Child Protection

Keeping children safe: Our policies and practices 

At World Vision the care and protection of children is our top priority. It is the focus of both our work in communities around the world and our advocacy on behalf of all children, especially the most vulnerable.

We take our responsibility to protect those we work with seriously. We have extensive Child Protection policies and protocols in place to safeguard children and communities. We condemn all forms of exploitation or abuse of children or adults, and have a zero-tolerance policy of incidents of violence, especially against children.  

World Vision complies with the mandatory reporting required by the Australian Government. All World Vision staff and partners must by law report any alleged child protection breaches to the Australian Government and as required by State legislation.

Our humanitarian work is carried out in accordance with the humanitarian principles – humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. This includes avoiding exposing people to harm through humanitarian assistance. 

World Vision has comprehensive policies and practices in place to protect recipients when local partners deliver aid. Our standard practice is to obtain police checks for all staff and volunteers before they distribute aid. In situations where police checks can’t be obtained, volunteers or new staff supply a letter from their community leaders to confirm their background and good character.  

New World Vision Australia staff and volunteers undertake orientation in World Vision’s policies and protocols, as well as a National Police Check and a Working with Children Check (or State equivalent). All staff and volunteers must agree to observe those policies and understand the disciplinary actions for any policy violations. 

Key policies and protocols include the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Code of Conduct, humanitarian charters and child protection. Extra screening measures, such as behavioural-based interview questions, are used when hiring for positions that involve working directly with children. 

Strict safeguards around our Child Sponsorship program are in place to protect sponsored children. Sponsors must have a clear National Police Check and pass a Working with Children Check before visiting their sponsored child. All visits are organised and chaperoned by local World Vision staff. Protocols manage how photos and video recordings of sponsored children are used, and letters are opened and vetted. Read our FAQs for more information on sponsor visits.

World Vision also has a confidential Whistleblower Hotline. We investigate all reports. Visit worldvision.ethicspoint.com or call collect +1-503-726-3990 for more information.

If you have any further questions you can email us at WVAChildProtection@worldvision.com.au or call us on 13 32 40 or +61 3 9940 5501 from overseas.

Child-safe sharing online: How to protect your sponsored child

Sponsoring a child is a wonderful experience and one we encourage you to share with friends and loved ones. You might inspire someone else to change a child’s life!

In most cases you are welcome to share updates, photos and videos of your sponsored child and their community via social media. But we do ask you to make sure that the information you share respects your sponsored child, protects their privacy and keeps them safe.

Follow these simple steps before you get started.

Step 1: Check if your sponsored child lives in a restricted country

Some countries prefer that you don’t share your sponsored child’s photos and videos online for child protection purposes. If your sponsored child lives in one of these areas, it will be noted under their photo on your My World Vision page. Even though you can’t share photos and videos of your sponsored child, you can still share community photos and videos.

Step 2: Check what you can share online

If your sponsored child does not live in a restricted country, you are free to share this information online:

  • child and community photos and videos, as long as they don’t contain landmarks that reveal your sponsored child’s location
  • excerpts of letters and cards from your sponsored child that don’t include their last name or address
  • your sponsored child’s first name, age and country
  • your sponsored child's language, hobbies, chores and grade level at school
  • your sponsored child’s general health status (excluding sensitive details)

Sharing some types of personal information can threaten the privacy and safety of your sponsored child and their community. For this reason we don’t include last names, community names or locations or any other information that might identify the location of sponsored children on our website. We ask you to do the same when you are sharing your sponsorship story online.

Please don’t share this information online:

  • your sponsored child’s surname and sponsorship ID number
  • first names, surnames and occupations of your sponsored child’s parents
  • your sponsored child’s address or school name and address
  • community village/name
  • your sponsored child’s height and weight, specific medical conditions or disabilities
  • your sponsored child’s religion
  • images that are geotagged to your sponsored child's location

These things all reveal too much about your sponsored child’s identity and location and could place them at risk.

Step 3: Start sharing your sponsorship story

Log in to My World Vision and start sharing your sponsorship story with friends and family.

Do you have a question or need more information? Send our team a message or call 13 32 40.

Promoting World Vision child sponsorship

We welcome those who wish to help us find new sponsors. On our web assets you'll find banner ads and clickable links that you can download and place on your website to encourage others to sponsor a child. 

Safe Sharing

Advice regarding sharing your sponsor child's information online.