Protecting Children and Youth

    All leaders and teachers of children or youth are to complete this training within one month of being called.
    Church activities and classes are opportunities for children and youth to feel the love of the Savior and the influence of the Holy Ghost. While participating, children and youth need to feel safe and protected. Leaders and teachers should follow the Savior’s example of love and concern for children.
    This training covers how to recognize and prevent physical, sexual, verbal, and other types of abuse. The resources below can also help you recognize and prevent abuse. The training provides scenarios to help you better understand and apply key principles and policies.

    Key Principles and Policies Covered in the Training

    • The Lord expects us to do all we can to prevent abuse and to protect and help those who have been victims of abuse.
    • The Church does not tolerate abuse in any form. Abuse violates the laws of God and may also be a violation of the laws of society.
    • When adults are teaching children or youth in Church settings, “at least two responsible adults should be present” (General Handbook: Classes for Youth, 13.4.1 and Safeguarding Children, 12.5.1).
    • “At least two adult supervisors must be present at all Church-sponsored activities attended by children, youth, and young single adults” (General Handbook: Adult Supervision, 20.6.2).
    • Avoid extended one-on-one communication with children or youth, and regularly communicate with parents or guardians about activities or concerns.

    When inappropriate behavior or abuse happens, you should act promptly to protect the child or youth.

    U.S. and Canada
    If you learn of abuse, you should immediately contact legal authorities. You should also counsel with your bishop or stake president, who will call the abuse help line for guidance in helping victims and meeting reporting requirements.
    Countries outside of the U.S. and Canada
    Learn how and when you should report abuse. In most countries, you will immediately need to contact legal authorities. Counsel with your bishop or stake president for direction. If the abuse help line is not available in your country, the bishop will counsel with the stake president and area office to learn the proper process for reporting abuse and protecting the person that was abused.
    Children and youth who have been abused need kind, caring attention from inspired Church leaders, family members, and others, including trained professionals, who can help them overcome the destructive effects of abuse. The healing power of the Savior Jesus Christ will ease burdens and provide strength to overcome adversity.
    Please view the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information about this online training module and about how to prevent and respond to abuse in your calling.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Church Resources

    Reporting Resources

    Additional Resources and Information