Community of Christ

Special Circumstances Team

Child Protection - Special Circumstances Team

Referral to the Special Circumstances Team

If you are interested in submitting an application for someone who does not meet the criteria for registered youth worker status, he or she may be eligible for consideration at a Special Circumstances meeting. The mission center president is responsible for gathering information for consideration by the team. For guidance on this and more information, please contact Legal Services at (816) 833-1000, ext. 2223.

The Special Circumstances Team meets to consider specific Registered Children and Youth Worker (RCYW) applications. These referrals come from local jurisdictional officers and typically do not meet the standards for registration (see below). The privilege of being a Registered Children and Youth Worker carries a sense of calling to minister to children and young people, an exemplary lifestyle, willingness to mentor through actions and words, and an understanding of boundaries in relationship with children and young people.

Contrary to these standards the applicant may have:

  • A history of inappropriate sexual behavior, not rising to the level of criminal charges.
  • Felony convictions other than child abuse.
  • Life choices and judgments not conducive to ministering or mentoring children and youth.

In certain circumstances these persons may be encouraged to apply to be an RCYW. The Special Circumstances Team will consider those applications.

Anyone who has been convicted of abuse against children or confessed to authorities of such a crime cannot be a Registered Children and Youth Worker in Community of Christ.

Applications should include:

  • A current Registered Children and Youth Worker application form (no more than 6 months old)
  • A letter from the applicant outlining convictions and identifying changes the person has made following the crimes
  • A letter from a professional counselor explaining why the applicant is suited to minister with children and youth
  • Evidence of any positive involvement in the congregation over an extended period.
  • Evidence of any positive involvement in community life.
  • A positive reference from the mission center president.

The Special Circumstances Team consists of:

  • A representative of the First Presidency
  • Risk manager
  • Field apostle or representative
  • General counsel
  • Executive assistant to the general counsel (facilitator)

The team meets and considers all information produced and may call on the mission center president to add comments. Guided by a point-based checklist and information presented, the team tallies the score and decides whether the person’s application will be approved. The executive assistant to the general counsel communicates that decision to the mission center president.

One example may involve someone who previously admitted to sending and requesting inappropriate sexually explicit texts from a minor. The person may have shown remorse, received counseling, taken additional training courses, and continued to participate in congregational life.

The person would complete an RCYW application form, and the mission center president could sign in agreement to the application. Additional paperwork would be gathered as available.

The Special Circumstances Team convenes and makes a decision based on the protocol above.

Other examples might be a history of drug use and dealing, unprosecuted sex with a minor by a person under 21, a conviction of aggravated burglary, a history of alcoholism, unprosecuted neglect of a child, or engaging in multiple relationships outside marriage and the family.