How is Franciscan Works related to the Catholic Church?

Our organization is listed in the Official Catholic Directory© (The Kennedy Directory) under the Archdiocese of Chicago. We work in cooperation with both the Archdiocese of Chicago (Illinois, USA) and the Archdiocese of Monrovia (Monrovia, Liberia). Our Spiritual Adviser and Board Member - a Conventual Franciscan - works with us under the supervision of his Provincial Minister.  We have a long-standing relationship with the Franciscans stretching back to the founding of our organization in 1970. In origin, association, and spirit, we are truly a Franciscan entity.

Who manages Franciscan Works, and who is responsible for donations?

Franciscan Works employs staff in the U.S. and in Liberia who are accountable for the day-to-day operation of the program and prudent use of resources.  A Board of Directors guides policy and makes all major spending decisions.  The Franciscan Works Board and Staff profile pages provide personal details and summarize relevant experience.

How does Franciscan Works stay informed about what is happening in Liberia?

There are regular and ongoing telephone and email contacts between staff in the U.S. and staff in Liberia.  The Director of Liberia Mission participates in Board meetings via teleconference. On-site visits by Board members occur at various times of year, including what has become a regular month-long visit by our Spiritual Adviser.

What practices and procedures are in place to assure appropriate use of donations?

Franciscan Works utilizes a variety of written documentation and an independent financial audit to assure accountability for the operation of the program.  Written documentation from Liberia includes an annual operating plan and budget submitted by the Director of Liberia Mission that is reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors, and quarterly spending and participant reports.  The quarterly spending reports assure that expenses are on budget.  The participant reports summarize numbers of children being served along with details on any child leaving the program for cause.  There is an annual report on outcomes summarizing school results. Monthly financial reports generated in the U.S. on revenues and expenses are compiled and shared with the Board.  The Board engages a public accounting firm to prepare an independent financial audit annually. 

There are policies regarding conflict of interest and protection of whistle blowers that are enforced.

How does Franciscan Works assure that the children in Liberia are well cared for?

The Franciscan Works program operates under a carefully constructed and well-developed child protection plan.  The welfare and protection of children, young people, and vulnerable adults is a top priority, and we take our duty to protect them very seriously. 

Our program includes training of teachers, staff and students on at least an annual basis to identify abuse, procedures for reporting alleged incidents, and safety guidelines; supervision of direct care workers; student representatives that convey concerns directly to American staff; and an Independent Review Committee of Liberians to investigate abuse allegations.