of prisoners overcome the hardships associated with their parents’ incarceration by offering them safety, health, education, and spiritual resources. A major focus of the partnership is also to strengthen the long-term sustainability of national ministry children’s ministry to ensure children can continue to benefit for many years.