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Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 16 Aug 2019, 15:46
by Curt Sunshine
The Church has unveiled an abuse prevention program that will be required to work with youth. It is video instruction and assessment that needs to be completed by Sept. 22nd and renewed every three years. It was created in consultation with public organizations that serve youth, including counseling agencies.

Here is a link:

https://www.deseret.com/2019/8/16/20808 ... Hc5LtgNr6s

This announcement excites me. It is a wonderful step forward.

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 16 Aug 2019, 16:23
by Roy
Wonderful! Wonderful!

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 17 Aug 2019, 09:13
by DarkJedi
I agree this is a great step forward. :thumbup: It's about time. I got the memo yesterday and it seems almost every calling is on the list, as it should be. I intend to complete it this weekend and strongly push it in next week's stake council, although I'm sure my SP will be strongly pushing it on his own.

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 19 Aug 2019, 14:35
by Roy
https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/ ... 033575001/

News story about the new prevention training. Sounds like it mirrors the Boy Scout policy of "two deep" leadership supervision.

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 08:15
by AmyJ
Our primary president forwarded it onto us parents of primary children (who might sub in primary) as well as her primary teachers yesterday. :clap:

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 10:16
by DarkJedi
I completed the training. My SP will be so proud of me! :angel:

Full disclosure: I work for the state Office of Children and Family Services, although not in the abuse division. However I do work with youth and we get abuse prevention and reporting training out the yin yang. It's constant, and I am very sensitive to the issue. Some of the training I get is "live" and some is video or web based (the latter can also be live).

With that in mind, I thought the information in the training was adequate.

Honestly, I had a hard time with the "cartoon" nature of it. It is well drawn, but I couldn't help but feel it was made for fourth graders. My intelligence was a bit insulted.

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 10:21
by nibbler
I guess I'll give the dissenting opinion.

I find it odd that there's different counsel in how to respond to abuse depending on whether you're a BP or SP. I continue to struggle with why leaders are counseled to go through church hierarchical channels when reporting abuse rather than the same channel they counsel regular members to use - the authorities, secular authorities. Is it about protecting the youth or protecting the church? Perhaps protecting the BP/SP, because in some way they are the face of the church.

They mention emotional abuse. Disclaimer: this is coming from a person with a background in dealing with scrupulosity. I believe the very way in which we have packaged the gospel can cause emotional abuse. Specifically, causing people to question their self worth and the culture's obsession with worthiness and perfectionism. This message gets internalized by our youth and I don't think it's healthy.

The training mentions abuse in the form of coercion. Leadership roulette perhaps, but in my experience coercion has become an accepted part of our practice of religion. Don't say no to a calling. Church of assignments, not volunteers. When you were baptized you made a promise to [fill in the blank]. Who do I report the systemic coercion to?

After the training, I'm wondering why two deep leadership isn't policy when it comes to youth interviews. Personally, I don't think we should be doing worthiness interviews for any member of the church, but if we're going to do them, and we're going to do them for youth... if we're so concerned with two deep leadership when the church building is full and abuzz on Sundays, then we should be that much more concerned with two deep leadership when a child is alone with an adult behind a closed door with no windows. Especially since the interview includes a question that broaches the subject of sex.

The church could make it a policy to require that a parent or guardian be present during all interviews overnight if they wanted to. Or better yet, drop the interview altogether.

Something is better than nothing I guess.

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 12:08
by Minyan Man
In this training, do they talk about when law enforcement is contacted? And who makes the contact?

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 12:27
by Roy
Minyan Man wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 12:08
In this training, do they talk about when law enforcement is contacted? And who makes the contact?
My understanding is that if someone reports abuse to you as a non-bishop/SP, you should:
1) believe them.
2) report it to the authorities.

Re: Abuse Prevention Training Required to Work with Youth

Posted: 20 Aug 2019, 14:17
by DarkJedi
nibbler wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 10:21
I guess I'll give the dissenting opinion.
I was trying to be charitable, kind, and non-critical. I had initially said barely adequate and removed barely from the sentence. So I'll be authentic now and join your dissent and say what I really thought - the thing is barely adequate bordering a farce. I think it does an adequate job of two-deep adults (although I disagree with the the cabin/tent policy). Maybe it's just here but some people here poo-poo the idea and disregard it blatantly or because they don't what else to do. (Case in point, my wife's Primary co-teacher is on vacation and did get a sub who didn't show. A presidency member came in about halfway through, but in the meantime she was by herself.) Not more than two weeks ago my friend in the bishopric was complaining about the two-deep rule and how SLC doesn't seem to understand how hard that it is to do - and he's the father of 4 young girls. (And I should note we have people without callings in my ward.)
I find it odd that there's different counsel in how to respond to abuse depending on whether you're a BP or SP. I continue to struggle with why leaders are counseled to go through church hierarchical channels when reporting abuse rather than the same channel they counsel regular members to use - the authorities, secular authorities. Is it about protecting the youth or protecting the church? Perhaps protecting the BP/SP, because in some way they are the face of the church.
Me too. I think there is no question anyone and everyone should call the abuse hotline if they suspect abuse. Period. If abuse happens where I work (and it occasionally does) everyone who knows, managers, fellow staff, even other kids, call the hotline (we do have a system where one person can call for everyone on a list and everyone on the list has the right to be present for that call and also can still call themselves).
They mention emotional abuse. Disclaimer: this is coming from a person with a background in dealing with scrupulosity. I believe the very way in which we have packaged the gospel can cause emotional abuse. Specifically, causing people to question their self worth and the culture's obsession with worthiness and perfectionism. This message gets internalized by our youth and I don't think it's healthy.

The training mentions abuse in the form of coercion. Leadership roulette perhaps, but in my experience coercion has become an accepted part of our practice of religion. Don't say no to a calling. Church of assignments, not volunteers. When you were baptized you made a promise to [fill in the blank]. Who do I report the systemic coercion to?
I agree on with both of these assessments. During the part where it talked about using religious authority as a pretense for abuse I thought to myself "I see that happen all the time."
After the training, I'm wondering why two deep leadership isn't policy when it comes to youth interviews. Personally, I don't think we should be doing worthiness interviews for any member of the church, but if we're going to do them, and we're going to do them for youth... if we're so concerned with two deep leadership when the church building is full and abuzz on Sundays, then we should be that much more concerned with two deep leadership when a child is alone with an adult behind a closed door with no windows. Especially since the interview includes a question that broaches the subject of sex.

The church could make it a policy to require that a parent or guardian be present during all interviews overnight if they wanted to. Or better yet, drop the interview altogether.
Also agreed. I decided a while back that in the unlikely event I were ever called as a bishop (or counselor doing TR interviews or whatever) that I would simply refuse to do any of those interviews alone. There is no reason for the exception and it protects me as well. I think the instruction/policy should be that the leader also report abuse. I think the training glossed/softened the reporting part too much.
Something is better than nothing I guess.
I suppose that's where I'm at.