Pastoral Care Worker
Navigate this career
A person who is engaged in the care and support of the inner person is known as a Pastoral care worker. Formal religious denominations do not necessarily govern this role as they generally provide support for the individual’s belief systems, regardless of denomination or affiliation.
A Pastoral Care Worker is a trained, experienced and compassionate person who joins a business, school, or organisation to provide additional spiritual support to clients, their families and staff. Pastoral Care Worker services provided are often non-denominational, although they may represent a particular church.
Pastoral Care Workers are positive role models who bring genuine compassion, understanding and practical ongoing support to their clients. They achieve this by providing a safe space for the client to talk about their experiences, share concerns, and just provide spiritual and emotional support as required.
Pastoral Care Workers work alongside and complement other welfare staff, such as social workers and counsellors, to advance the well-being of clients and employees.
The main duties of a Pastoral Care Worker are:
- Support the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of clients, staff, and families through times of transition, stress, grief and loss.
- Encourage spiritual growth
- Support the organisation in its aim to be a safe and supportive working environment
- Link families to community support resources and services as required
- Promote self-care and spiritual wellbeing within the organisation
The role of Pastoral Care Worker often attracts individuals who are deeply compassionate, interested in supporting others through difficult times, and have a high level of empathy.
Individuals with formal training in pastoral care are expected to have skills that enable them to discuss religious matters and provide support to all people with spiritual and emotional needs. Pastoral care workers may use empathy, listening, reminiscence, or simply being with clients to engage with them more deeply in order to assist them as required.
Additional skills that could be beneficial include:
- Ability to build rapport easily and communicate with people from different backgrounds
- Provide person-centred pastoral care
- Working understanding of people’s cultural background, denominations and faith traditions.
- Ability to respond to people in need
- Provide counselling or referral to services as required
- Understanding to care for pastoral and spiritual concerns as requested
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- The ability to deal with high-stress situations, e.g., with people with physical and mental health challenges, dealing with end-of-life situations, coping with trauma and violence.
Pastoral Care workers work as a part of a care team in a variety of settings, including:
- Aged care facilities
- Community Outreach Organisations.
AVERAGE EDUCATION LEVEL
Projected Job Growth in 5 Years:
JOB SATSIFACTION LEVEL
The CHC42315 Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care is the qualification of choice for individuals who are either looking to better support their community or to work in the chaplaincy field in areas such as schools, universities, aged care, etc.
Chaplaincy and Pastoral care can be used in any area of life and work. Pastoral care students in Australia have ranged from 18- 83 years of age. It’s never too late to learn chaplaincy and pastoral care skills, and Pastoral care is often a pathway that older individuals who have retired and are seeking to engage in volunteer roles might choose to take.
Students can choose to undertake Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care as a standalone qualification or as a dual qualification starting with the CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling to expand the skills and qualifications achieved.
What our trainer has to say
As there are limited training opportunities for Pastoral Care in Australia at the moment, make sure you do your due diligence and explore each of the courses that are available to ensure you are applying for the most appropriate course to meet your personal needs.