SCOPE, PURPOSE & OBJECTIVES
Pastoral care is ultimately concerned with supporting and discipling one another, developing quality relationships and enabling one another to recognise, follow and become more like Jesus.
Pastoral care embraces a wide range of activity in support of one another, in and beyond the Church. It might involve: sustaining others through prolonged difficulty or immediate need, enabling the journey of healing and wholeness, considering the process of reconciliation with God, self and others, offering guidance about other resources and enabling different perspectives
Pastoral care might take the form of: listening, encouraging, visiting, hospitality, advocacy, mentoring, befriending, celebrating, practically helping, prayer, comforting, enabling
It might happen: formally in planned and organised ways or informally through everyday spontaneous moments and might be offered by an individual, by small groups, through a particular ministry, through an outreach project, by one church or a group of churches
The purpose of this document is to detail Trinity pastoral care practices and methods and how to conduct these safely. It should be considered alongside the Life Groups
This policy applies to all Trinity Church members and employees.
POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Pastoral Care, whilst ultimately the responsibility of all Trinity Rawdon Members, is led by the Minister, who is supported by a Pastoral Liaison representative and the Leadership Team. Pastoral care exists on a one to one level but is also a purpose of Life Groups.
PASTORAL CARE ELEMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED
- Discussion of pastoral matters at Leadership and pastoral liaison meetings
- Personal pastoral support to the Minister and Leaders e.g. Minister’s Support Group.
- Support leaders giving short term pastoral care in times of crisis
- Provide visitor support when long-term support is needed i.e. to people in residential homes and those suffering long-term illness and loss of mobility
- Distribution of recordings of the Sunday morning services for members who are housebound.
- Visits, cards or flowers for those who are unwell, have suffered a bereavement, are going through a difficult time or on happy occasions e.g. weddings, births, anniversary’s, significant birthdays.
- Door stewarding, recording and welcoming newcomers and visitors.
- Inviting people to special events.
- Coordinating transport.
- Contributing to, creating and distributing Church communication such as the Newsletter, especially to those who are unable to or infrequent attenders, linking them with church life and ensuring they feel included and belong.
- Maintaining the Church Membership and Friends Lists.
- Regularly and appropriately reporting pastoral issues.
- Using the email prayer chain.
- Promoting faith and discipleship.
- Identifying improvements to the pastoral care system.
- Reporting any issues or concerns with the pastoral care system.
Pastoral Care will:
- be careful to respect the rights and dignity of every person as a unique individual, equal with them in the sight of God and regardless of race, religion, nationality, language, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, size, employment, income, disability, health, abode, or criminal record
- seek to accept and respect other people’s views and not judge a person but to allow them the safety, freedom and space to express themselves and to make their own decisions without force or manipulation, even when they disagree with the persons thinking, actions and lifestyle
- be careful to ensure there is no misuse or abuse of trust
- not subject any person to physical, psychological, verbal or spiritual harassment and will not tolerate such behaviour by others
- not exploit people financially, sexually, emotionally, or in any other way
- be careful not to create unhealthy dependencies for either themselves or the persons seeking care
- maintain confidentiality in line with the section below
- ensure that the person is safeguarded as far as is practically reasonable and that appropriate steps are taken to seek appropriate medical, legal or other professional assistance where required
- seek to be honest, open and act with integrity
- seek to hold appropriate boundaries and be confidently assertive when required without aggression
Pastoral Care should be conducted within the guidelines of Trinity’s Safeguarding Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults and other Trinity Policies, which include formal written guidelines policies and procedures. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks may apply. Safeguarding assistance must be sought if dealing with confession or allegations of abuse.
Confidentiality is a critical boundary, which protects the privacy of the person and the integrity of pastoral work in Trinity Rawdon and establishes trust and a safe space.
Make it clear at the start of any care discussion that by law it may be necessary to act on or disclose some information. This gives the person to opportunity to choose what they may or may not want to discuss. Information revealed should not be disclosed to anyone else, without the person’s prior knowledge and consent, apart from exceptional circumstances where safeguarding is necessary.
Confidentiality should not be confused with secrecy i.e. concealing information which could be significantly harmful to others or collusion i.e. cooperating with illegal or unethical behavior.
Exceptions to confidentiality include when:
- required by legislation or a Court of Law to disclose certain information either to the Police or the Court
- you believe that others, particularly a child or vulnerable person, are or maybe, at risk of harm or injury
- you believe that the person is at risk of harming themselves
A Pastoral Carer, if they are not placing themselves at risk, should encourage and support the person to disclose information themselves to the appropriate bodies, authorities or agencies. If this is not possible, the Pastoral Carer should seek the person’s permission for them to pass information on to any appropriate bodies, authorities or agencies. If this is not forthcoming the Pastoral Carer should disclose information, which is only on a need to know basis, to the appropriate bodies, authorities or agencies without the person’s consent.
The following guidelines should be used:
- make a person aware of the boundaries of confidentiality from the onset of any care or support offered
- assume that what is spoken by the person is to be kept confidential. Clarify this e.g. ask would the person like their situation to be kept confidential, be prayed for by a group of intercessors who would keep their details confidential or do they want it in the weekly newsletter!
- escalate to the Minister or Leadership Team where other pastoral carers, the person’s family members and friends or other appropriate bodies may need to be involved
Confidentiality also extends to any written or electronic records and the safeguarding of these to protect the privacy of the person.
Follow the appropriate Trinity Policies on electronic record keeping and protection e.g. records should only be kept for the specific purpose and time needed. They need to be accurate, up to date, adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which they are intended and where appropriate without any identifiable information. Take care not to breach GDPR by protecting access to and disposing of information. It can be, for instance, a breach of confidentiality to copy others into certain e-mails when the person has not given their permission for you to do so and where they contain personal content, or to leave a letter inadvertently in the photocopier, or to leave a thank you card visible to others which give away information about a person cared for.
CARE FOR THE PASTORAL CARER
Pastoral Carers need to:
- ensure they are taking care of their own health and well-being as they offer care to others. This includes ensuring they are obtaining sufficient rest, exercise and sleep and are looking after their own relationships.
- ensure they are not working out of their depth and are prepared to refer or signpost a person to others when needed
- ensure the person they are supporting is aware they are not offering counselling and should seek counselling if necessary
- ensure confidentiality is maintained within any oversight / support / supervisory arrangement
- feel safe themselves and in some instances have a right to decline offering care and or seeing someone on their own e.g. with a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or who are ‘acting out’ aggressively
- should not offer care to a person when their own functioning is impaired due to personal or emotional difficulties, illness, alcohol, drugs or for any other reason
Complaints about pastoral care should be addressed to Trinity Church Leadership Team
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
ADHERENCE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
By: Trinity Church Leadership Team
P Lambert Trinity Rawdon Administrator
Version Review Date: 28.10.24