That's what you see, right? If so, you're correct!
We've based our new mark on this precarious vegetable, the Artichoke. And for good reason.
When it comes to child protection, the child has to be at the center of every decision.
If we do not consider the child's best interest or don't ask for their perspective about the decisions affecting their lives, we are much more likely to unintentionally cause further trauma in the way we 'protect' them.
An artichoke is the perfect representation of what we, and most experts, consider best practice.
At the center, is the heart which represents a child. Above it is the choke, representing a mom or dad. Beyond that are many layers of leaves. These leaves become thicker and stronger as they move from the center and they protect the 'heart' as it grows and develops. At the very tip of the outer leaves are tiny 'prickles' that act as a defense - from becoming dinner.
As Global Child Advocates, we believe the best way to protect a child is by strengthening the layers that surround them. In our work on the Thai-Myanmar border, our team engages impoverished families everyday. Instead of removing a child from a struggling family, we come alongside that family and help them to be best line of defense for their own children.
We connect them to local resources for income generation, nutrition support, preschool for their children, counseling and other tools that help them care for their own children.
We want to see their community providing support so we engage community leaders and provide training in children's needs and child protection. We educate child welfare departments and local authorities about what needs exist in the slum communities and advocate for their participation in better protecting children. We also promote strong child protection policies within organizations and local government as an added defense for children.
Protecting children within their existing support system is always our first priority. When this is not possible, we may recreate those supports temporarily to provide restorative care but our end goal for every child is a strong loving family.