LDS Family Services has provided a variety of services to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others for nearly 100 years. Although the name has changed and the focus on different programs has shifted, the family has always been central to the guiding purpose of LDS Family Services.
“Our social services program has already been a great blessing to our Church members. This program seeks to respond to many problems that beset our members... and it will no doubt increase in its importance, because so many of the problems which this cluster of agencies deals with are symptomatic of our time. Members may need counselling more than clothing, and members who, through bishops, are referred to an agency in our social services program should feel no more hesitancy in asking for help of this kind than [they] should in requesting help through the priesthood welfare program” (Harold B. Lee, Seminar for Regional Representatives of the Twelve, 1 Oct. 1970).
LDS Family Services helps individuals and families with adoption, counselling, and other services enabling them to pursue a course consistent with eternal gospel principles.
“The purpose or guiding purpose of LDS (Family) Services is to assist priesthood leaders by providing quality licensed and clinical services to members of the Church. This is accomplished by using highly qualified staff members and volunteers whose values, knowledge, and professional skills are in harmony with the gospel and the order of the Church. We should remember that LDS (Family) Services exists not because anyone doubts that a bishop or quorum leader doesn't receive inspiration; rather, it exists because our prophets were inspired to give local priesthood leaders a resource to meet social-emotional needs... [However], there is no substitute for the inspired counsel and priesthood blessings by the bishop, quorum, or group leader” (J. Richard Clarke, Ministering to Needs through LDS (Family) Services, Ensign, May 1977).
The primary objective of LDS Family Services is to support church leaders and strengthen individuals and families by providing high quality professional services in a caring, non-judgemental and confidential environment, within which Church teachings are both understood and respected.
Some of the services provided include: consultation with ecclesiastical leaders; psycho-educational training workshops; orientation presentations to church leaders about services provided; assessment and counselling to individuals, couples, and families; pre-missionary service assessments; referral to other professionals or organisations as required; the Addiction Recovery Program; the Strengthening Marriage and Family Courses (marriage and parent education); pregnancy counselling; and adoption referral service.