How does Compassion choose which children to register into the programme?

How does Compassion choose which children to register into the programme?

Our local, church-driven programmes operate in some of the world’s poorest communities, identifying and supporting children at the greatest risk. We’d love to sponsor every child, but our resources are limited, so we focus our support on the poorest families. We work with children from all faiths and backgrounds.

We run our programmes exclusively in partnership with local churches

We do all our work through partnerships with thousands of local churches around the world. We work in partnership with local churches because we desire to equip the Church to fulfil its role as salt and light to the world and because local churches are catalysts for community change. A local church is best suited to identify and address the needs of the children in its community because the church is already located in and involved in the community.

We seek to form long-lasting stable connections with those in our programmes

All children to be registered are selected based on objective criteria that establish their need and ability to benefit from the programme. Our project staff meet with the families to better understand their circumstances and to ensure they are happy for their children to participate in a programme run by the local church.

Compassion projects will usually register only one child from each family, enabling us to reach out to as many families from the local community as possible. In exceptional circumstances, as many as three siblings can be registered.

The assessment criteria include:

  • Is the child under the age of 10?
  • Is the family within the local poverty index?
  • Does the child have good access to the church? Generally, a child is considered to have “good access” when living within a 30-minute walk from the church.
  • Is there evidence that the child will likely be non-transient and stable within the community?
  • Is the child or family being assisted by another child sponsorship organisation?

We give a special priority to children who:

  • Suffer from chronic illness and/or malnutrition.
  • Are not otherwise able to attend school.
  • Have the potential to progress in school.
  • Are orphaned, abandoned or exploited.
  • Are living with a single parent or caregiver.
  • Have a physical or mental impairment.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and other factors can be taken into account. These guidelines help ensure that a long-term relationship can be developed with each child registered in the programme, which is key in the holistic development process.

I have more questions!

If you have further questions, please get in touch with our friendly team at 01932 836490 or by email at 

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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.