Christian child advocacy group ‘For The Children’ (Royal Family Kids Camps) implores the church to recognize signs of abuse, take immediate action
WASHINGTON, July 25, 2021 / WPR—SkyWatchTV / — During the pandemic, millions of vulnerable children were forced to remain home with unsafe caretakers due to school closings and quarantine restrictions, and experts are predicting a sharp increase in child abuse reports when school returns this fall. Christian child advocacy organization, For The Children (formerly known as Royal Family Kids Camps), with their network of over 20,000 vetted and trained volunteers, is calling on concerned adults within the church to watch for signs of abuse and neglect, and speak out.
“If before COVID-19, five children died a day on average from child abuse, then there is no doubt this already-staggering number increased during the pandemic,” says Paul Martin, CEO of For The Children.
During the pandemic, when children spent less time around authoritative figures outside the home, reports of child abuse dropped dramatically according to The Washington Post. At the same time, USA TODAY reported that hospitals saw an increase in severe child abuse injuries, and half of the callers of the National Sexual Assault Hotline during the pandemic were minors.
“This is an epidemic after the pandemic, and we cannot delay in responding to it. The damage done to these innocent lives is immeasurable, and the ripple effect of this devastation on our society will take generations to repair,” said Martin.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who experience family-induced abuse, neglect and trauma are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes, abuse drugs and become incarcerated and/or homeless.
For The Children implores concerned Christians to keep a watchful eye as children emerge this summer and fall. While teachers, coaches, doctors and other authorities are trained in how to spot abuse, most everyday citizens are not, and so the organization has released a downloadable resource – ‘A Community’s Guide to Identifying Child Abuse’ – to equip responsible adults with the warning signs of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect in children. The Guide also gives action steps to follow if someone suspects abuse is occurring.
Common signs of abuse include:
- Excessively withdrawn, fearful, or anxious about doing something wrong
- Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, welts or cuts
- Clothes are ill-fitting, filthy or inappropriate for the weather
- Trouble walking or sitting
- And many others…
“Whether you’re an aunt, uncle, Sunday school teacher, pastor, grocery worker, neighbor – it is our hope that this guide will awaken the consciousness of Americans and the Christians among them,” says Martin. “God calls the church specifically to walk alongside the fatherless, and while we recognize not every Christian can be a foster parent, every Christian can pitch in to help care for the vulnerable children and youth.”
For The Children is activating its network of volunteers everywhere to step in on behalf of vulnerable kids. With more than 250 chapters across 44 states, all rooted in the local church, the organization hopes to mobilize even more churches to engage around the issue of family-induced childhood trauma, providing summer camps and yearlong mentoring programs for at-risk kids, as well as foster care and adoption resources for adults.
WHISPERING PONIES RANCH PARTNERS WITH FOR THE CHILDREN / RFKC
Whispering Ponies Ranch is a subsidiary of SkyWatch TV (non-profit 501 C 3 organization) that employs mobile services with miniature equine assisted activities to help bring positive mental, physical, emotional, and restorative benefits primarily to children of abuse.
Every year, more than 3.2 million children in America are sex-trafficked, abused, abandoned, or neglected. One in seven Americans are sexually abused as children. Tragically, 1,500 to 2,000 children die each year at the hands of their caretakers. And the remainder are sadly disregarded or experience a combination of these abuses.
But there is hope for many of these victims through the partnership that Whispering Ponies Ranch (WPR) holds with YOU and For The Children / Royal Family Kids Camps and Teen Reach organizations. Since 1985, week-long specialized restoration camps and follow-up mentoring specifically designed to restore these children of abuse who have become wards of the state have been conducted internationally. In the past, some kids could not benefit from these special services due to the cost-preventative nature of per-child campgrounds’ expenses. But AT WPR, ALL AMENITIES—from food services and lodging to expert recreational and counseling staff—ARE PROVIDED AT NO COST, which means no child ever has to be turned away. We can only do this because of our Pony Sponsors and VIP Founders Group members (the best people on earth!) who partner directly with WPR’s healing ministry by contributing to the operating and construction costs of the retreat facility that includes the care of these life-changing therapy horses—their foods, veterinary needs, farrier, and more.
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Watch Short Video Featuring 2021 FTC/RFKC Kids Therapy Camps At Whispering Ponies Ranch
This includes therapy use during specialized camps designed to help hurting youth rebuild trust and to feel the unconditional love they deserve. Our handlers use onsite therapy animal activities as well as camping elements such as climbing walls, fishing, bicycling, prayer trails and challenge courses to nurture abused children through modeling and teaching appropriate social behaviors so that they can begin regaining confidence in themselves and the world around them. This process is often slow and follow-up mentoring is often required over many years.
Now you can become a Pony Sponsor and/or join the VIP Founders Group where your generosity will go directly to providing for the programs and therapy animals that are part of this worthy ministry (and each year during the annual Defender Conference, WPR sponsors are honored in exclusive VIP Banquets and other settings where special honors, private meet and greets with world-renown speakers, and more highlight the achievements YOUR and WPR alumni giving has provided these precious children).
Please visit https://www.whisperingponiesranch.com/ to learn more about the partnership between WPR and FTC-RFKC.
To learn more about For The Children and to download their ‘Community Guide to Identifying Child Abuse’ visit ForTheChildren.org.
About For The Children
For more than 30 years, For The Children has been a trusted leader in the fight against family-induced childhood trauma. Their network of more than 20,000 vetted volunteers serves children that have been neglected, abused and abandoned through community advocacy, summer camps and year long mentoring programs. With more than 240 local chapters nationwide and a standard-setting church partnership model, For The Children is uniquely equipped to transform communities and eradicate family-induced childhood trauma in our time.
About Whispering Ponies Ranch
Whispering Ponies Ranch is a 280-acre youth therapy camp in Missouri that employs miniature equine assisted activities to help bring positive mental, physical, and emotional benefits to abused and neglected children and special needs adults. Over the years WPR has provided no-cost youth camps with full food and lodging amenities to help hurting youth rebuild trust and to feel the unconditional love they deserve. Handlers use onsite therapy animal activities as well as camping and nature elements, climbing walls, fishing, bicycling, hiking trails, swimming, low and high courses, gymnasium, adventure, discovery and more to achieve a variety of psychological, spiritual and physical restorative and healing objectives.