home teaching "not reported" category

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
mndrix
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home teaching "not reported" category

Postby mndrix » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:25 pm

In my calling as Bishop, I review home and visiting teaching reports each month. When a checkbox is marked to indicate that someone visited a family, all is well. I know that a visit was made, that the visit was reported and that report made it into the computer. However, when a checkbox is blank, I don't know which of the following scenarios applies:

  • Family was not visited
  • Family was visited but it wasn't reported
  • Family was visited, it was reported but not entered in the computer

I would love it if MLS tracked home and visiting teaching in three categories: visited, not visited, no report. Each month, all checkboxes would default to "no report". These three categories wouldn't distinguish all possibilities but it would help me know whether the problem is missing visits or missing reports.

idjeeper2
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Re: home teaching "not reported" category

Postby idjeeper2 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:27 pm

I appreciate your concerns and have much the same issues when I try to fill out the quarterly report and the visits haven't been entered. I lean away from giving the PEC an easy way out. The job isn't done until the figurative paperwork is finished.

I would suggest that you start with your priesthood and relief society leadership. Rather than review the reports in a vacuum, take some time to quiz them specifically about each family/sister that is shown as not visited. Our policy is that the visits be recorded no later than the 10th of each month. They still miss the deadline occasionally but it has helped a lot. We also moved away from the presidents/group leader being a district supervisor - they have enough on their plate already. We use a combination of counselors and other responsible members to handle the visit statistics. Confidential information is communicated directly from the home/visiting teachers to the presidencies.

mndrix
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Re: home teaching "not reported" category

Postby mndrix » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:06 am

idjeeper2 wrote:I lean away from giving the PEC an easy way out.


Having a "not reported" category would increase the PEC's responsibility (as I see it), not give them a way out. If HT and VT reports had any "not reported" values when I reviewed them, I'd call my leaders and say "Please contact those brethren/sisters and get the reports by the end of the day."

As it stands, I interview my leaders every month asking "are these 'not visited' families accurate or did someone forget to enter reports?" So we end up making effort for the 30-40% with an empty checkbox instead of the 5-10% who didn't report.

idjeeper2 wrote:I would suggest that you start with your priesthood and relief society leadership.
Rather than review the reports in a vacuum, take some time to quiz them specifically about each family/sister that is shown as not visited.


That's great counsel. I've been doing that for about 5 years now :) That's largely what motivates my suggestion. As long as an unchecked box means both "not visited" and "not reported", those interviews become a book keeping session where I try to ferret out which families truly weren't visited.

Often, during these interviews or in ward council, I ask "did home teachers visit the Jones family this month?" My elders quorum, high priests or relief society leader says "I'm not sure. Maybe Brother Williams just didn't report it yet" This back and forth is not productively ministering to the needs of our people. A slight change to the reporting mechanism would clarify and eliminate this wasted effort.

Perhaps I should have all leaders send their HT and VT reports to me on paper. A "Y" means "visited", an "N" means "not visited". A blank means "not yet reported". I'll discuss that idea with my ward council at our next meeting.

mndrix
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Location: Hanna, Wyoming
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Re: home teaching "not reported" category

Postby mndrix » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:04 am

I noticed this morning that LCR now has three options for each HT and VT report: "Visited", "Not visited" and "Not reported". I am one happy Bishop! Thank you to whoever worked on this change. We'll be discussing the new reporting option in ward council this morning and how it can help us reach out better.


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