ETHICAL BASIS FOR COUNSELLING AND PASTORAL CARE
- Care must be taken not to exploit clients; because of the vulnerable nature of clients special care is required and the client should be kept fully informed and given the opportunity at every stage for discussion.
- The integrity and confidentiality of the client must be maintained.
- The safety of the client must be safeguarded and all reasonable steps taken to encourage the client to seek appropriate medical, legal or other professional assistance.
- All Christian Counsellors and Pastoral Care Members should be integrated in the body of a local church community and receive appropriate support for their work. (Supervision for Counsellors and Pastoral Cover for Pastoral Care members).
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE COUNSELLOR/PASTORAL CARE MEMBER/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP
- Members should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the client suffers neither physical nor psychological harm during encounters.
- Members are responsible for working in ways, which promote the client’s control over his/her own life and respect the client’s ability to make decision and change in the light of his/her own beliefs and values.
- Members do not normally act on behalf of their clients. If they do, it will only be at the express request of the client.
- Members must not exploit their clients financially, sexually, emotionally, or in any other way.
- Members have responsibility to establish with the client what other therapeutic methods of helping relationships are available. Members should gain the client’s permission before conferring with other professional workers.
- Exceptional circumstances may arise which give the Member good grounds for believing that the client will cause serious physical harm to others or to him/herself. In such circumstances the client’s consent to break confidentiality should be sought whenever possible unless there are also good grounds for believing the client is no longer able to take responsibility for his/her own action. Whenever possible, the decision to break the confidentiality should be made only after consultation with the person overseeing the counseling and caring.
- Members need to be particularly aware that the client’s right to confidentiality is not breached in the context of prayer.
- Members should monitor actively the limitations of their own competence and involvement and work within their own know limits.
- Members should not work when their functioning is impaired due to personal or emotional difficulties, illness, disability, alcohol, and drugs or for any other reason. It is an indication of the competence of the Member when they recognise their inability to help particular person and make appropriate referrals.
- Members have a responsibility to themselves and their clients to maintain their own effectiveness, resilience and ability to help clients by seeking help and advice from the person who provides their supervision or Pastoral Cover.
- Members should have received adequate basic training before commencing work and be willing to maintain ongoing training.
- Members should take reasonable steps to ensure their own physical safety.
- Members should not conduct themselves in their caring activities in ways, which undermine public confidence either in their roles as a Member, or in the work of other Members.
- If a Member suspects misconduct by another Member which cannot be resolved or remedied after discussion with the person concerned, they should implement the Complaints Procedure, doing so without breach of confidentiality other than that which is necessary for investigating the complaint.
- The only complaints that can be dealt with by ACC are those concerning failure to comply with the Code of Ethics and Practice and the Statement of Faith.
- All complaints should be taken up with the ACC Member, in the first instance, both verbally and in writing.
- If there is no satisfactory conclusion then the complaint should be taken up, with the chairperson of the Association.