Part 1: Screening and Caring for Children

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Hello Theresa!

Time for a new thread. You and I and our other co-presenters are working on our fall seminar, focusing on the psychoeducational and spiritual needs of missionary kids. I am asked frequently by mission agencies for advice on how to screen missionary kids. I sometimes ask them if the kids are potential or future employees of the mission? Of course not. So, then, why screen them? I admit this is a poor answer to a sincere and reasonable question, but I can be squirrely at times!

Assuming this question is reasonable, I would like to propose that we broaden this discussion to the larger issue of protecting children from harm, but also helping the mission and families provide an atmosphere where children can thrive throughout their lives. This perspective takes us from merely trying to keep children safe, or finding out if they have been unsafe, to a more preventative approach of working to ensure that they thrive. For me, that means that we are automatically creating environments that help to avoid danger or abuse. I realize we cannot avoid everything, but we can all probably do more to build thriving environments.

Since you and I have talked of this before, could you address your perspective?


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