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Unassigned families in home teaching

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Unassigned families in home teaching

#1Postby RossEvans » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:02 pm

In our ward MLS, families not currently assigned to home teachers show up with not even an assignment to a particular quorum.

Is the only way to assign a family to a quorum to assign it to a particular companionship within a quorum?

My recollection from the bad old days of MIS was that the old system woulld allow assigning a family to either EQ or HP. It then was up to the presidencies to assign those families to a companionship.

RIght now, if you look at HomeTeaching.csv, the unassigned familes show up with a null value in the Quorum field. It is impossible to tell which quorum is responsible. (Perhaps this is a anomaly only in the export. I am away from the MLS system right now so I can't tell.)

Or is my ward just not using MLS properly?
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#2Postby mkmurray » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:26 pm

boomerbubba wrote:In our ward MLS, families not currently assigned to home teachers show up with not even an assignment to a particular quorum.

Is the only way to assign a family to a quorum to assign it to a particular companionship within a quorum?

My recollection from the bad old days of MIS was that the old system woulld allow assigning a family to either EQ or HP. It then was up to the presidencies to assign those families to a companionship.

RIght now, if you look at HomeTeaching.csv, the unassigned familes show up with a null value in the Quorum field. It is impossible to tell which quorum is responsible. (Perhaps this is a anomaly only in the export. I am away from the MLS system right now so I can't tell.)

Or is my ward just not using MLS properly?

I don't think the software does show you who is responsible to home teach a given family or individual. The Church Handbook of Instructions has a lot of guidance given on this topic. But there is still quite a bit of room for inspiration for your local leaders.

Also, we have two Elders' Quorums in our ward. I don't see anywhere in the software to configure rules for what the division is based on (geocodes, alphabetical, etc.). Currently I have to frequently check the 1st Quorum's members and move them to the 2nd Quorum if they fall within that quorum's membership criteria. I imagine I would have to take the same manual steps for families being home taught to correct the assumptions of the software; it could possibly be an even bigger hassle than just the membership of the quorum.

I think this is why the software may not try to follow the general guidelines because of how frequent exceptions may be? I'm kinda shooting in the dark here...
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#3Postby lajackson » Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:00 pm

boomerbubba wrote:In our ward MLS, families not currently assigned to home teachers show up with not even an assignment to a particular quorum.

Is the only way to assign a family to a quorum to assign it to a particular companionship within a quorum?


Yes. A family is assigned to a companionship. That companionship must be in a district, and that district must be assigned to a supervisor. When the districts are set up, the supervisor is either in the elders quorum or the high priests group.

Our ward has managed to get a district in the high priests group entitled (No Supervisor), but this appears to be an anomaly in MLS. I cannot create a similar district in the elders quorum, and if I do anything with the (No Supervisor) district, the names all dump by default to one of the other districts.

I think this is an error in the MLS code or database. We are reluctant to fix it, however, because it does come in so handy for tracking families assigned to a quorum but without specific home teachers.
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responsability

#4Postby 1historian-p40 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:10 pm

We have a similar problem in our ward. We have roughly 170 families that are unassigned. If there was someway to assign them to either the Hp group or the Elders quorum. so they could use these lists when assigning their HT routes
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#5Postby RossEvans » Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:49 am

1historian wrote:We have a similar problem in our ward. We have roughly 170 families that are unassigned. If there was someway to assign them to either the Hp group or the Elders quorum. so they could use these lists when assigning their HT routes


The workaround seems to be to create a special "companionship" in each quorum, typically assigning someone from the presidency to it. Then, when new families are allocated to the quorum they are assigned to this companionship if they have no actual home teacher yet.

That is supposed to be the practice in our ward, but I can see that it is not followed consistently. We still have a lot of families in "Unassigned" limbo, so there is no MLS report to show which quorum is responsible for them.
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#6Postby 1historian-p40 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:52 am

We tried that but the Hp group leader threw a fit because it lowered his home teaching percentage. Is there any other way, or is there some instruction we can show the hp group leader. The bishop had no problem with it.
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#7Postby aebrown » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:00 am

1historian wrote:We tried that but the Hp group leader threw a fit because it lowered his home teaching percentage. Is there any other way, or is there some instruction we can show the hp group leader. The bishop had no problem with it.


