|INTRODUCTION TO HOME TEACHING||
Below you will find an explanation of the basic organisation and responsibilities of Home and Visiting Teachers. As an additional resource, you may visit a brief history regarding Home Teaching or Visiting Teaching. Additional resources explaining Home Teaching can be found at the Church's Official Website, and at the All About Mormons webpage.
Home Teaching is done by companionships of two men who hold the Priesthood. Usually each companionship is assigned 2-5 families to visit (I've seen the number as high as 11). The visits are usually once a month as a minimum, and sometimes more often as the needs arise. The companionship generally shares a spiritual message (usually from the First Presidency of the Church published in the Church magazine the ENSIGN), and watches over the family's spiritual and temporal (financial) welfare. If there are needs which exceed the possibility of being fulfilled by the Home Teachers, then the info is passed on to the priesthood leaders and/or the Bishop.
There are two organisations in our church which the Home Teachers are part of - the Elders Quorum (usually 18-45) and the High Priests Group (usually over 45). The Elders Quorum Presidency (President and two counsellors) oversee the Home Teaching done by the Elders (members of the Elders Quorum) and the High Priests Group Leadership (High Priests Group Leader and two assistants) oversees Home Teaching done by the High Priests.
As a note, often a companionship will consist of one of these men and a member of one of the Aaronic Priesthood quorums (teacher or priest). These young men are between the ages of 14 and 18, and can provide the added enthusiasm and fresh ideas of youth.
Each companionship is organised as a district (consisting of home teachers and HT families), and a number of districts (4-6 usually) consist of an area. Each area is presided over by a member of the Presidency or Leadership, and they consult in Presidency meetings concerning the overall welfare of the Home Teaching effort. All concerns are then forwarded to the Bishop - who is like the father of the ward.
Visiting Teaching is done by the women (or "sisters"). All women over the age of 18 are members of the Relief Society (the largest and oldest women's organisation in the World), and from the Relief Society two sisters are assigned to watch over certain other sisters. The organisation is similar, with a presidency watching over them all.
One of the main differences between Home Teaching and Visiting Teaching is that HT is done with the whole family present, while VT is most often done with only members of the Relief Society present.