LDS Family Services provides support services to ecclesiastical leaders enabling them to assist others in pursuing a life consistent with eternal gospel principles. Church leaders may contact their nearest office and consult about members who are experiencing social, emotional, and mental health challenges. Possible interventions and solutions may be discussed.
LDS Family Services can also help to identify and develop other church and community resources to assist church leaders and members. When it is not appropriate for the office to offer professional services, we can nevertheless help to identify and facilitate other community referrals. At the request of church leaders, LDS Family Services can orient and educate leaders about its' services and other matters related to managing social, emotional, and mental health challenges.
Clinical & Counselling Services
LDS Family Services provides professional individual, marital, family, and group counselling services to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and others. Clinicians use reputable and evidence based counselling techniques which are delivered in accordance with professional ethics. Counselling services also aim to help church members pursue a life consistent with eternal gospel principles. LDS Family Services evaluates the effectiveness of counselling services.
Church members may access counselling services by receiving a referral from their church leader or they may contact the office directly (self-refer). Staff will also help members identify and access specialist services in the community if required. LDS Family Services counsellors provide help for a wide range of social, emotional, and mental health challenges. These may include but are not limited to: depression; anxiety; personality and interpersonal relationship difficulties; marital problems; parent-child difficulties; addictive and compulsive behaviour patterns (i.e. alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, compulsive eating, gambling, pornography, etc); abuse recovery; same sex attraction issues; adjustment to major life changes; and pre-mission assessments.
Call the office nearest to you to consult about what help is best for you.
Addiction Recovery Program (ARP)
LDS Family Services has been assigned to supervise and support the Church’s Addiction Recovery Program. This program is modelled after the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step Program and has been developed by church members who have recovered from various addictions. The weekly support meetings are not only for those who are struggling to manage addictions and addictive behaviours but are also for family members and support persons.
This program focuses on providing support in a nonjudgmental environment and teaches participants how to utilise the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help them in recovery. Any person who feels out of control of a behaviour pattern can benefit. Some of the addictions or addictive behaviours that have been addressed by this program include but are not limited to: alcohol abuse; drug addiction; prescription drug addiction; cigarette smoking; tea and coffee use; compulsive over or under eating; pornography and other sex addictions; gambling addiction; and compulsive internet or computer game usage. Participants may call their local office for more information or they may simply turn up at one of the meetings in their area. Confidentiality is of utmost importance and only first names are used.
Participants may attend with a support person who might be a family member, a church leader, or a friend. Participants under the age of 18 years will need to be accompanied by a parent or mature family member. A copy of the ARP recovery manual is on the Church Website as is a list of all ARP meetings throughout the world. To locate the ARP meetings held in Australia please click on the following link:
Strengthening Marriage and Family Courses
LDS Family Services supervises volunteer instructors who teach the Strengthening Marriage and Strengthening Families Courses within Church units. Church members may view copies of the participant manuals for these marriage and parent education courses on the church website. These courses are valuable resources available to Stake and Ward Welfare Committees to help them strengthen marriages and families. They include state of the art parent and relationship education approaches and are firmly founded on Gospel principles.
If a church unit wishes to conduct these courses they may contact LDS Family Services for guidance about how to commence. In some areas there are church service missionaries assigned to support the establishment and implementation of this service. The only cost to participants is the price of the participant manual. The Strengthening Marriage Course consists of 6 sessions, which are 90 minutes long. The Strengthening Family (Parenting) Course consists of 9 lessons.
Anyone interested may attend these courses. The only restrictions are that courses are not to be held within the church meeting block or on Monday nights. These courses may not be run without LDS Family Services supervision and training of the instructors. The lesson titles are listed below:
Strengthening Marriage Course Lesson Titles
- Applying gospel principles
- Communicating with love
- Fostering equality and unity
- Overcoming anger
- Resolving conflict
- Enriching marriage
Strengthening Family Course Lesson Titles
- (Parenting): Parenting principles and practices
- Understanding child development
- Communicating with love
- Nurturing children
- Fostering confidence
- Overcoming anger
- Resolving conflict
- Teaching responsible behaviour
- Applying consequences
When invited, LDS Family Services counsellors may conduct training workshops to assist members and/or leaders to better understand and assist those struggling with a variety of social emotional and relationship issues. These training workshops are generally only provided at a Stake rather than individual unit levels.
Birth Parent Services
LDS Family Services provides pregnancy counselling to prospective birth parents and other family members. Counselling services may focus on providing education about options available, helping clients through the decision making process, identifying other needed resources and connecting clients with such resources.
The kind of help provided depends upon the needs and wishes of parties involved. If we cannot directly help birth parents due to geographical distance, staff can help refer clients to local services and/or provide limited services by telephone or internet. LDS Family Services will endeavour to facilitate an adoption placement with an LDS family when this is requested by birth parents. Birth parents may be referred by their ecclesiastical leader or may approach any of the offices directly for help. Confidentiality is strictly observed.
The Melbourne Office of LDS Family Services no longer holds an adoption license and thus can only help prospective adoptive couples and birth parents by referring them to appropriate agencies within the community. Those who have received adoption services from the office in the past may contact the office in order to be directed to the appropriate service. As indicated above, pregnancy counselling is still offered by the office.
The Sydney Office of LDS Family Services can also help to facilitate the assessment of adoptive applicants and the placement of infants within the LDS community through the New South Wales government adoption services.
The Brisbane Office of LDS Family Services can help prospective adoptive applicants understand the adoption process and work with the Department of Child Safety. In Queensland all adoption services are governed by legislation which specifies that the Department of Child Safety Adoption Services is the only party authorised to assess and arrange an adoption.