That seems like strange thinking. "His" home teaching percentage was not lowered. Adding unassigned families to the appropriate quorum simply makes the percentage accurate, as opposed to the artificially inflated number his quorum may have had previously when unassigned families were not included.

The HT tools in MLS exist to assist priesthood leaders to minister to the members. The "unassigned families" list is in my opinion one of the most important lists in MLS -- it lets you know of families that have no shepherd and are slipping through the cracks.

In any case, the bishop is ultimately responsible for home teaching, so it's his decision to make. The Handbook says that all home teaching decisions are to be reviewed and approved by the bishop.
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#8Postby RossEvans » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:46 am

Alan_Brown wrote:
The HT tools in MLS exist to assist priesthood leaders to minister to the members. The "unassigned families" list is in my opinion one of the most important lists in MLS -- it lets you know of families that have no shepherd and are slipping through the cracks.


That was what led me to post my original question, which relates to the design and functionality of MLS.

As I recall, perhaps imperfectly, the equivalent report from the old MIS system distinguished between two categories of "Unassigned" -- those who had not been assigned to a quorum at all, and those who were assigned to a quorum but were not assigned to a companionship.

The MLS schema and reporting makes it harder to track this accountablity because all "Unassigned" families -- those without home teachers -- are lumped together. Reading this report, the bishop cannot know easily where to focus.
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#9Postby aebrown » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:06 am

boomerbubba wrote:That was what led me to post my original question, which relates to the design and functionality of MLS.

As I recall, perhaps imperfectly, the equivalent report from the old MIS system distinguished between two categories of "Unassigned" -- those who had not been assigned to a quorum at all, and those who were assigned to a quorum but were not assigned to a companionship.

The MLS schema and reporting makes it harder to track this accountablity because all "Unassigned" families -- those without home teachers -- are lumped together. Reading this report, the bishop cannot know easily where to focus.


I don't recall what MIS did with this. With MLS, although the "Households Not Assigned to Be Home Taught" list does initially lump everyone together, there is a dropdown that allows you to filter the list by the priesthood of the Head of House. That can help the bishop know where to focus. Regardless of the filtering, there is a column listing the priesthood, so it should be pretty simple to follow the standard rules of Elders getting the Elders and Seventies, and High Priests getting everyone else, and then make exceptions as appropriate for individual circumstances.

But filtering shouldn't be much of an issue, because this list should be a very short list. Unless there has been a sudden influx of new members, it seems like any unassigned families should be assigned within a month of moving into the ward, so it should be very rare for the list to be longer than a dozen families. If it's longer than that, in my opinion there should be an "all hands" meeting of the quorum leaders with the bishop to deal with the crisis and make the assignments.
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#10Postby RossEvans » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:47 am

IMHO, there are two issues here, one dealing with priesthood responsibility, governance and process, and the other a technical issue of application design.

I have focused on the latter, and still think there should be a standard, bulletproof way to record in MLS what the bishop's actual assignment of each family to a quorum was. The only way I know of to record this in MLS is through a workaround that everyone agrees to follow. Apparently the underlying schema of the MLS database requires a companionship to exist for a quorum assignment to be made. If this is true, perhaps the application should create a District 0, Companionship 0 for each quorum by default, and protect this companionship from deletion.

In terms of priesthood process, in the only two PECs I have belonged to, that body is where the original assignment to a quorum usually happened. The bishop typically assigned incoming families there, as a regular agenda item. The key question is, what is the immediate action item for recording this decision, and who owns it? Does the clerk assign the families in MLS to a dummy "companionship" in the responsible quorum, or is that left to the EQ/HP leader or secretary? (Or worse, is recording the assignment deferred until there is a real home teacher.) I think it works better if the clerk does it.
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