Children are by nature vulnerable. Here are resources on child development, risk factors, and child theology.
- ECPAT – End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes
In the organization’s own words: “We coordinate research, advocacy and action to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. We support the protection of children and empowerment of 90 members in 82 countries.”
- UNICEF – The State of the World’s Children
UNICEF puts out an annual report on a specific issue affecting children (available in English, Spanish, and French).
- Parents Against Child Sexual Exploitation
This organization trains and works with parents and caregivers to help them prevent (or cope with) child sexual exploitation.
- The Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development
This organization’s mission is to: “improve early childhood policy and practice focusing on children in disadvantaged circumstances [by] promoting a wider dialogue among practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and national and international agencies.”
- Covenant House
This organization provides shelter for an advocates on behalf of homeless youth. Their services include in-house training programs, healthcare, educational support, GED preparation, job readiness and skills training, drug abuse treatment and prevention, legal services, mental health services, life skills training, and aftercare. They work to provide youth with a holistic approach to leaving the streets and achieving independence.
• Particularly notable are two studies Covenant House has done in conjunction with Fordham University (2013) and Loyola University (2015). The studies found that homeless youth are at extreme risk for sexual exploitation, and that one fourth of homeless youth had been trafficked or had traded sex for shelter or food.
- Doorsteps Report: A Christian Response to Children and Vulnerable Families in Oxfordshire
This report identifies “gaps between need and intervention as well as how greater collaboration could enable more effective provision for vulnerable children, young people and their families.”
- Beyond Welfare – Measuring and Monitoring the State of Children
When we collect data and information on the state of our children, we should ask: What do we measure, and by what means? This paper calls for a new concept of child well-being. It stresses the need to reshape the field of measuring the state of children by adapting it to new shifts and trends. (2000)
- What in the World is Going On? Strategic Trends Affecting Children
This assessment has been written to support organizations working on behalf of the world’s children as they do strategic thinking (2001).
- Correct Motivational Factors for Work with Children at Risk
A talk by Steve Bartel of YWAM, Cambodia, on specific motivations (both good and bad) which might lead people to desire to work with children at risk.
- Categories of Child Development
Compassion International explains four categories which must be addressed in holistic childhood development.
- Children of War
- How to Respond to those who Claim Sponsorship is not Good for Children (2000)
- International Project on Indicators of Children’s Well Being
Asher Ben-Arieh is director of the Center for Research and Public Education at the National Council for the Child in Israel.
- Key Components of child Development: A Christian Perspective
Tomkins lists as key components of child development the following: growth and nutrition, health and immunity, cognition and educational achievement, social and relational attitudes, self esteem, lilfe skills, spirituality.
- Promoting Girls’ Participation in Development
- The Child in Context – Factors that Optimize Development
- What is Holistic Child Development
- Rainbows of Hope: From Children in Crisis to Children in Christ
- Community Health Evangelism and the Challenge of the Streets
This lecture outline from Terry Dwelle, MD, MPHTM, provides a good general framework for working with street children. The statistics might be a little outdated (1999), but the rest of the document remains relevant as a resource.
Working with Children Who have Experienced Sexual Abuse
- Keeping it Together: A Parent’s Guide to Coping with Child Sexual Exploitation, PACE, 2015
This is an excellent resource for caregivers of children who have been victims of sexual exploitation.
Measuring and Monitoring Children’s Well-Being
by Asher Ben-Arieh, Israel National Council for the Child, Natalie Hevener Kaufman
“This is an easy to read book with good information for professionals searching to find ways to measure and monitor well-being in today’s children and adolescents.” –International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 14 (2002)
For more details, see: http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/0-7923-6789-8
Since 2002, a growing number of practitioners and theologians have taken interest in Children and Theology. Keith White and Haddon Willmer are key thinkers in this field. I have done doctoral research with Dr. Willmer and post here a paper that I presented at a conference to give a general overview of the subject. In addition I am posting a number of documents that have been presented at recent conference and discussions with the Child Theology movement.
For more information, please see www.childtheology.org.
- Child Theology and the Reflective Practitioner, Bill Prevette, presented at AGWM Compassion Forum, 2008
- A Child in the Midst, Keith White, presented at Cutting Edge, 2002
- Child Theology, Haddon Willmer, presented at Cutting Edge, 2002
- To Such as These Belong the Reign of God, Judith Gundry Volf
- Some Theological Perspectives on Children at Risk, Vinay Samuel
- Research Framework for Youth Enterprise Development, IDRC, 2000
The Teaching Church
by Roehlkepartain, Eugene (1993).
While this fine book relates to church-based Christian education in general, many sections summarize research conducted by the Search Institute on children’s ministry and church ministry that significantly influences children’s lives. During the summer of 2003, the Search Institute received a major research grant to conduct additional research of the spiritual lives of children, a long-term project to be coordinated by Eugene Roehlkepartain.
For more details, see: http://childspirituality.org/database/books.htm
Regarding Children with HIV/AIDS
Keith White is a colleague in the UK. He lives and works in London from his home, which have been a place for families who are in need for three generations. This is called Mill Grove. Keith has written on alternatives to residential care and I include here some of his articles. Please do not circulate these articles without permission of the author. Keith can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Alternative Care for Africa: What to do With 25 Million Orphans, Keith White, 2005
- What is Mill Grove, Keith White, 2006