Why doesn’t LACC utilize Facebook or other social networking sites to communicate with my sponsored child?

We love for our sponsors to write letters to the child they sponsor, it’s part of the wonderful connection that is made between a sponsor and the child they support.

And sometimes we receive questions from our sponsors about the possibility of connecting with their child through the social network phenomena called “Facebook”.

Questions like:

  • In this technological advanced age, why are we still doing “snail mail” as our main form of communication between the sponsor and child?
  • If my child has access to a computer, can I e-mail him/her directly?
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if LACC setup a Facebook page for every child in the program so we could communicate directly with the children?
  • Wouldn’t it save time & money to connect with my sponsored child through Facebook?

Those are great questions and we feel we have valid reasons in not facilitating direct communication between the sponsor and the sponsored child.

The policy of LACC is that we will not facilitate any contact with the children or sponsor outside the structure of LACC while the child is part of our sponsorship program and while it would be “cheaper”, it would come at an expense to sponsor and even the safety of the child that is in our program.

For example, it is not uncommon for some of our children, parents or family of the children to ask for money outside the sponsorship realm and while your sponsorship does provide for the education of your child and if you send in a special gift for birthday, Christmas or other need, we never give cash money to the child or family but rather purchase gifts on your behalf to give them. If we facilitated direct communication, you most certainly would be asked to give money to them. So this policy does protect you, the sponsor. We cannot protect you or your sponsored child if we are not involved in the correspondence between you and the child.

As well, without being the center of the correspondence process, we also cannot ensure that you don’t inadvertently write something inappropriate or offensive to the child – cross-cultural sensitivities seem to appear out of nowhere, even out of good intentions.

While it may seem easier and more cost-efficient for us to allow contact through social networking sites, we don’t allow it at this time because we want to be sure it’s done well, done right and done with the best interests of the children in mind.

Sometimes it is the child who tries to initiate contact through one of the social networking sites such as Facebook or twitter. If that occurs please don’t respond, even to say, “Sorry I can’t communicate to you in this manner”. Simply use the “block” feature to stop them from communicating with you in this way. But please do let us know that your child tried to communicate with you directly. We will remind them that they are not to do this.

This may seem harsh, but we truly do have the best interest of both the child and the sponsor at heart.

Thank you for your willingness to respect our communication policies as well as your desire to communicate with the child who you are helping.

On the other hand, we would love for you to connect with us on Facebook and twitter.