Background Checks Now Required for Church Leaders in U.K.

For years the members in the U.K. have recognized a problem and have been pushing for a change. They want more effective standards to prevent sexual abuse. Finally on June 20, 2023, the Europe North Area Presidency released a letter stating a new policy requiring background checks for many church leaders.

The area presidency invites members and leaders to help them create a safe and nurturing environment for one another.

The letter to the members begins with saying, “As disciples of the Lord and leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a sacred responsibility to care for and protect our children, youth, and any other vulnerable members so that everyone may feel safe and protected.”

Some of the updated procedures announced include:

  • Introduction of mandatory DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checking for those who will serve with children, youth or vulnerable adults, ensuring that individuals with a history of violent or abusive behavior are not allowed to work with vulnerable people.
  • Calling and training of Stake Safeguarding Specialists, responsible for multiple congregations.
  • Tasking Family Services personnel with obtaining Level 3 Safeguarding Training and then providing training to Stake Safeguarding Specialists.
  • Ongoing training and education on safeguarding and abuse prevention, and recognizing the signs of abuse and responding appropriately

All of these policies will be effective July 1, 2023.

It has not yet been announced if these changes will be introduced globally.

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