Despite the best efforts of our local staff, sometimes children exit Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program sooner than planned. But in all these situations, we trust that God is at work.

This is the second and final part of our series on the most asked about reasons for children to exit the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program. You can read part 1 here.

They have recently gained employment

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Occasionally an older teenager may leave school and gain employment, meaning they’ll finish their time in our Child Sponsorship Program. While it’s still sad to say goodbye, one of the main benefits of sponsorship is helping young people to receive a good education and find suitable work so they can be self-supporting. Your support has played a key role in helping them to achieve this milestone.

A family’s circumstances have improved

Sometimes a sponsored child’s family’s circumstances change and, as a result, their financial situation improves. A parent might find a new job, or benefit from income generation training offered through the program. If this significantly improves their financial situation, sometimes parents decide to withdraw their child from the Child Sponsorship Program. This means another child with greater need in their community can benefit instead. While it’s still sad to say goodbye, know that your support has helped make a lasting difference in your sponsored child’s life.

Project closure or church partnership coming to an end

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Compassion partners exclusively with local churches in the developing world. Sometimes, Compassion’s relationship with a church partner comes to an end. Again, this can be something to celebrate! When a local church is able, sometimes they decide to use their own resources to minister to children and no longer need Compassion’s support.

On a serious note, our church partners must also comply with Compassion’s policies and reporting criteria. If church partners aren’t meeting these requirements, we may need to end our relationship with them.

When this happens, staff try to transfer each sponsored child from that church partnership to another church partner close by. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible, and children may need to exit the program. While every church and community is different, and every partnership unique, Compassion will always work with the local church and local staff to make sure Compassion assisted children and families have the best opportunities to develop and prosper. While these decisions can be difficult, we want to assure you that the children’s interests are at the heart of this process.

What to do if your sponsored child exits the program

It’s okay to feel disappointed and upset. Saying goodbye to a child you’ve invested in and built a relationship with can be painful, but you may find these steps helpful:

1. Remember the difference you’ve made

Find encouragement in knowing that alongside the practical support you provided, you also offered love and hope into their life while you were their sponsor.

2. Pray

Thank God that He has a hope and a future for your sponsored child that far exceeds what we could imagine for them. Ask for His blessing over their life.

3. Write a final letter

We encourage you to write a final letter to your sponsored child to say goodbye. You can find some helpful tips here. If your sponsored child has graduated, you can request to remain in touch with them through our continuing contact form. Call us on 1300 22 44 53 or email if you have a question or want to pursue this option.

4. Consider sponsoring again

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While your relationship with your sponsored child has ended, your opportunity to make a difference in another child’s life remains. Please consider opening your heart again to another child in need.

This is the second and final part of our series on the most asked about reasons for children to exit the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program. You can read part 1 here.