• Why is Tearfund moving towards only using a child and a sponsors 'preferred name'

    Why is Tearfund moving towards only using a child and a sponsors 'preferred name'
    Tragically, ways to harm children continue to evolve, including the use of technology and social media. The availability of the internet in the areas where we work has also grown exponentially in the last few years and we have to be constantly vigilant in protecting children. Data privacy is becoming a real concern to many and therefore we are taking a global approach. Therefore we had made changes in our communications guidelines.

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  • What is changing?

    What is changing?
    • Your sponsored child will only receive your ‘preferred name’ (rather than first and last name). This will impact the way letters are addressed to you from the child.
    • You will only receive your sponsored child’s ‘preferred name’ rather than their full name. This will impact all communication that you receive from Tearfund and from your sponsored child.
    • Public-facing information about children (website, stories, child updates, etc) will only contain the child’s preferred name.

    YOUR ‘PREFERRED NAME’ IS EITHER A FIRST OR LAST NAME OR A NICKNAME, NOT BOTH.

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  • Why are we changing our approach?

    Why are we changing our approach?
    • Social media and search engines are very sophisticated and therefore we can’t make the same promises around child and sponsor privacy WHILE keeping the data we share the same
    • There are real risks that people seeking to harm children could use the information we share both publicly and with supporters to find children and abuse or exploit them. We have to take better steps to protect children, in person and online.
    • Your privacy matters too, so limiting the data we share about you helps meet changing expectations around data privacy worldwide
    • Some sponsors have been contacted by sponsored children or people posing as children/their families. Sometimes this has resulted in mismatched expectations or incorrect information being shared.

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  • What are we asking you to do?

    What are we asking you to do?
    • We encourage you to continue writing letters but sign them ONLY with your ‘preferred name’
    • Please do not contact you sponsored child online. Please use our channels to communicate with your child.
    • Please do not respond to a ‘friend request’ if a child or their family tries to contact you online or any other method (e.g email, phone calls, text, Whatsapp, Skype etc). Please let us know if this happens and we will confirm our communications guidelines with the child and their family.
    Please know that these changes are to protect everyone in our care and we will continue to educate and train frontline church staff, Compassion and Tearfund staff, and children, on ways to prevent harm.

    Click here to see our Child Protection Policy.

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