Standards of Practice
SCOPE OF PRACTICE
Certified Spiritual Care Professionals (CSCP) practice within an institution or community-based program. They are theologically and clinically educated, and certified by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care/ Association Canadienne des Soins Spirituels (CASC/ACSS) as spiritual and religious care professionals. They maintain active membership in CASC/ACSS and participate in regional and/or national activities. They are endorsed for pastoral care and counseling by a specific faith community.
Certified Spiritual Care Professionals possess the knowledge, skills, judgment and experience to facilitate a spiritual care program, program quality assurance, spiritual care provision and ongoing professional development. CSCPs certified as teaching supervisors engage in the training of future professionals in the context of accredited CASC/ACSS clinical programs located in established spiritual care settings.
In this document, the word “client” may include: patients, residents, family members and significant others, members of faith , religious and cultural communities, inmates, peers, colleagues, students and staff members – individually, in groups or in a whole organization.
The practice context may include but is not limited to: pastoral counselling centres, social service agencies, community health centres, private settings, health care institutions, correctional centres, educational settings, or religious/faith community settings.
STANDARD 1: PROFESSIONAL VALUES
Certified Spiritual Care Professionals are accountable for the:
1.1 observance of e xcellence in the adherence to the CASC/ACSS standards of practice.
1.2 care and respect of all persons within their practice context.
1.3 practice of self-care through spiritual growth and professional development.
1.4 spiritual development of clients, colleagues, and the employer / agency / organization / community with whom they relate.
1.5 practice of active membership and participation in the nurture and development of CASC/ACSS and their own supporting/endorsing community of faith.
1.6 certainty of professional development as demonstrated through CASC/ACSS certification and peer review processes.
STANDARD 2: PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE
The Certified Spiritual Care Professional demonstrates knowledge and competence in the provision of spiritual care in the following areas:
2.1 respectful relationship and care sensitive to clients’ beliefs, practices, structures and processes.
2.2 awareness of the process of spiritual development and the provision of care appropriate to clients’ developmental stages.
2.3 effective communication including utilization of theories of personality, interpersonal communication, group and system dynamics.
2.4 the various models of spiritual care appropriate to different practice contexts.
2.5 appropriate care in response to the impact of crisis on persons, groups and systems.
2.6 accountability to the CASC/ACSS Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct as well as the standards of education.
2.7 awareness of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other government legislation as it impacts the provision and resources of the practice of spiritual care.
2.8 organizational, administrative and management skills.
2.9 awareness of one’s own abilities, boundaries and limits.
STANDARD 3: FUNCTIONS
The Certified Spiritual Care Professional demonstrates excellence in the following aspects of the practice of spiritual care:
3.1 Relationship to client
- engage with empathy, understanding and respect
- establish a relationship of trust and mutuality
- maintain confidentiality and its limitations
- accept clients as they ARE
- awareness of and responsibility for personal feelings, values and biases that may impact the client relationship
3.2 Preparation for Intervention
- clarify and implement the appropriate authority to intervene
- self-assessment of necessary skills to assist the client
- be proactive in the physical setting to promote confidentiality
3.3 During Assessment
- ongoing evaluation of client’s spiritual needs and priorities
- assist the client to identify spiritual strengths and challenges
- support client in the identification and utilization of their spiritual supports
- clarify and ensure confidentiality and informed consent
- determine the nature and appropriate duration of the intervention
3.4 During Intervention
- clarify clients’ desired outcomes
- support the clients’ expression of their beliefs, values or emotions
- respect the client’s right and capacity to make choices and use personal resources to resolve issues
- facilitate and arrange for appropriate rituals in accordance with client’s beliefs and practices
- provide psycho/spiritual education to the client
- inform the client of the outcome of any consultative process
3.5 Relationship with other disciplines
- make necessary and timely referrals
- consult, as appropriate, to coordinate care in the client’s interest
- participate in interdisciplinary communication, documentation, consultation as appropriate
- nurture meaningful professional interdisciplinary relationships
- educate interdisciplinary colleagues about the role of spiritual care
3.6 Follow-up and Closure
- prepare for the termination of the relationship with sensitivity
- assist the client in obtaining desired services
- facilitate closure and bereavement when appropriate
- follow up on referral
- document the intervention as appropriate
- assist the client in the review of the relationship and the desired outcomes of the intervention
STANDARD 4: DOCUMENTATION
The Certified Spiritual Care Professional demonstrates accountability to their employer/agency/organization/community and their clients’ through documentation of the spiritual care provided by including, as appropriate:
4.1 the referral source and the reason for intervention
4.2 the spiritual care assessment
4.3 the care provided or planned and the outcomes desired
4.4 referrals to other care providers as appropriate
4.4 a record of time and type of care in a workload measurement system.
At all times the confidentiality of the clients’ information is safeguarded.
STANDARD 5: PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Certified Spiritual Care Professional demonstrates their ongoing commitment to personal and professional development through the process of integration of their philosophy of ministry, psychological theory, ethical understanding, theological and spiritual learning into their professional practice.
This commitment will be demonstrated by the goals of:
5.1 the completion of a minimum of 40 hours of spiritual growth and professional development each year:
5.2 16 hours focusing upon personal spiritual growth e.g. retreats, spiritual direction, personal therapy; personal reflective study, reading, spiritual discipline and,
5.3 24 hours focusing upon professional development e.g. workshops, conferences, courses, case studies, seminars, peer support and/or supervision, interdisciplinary rounds, research
STANDARD 6: ADVOCACY
The Certified Spiritual Care Professional demonstrates advocacy as a mediator and reconciler. The CSCP functions with sensitivity to the appropriate use of power and other ethical considerations in the following ways:
- inviting input regarding clients needs or concerns
- offering an interpretation of the client’s rights
- clarifying and interpreting institutional/systemic policies and procedures
- advocating for relevant systemic change where appropriate
- providing relevant information to support informed mediation and reconciliation
- encouraging, educating and supporting interdisciplinary team relationships in the provision of appropriate spiritual and religious care e.g. grief, bereavement, stress management, self care
- ongoing conversation concerning the language, practice and understanding of spiritual and religious care with all relevant stakeholders
- recognizing and responding to clients’ ethical concerns and principles