Faith and the Family Forum Submission Guidelines and Process
The forum on Faith and the Family: Propagating and Preventing Child-Family Separation across Time and Context is convened by Catholic Relief Services and Georgetown University’s Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues, in coordination with the Changing the Way We Care initiative and strategic partners.
With a particular focus on the Roman Catholic faith, forum participants are invited to consider the extent to which religious belief systems and practices have justified or opposed the separation of children from families in a variety of historical and regional contexts: American slavery, Indigenous communities, the development and use of children’s residential care worldwide, and in migration policy and response. Participants are also encouraged to consider the role of the Catholic Church in supporting vulnerable children and families and in preventing unnecessary child-family separation.
Researchers, members of faith communities, and other stakeholders are invited to contribute new written, audio, or video content through an online platform for public scholarship and informed commentary. Contributors are asked to carefully read through the submission guidelines and process below before submitting content. Submissions should address one of the following topics:
- A theology of the child, children’s care, and protection: Is there a theology of the child within the Christian faith? What would it mean to develop child-attentive theologies? How have the care and protection of children been understood within Catholic social teaching? How have these interpretations interacted with growing evidence about the effects of child-family separation on developmental outcomes across the life course and the field of child rights?
- Caring for orphaned and vulnerable children: What is the Catholic Church’s history regarding orphanages and children’s residential care facilities? How have the practices of Christian faith communities changed over time and in response to growing evidence about better care alternatives for children? What does answering God’s call to care for the orphan mean for churches, families, orphanages, and other forms of children’s care today and in the future?
- The Church, children, and human enslavement/trafficking in the Americas: Children who were enslaved were often separated from their families. How did Catholic communities respond to this separation at the time? How is the Catholic Church responding to this history of separation now? Going forward, how should Catholic communities respond to this history of separation?
- The Church, children, and Indigenous communities: Indigenous children in various parts of the world often were removed from their families and placed in residential boarding schools. What role did the Catholic Church play? How are Catholic faith communities responding to this history now? Going forward, how should Catholic communities respond to this history of separation?
- The Church’s response to children-family separation in the context of migration: Children have often been separated from their families due to migration, whether they stayed behind as their parents migrated or were separated during displacement and migration. How have Christian faith communities responded to child-family separation due to migration historically? How is the Catholic Church responding to the alarming number of children traveling alone across borders currently? Going forward, what priorities and possibilities should Catholic communities be attentive to concerning child-family separation in the context of migration?
- Faith that supports families: Catholic faith communities have responded to child-family separation in various ways throughout history, contributing to both the propagation and prevention of child-family separation across time and contexts.
a) Catholic faith communities: How is the Catholic Church supporting vulnerable children, families, and communities and preventing unnecessary child-family separation? Going forward, what role might Catholic faith communities play?
b) Catholic universities and institutes of higher learning: How are Catholic universities / institutions of higher learning supporting vulnerable children, families, and communities and preventing unnecessary child-family separation? What priorities and possibilities should Catholic universities and institutions of higher learning be attentive to moving forward?
Submission Guidelines and Process
Please carefully read the submission guidelines and process below for text, video, and audio contributions. Once your content is ready, we ask that you please submit it by December 31, 2023, through this Google Form.
In addition, please note the following:
- Translation: The Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues does not have the capacity to translate content from languages other than English, French, and Spanish. If content is provided in a language other than English, French, and Spanish, please include English translation for written text and subtitles or transcription for video/audio content.
- Copyright and republication: Authors and video/audio content creators retain the original copyright. We also welcome the republication of pieces with attribution and link to the Georgetown University Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues as the original publisher.
- Content review and publication: All contributions will be reviewed prior to publication on the online platform on the Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues website. Georgetown reserves the right not to publish content that does not address one of the guiding questions, follow the required guidelines, or ensure a child/children's protection, privacy, and dignity.
Please direct any questions, comments, or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for Written Submissions
- Length and format: Articles should be approximately 1,000-1,200 words in length and submitted as a Microsoft Word document. Submissions above 1,600 words in length will not be considered for publication, and the author will be asked to cut text in advance of editorial review. Please include a short but engaging title.
- Content: Submissions should address one of the six questions listed above.
- Style: We look for essays written for an informed but non-specialist audience in order to increase public understanding of the intersections between Christian theology, Catholic social thought, and the care and protection of children. Accordingly, the use of academic jargon is discouraged. Authors are encouraged to write shorter paragraphs – approximately 150 words – in order to best engage the audience.
- References: Authors are encouraged to hyperlink to online sources (journal articles, news stories, videos, etc.) where relevant. When referencing a book, authors are welcome to hyperlink to a publisher page. The use of footnoting is discouraged.
- Embedded photos: Authors have the option of including one or two embedded photos to improve the visual appeal of the published piece. Images must either be owned by the author, with permission for the Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues to use, or licensed under Creative Commons (CC). Images of people must ensure that the person is not identifiable unless the image was taken in a public place where the individual would have no expectation of privacy (e.g., in a public setting). In all other cases, the person pictured (or, if a minor, the legal guardian) must provide consent to use the photo.
- Editorial process: All written submissions are edited for style and clarity in advance of publication. If substantive changes are needed, the author will receive a revised version with tracked changes for approval.
Guidelines for Video/Audio Submissions:
- Length and format: Audio and/or video submissions should be no longer than three minutes and submitted as a mp3 (audio) and mp4 (video).
- Content: Submissions should address the following questions: Is there a theology of the child within the Christian faith? How has the care and protection of children been understood within Catholic social teaching? How have these interpretations interacted with growing evidence about the effects of child-family separation on developmental outcomes across the life course and the field of child rights?
- Permissions: Video and audio content must be owned by the person or organization submitting, with permission for the Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues to use.
Once your content is ready, invited contributors are asked to submit the content through this Google Form:
In the Google Form, contributors will be asked to:
- sign Georgetown University’s Website Content License and Release Agreement;
- upload a 50-word biography, naming current affiliation;
- upload a high-quality headshot;
- provide personal Twitter handle, if relevant; and
- disclose child protection and safeguarding protocols, if applicable.