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” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church, 11.8.8, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
- “At least two adult supervisors must be present at all Church-sponsored activities attended by children, youth, and young single adults” (Handbook 2, 13.6.2).
- 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
Who needs to take the training?
This training is for anyone called to work with children or youth. This includes:
- Stake and district presidencies, bishoprics, and branch presidencies.
- High councilors.
- Stake, district, ward, and branch Primary, Young Men, Young Women, Sunday School, and Relief Society presidencies; elders quorum presidencies.
- Secretaries, teachers, advisers, camp leaders, activity day leaders, music leaders, pianists, and others serving in positions in the Primary, Young Women, and Young Men organizations.
- Teachers of youth Sunday School and seminary classes.
How long will the training take?
This training should take about 30 minutes to complete.
How often will I need to take the training?
If you have a calling working with children or youth, you need this training every three years. You will receive an email reminder before the expiration date of your training.
Does this training apply to ministering?
“The guideline that two responsible adults be present with youth does not apply to the assignment of ministering companions. However, under the direction of their bishop, leaders should use wisdom and seek inspiration when assigning youth as companions to adults.
“Adult companions should avoid situations that might be misunderstood. They should use care regarding isolated one-on-one situations so that youth have a safe and rewarding experience with ministering. Additionally, leaders should use wisdom in not assigning youth to difficult home or family situations.
“When youth are assigned to a companion who is not a parent, leaders should confirm that parents do not object to the assignment” (Handbook 2, 7.4.3).
Does this change the policy for interviews with youth?
“When a member of a bishopric or stake presidency or another assigned leader meets with a child, youth, or woman, he or she should ask a parent or another adult to be in an adjoining room, foyer, or hall. If the person being interviewed desires, another adult may be invited to be present during the interview. Leaders should avoid all circumstances that could be misunderstood” (Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops, 7.4, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Will I need to take this again if I move to another ward or branch or if I receive a new calling?
No. This training is valid for three years.
Do I need to sign in to access this training?
Yes, you will need to sign in with your Church Account. If your Church Account is not linked with your membership record number (MRN), you will need to update that information before completing the training or your completion will not be recorded.
To link your MRN to your Church Account, first find your MRN on your temple recommend or by asking your ward clerk or another Church leader to look it up on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or through the Member Tools app. Once you have your MRN, go to settings.ChurchofJesusChrist.org/membership in order to add it to your account. For more information, visit settings.ChurchofJesusChrist.org/help.
How will leaders know who needs to take the training?
Bishops and ward clerks will soon be able to view a list of members who need to complete the training in the Leader and Clerk Resources section of ChurchofJesusChrist.org. This list will be updated regularly.
As a priesthood leader, what do I need to know before extending a call?
Leaders and teachers of children and youth are asked to complete the training, if possible, within one month of being sustained.
Can anyone take this training?
Yes. In addition to those working with children and youth, parents and others are also welcome to complete the training.
If you need help setting up an account to access Church resources, see your ward or stake clerk. You can also talk to your leaders if you need access to a computer to complete the training.
If you experience issues with the training, click Feedback here or at the bottom of the page.
What if my question isn’t answered here?
Please send your question by clicking Feedback here or at the bottom of the page.
- Counseling Resources: Abuse (Help for the Victim) for Ward and Stake Leaders
- “Abuse,” Gospel Topics, ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- “Protecting Members and Reporting Abuse,” Abuse Help, abuse.ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- “In Crisis? Talk Now.,” Abuse Help, abuse.ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- “State Laws on Reporting and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect,” Child Welfare Information Gateway, childwelfare.gov