Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counsellor – Etobicoke

The Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counsellor serves in a supportive role enabling individuals and families to explore issues present when facing the challenges of a life-limiting illness, impending end-of-life and the death of a loved one. The Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counsellor supports individuals and families experiencing spiritual distress, anticipatory grief, grief and mourning. The work is guided by an individual centered and trauma-informed approach which addresses the practical, emotional, and spiritual needs identified by the person served.

The Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counsellor works in an integrated, trans-disciplinary team of palliative experts in our Community and Residential Program.

A key function of the role is to provide support to individuals and family members in the Dorothy Ley Hospice residential care suits. This includes liaising with the Community Team on individuals prior to admission (where relevant), meeting new individuals and families admitted to the residence to introduce them to the emotional, psycho-social and spiritual supports available, providing spiritual counsel and anticipatory grief support to individuals and families in the residence, and participating in family meetings.

Other key functions of the role include the following:

  • Supporting rites, rituals and connecting individuals with their religious clergy, if desired.
  • Facilitating processions as individuals leave the hospice, memorial services and other spiritual activities of the hospice.
  • Intake, triage and assessment of new bereavement clients
  • Providing post-death grief support to family members, typically through one-on-one sessions
  • Facilitating connection with other services provided by the hospice or other agencies
  • Facilitation of grief groups
  • Participating in weekly trans-disciplinary residential rounds
  • Providing support to residential care team staff and volunteers
  • Providing volunteer support, mentorship and training, in collaboration with volunteer services staff and the Community Team.
  • Contributing to the development of evidence informed program and curriculum development where required

The Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counsellor provides bereavement support to families served in the Residence and also to families self-referred from the community who are not otherwise connected with Dorothy Ley Hospice services. On occasion the Counsellor may be required to provide services in the community.

The Spiritual Care and Bereavement Counsellor will work with internal stakeholders, supporting and integrating hospice initiatives with regard to the Community and Residential Programs, volunteer services, fund development, and quality improvement.

Reporting: Manager, Community Program, Performance Management and Evaluation


  • Registered with College of Registered Psychotherapists or equivalent experience with evidence of a dedication to ongoing professional development required
  • CPE training required
  • Canadian Association for Spiritual Care membership preferred
  • Degree/Diploma in Thanatology, theology, counselling psychology or related human services field is required, post-graduate degree is preferred.
  • Membership in good standing with the applicable regulatory body/professional college.

Core Competencies:

  • Experience in Hospice Palliative Care and knowledge of community resources for spiritual care, grief, and mental health
  • Knowledge of trauma informed care, psychosocial dynamics of illness, loss, trauma, death and bereavement
  • Demonstrated experience initiating relationships and pro-actively offering support
  • Flexibility and adaptability to work across multiple types of service provision (including responding to spiritual care distress in the Residential Care Suits, providing one-on-one grief support sessions, and facilitating grief groups)
  • Understanding of and sensitivity to religious, spiritual and cultural diversity. Proven ability to incorporate a spiritually-integrated and culturally-literate approach to care interventions
  • Ability to work with and support volunteers
  • Proven time management and organizational skills
  • Good listening skills and excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of persons served
  • Computer knowledge and skills to be able to collect, track, document and analyze data
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends as required.
  • Experience in facilitating grief support groups.
  • Prioritizes and practices responsible and appropriate self-care.

Full-time, permanent – 37.5 hours per week.

Please submit a cover letter stating how you see you would be a good match for this position, along with your resume.

We thank all applicants, however, only those invited for an interview will be contacted.

The Dorothy Ley Hospice is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to cultural competence and diversity.

The Dorothy Ley Hospice is committed to building an inclusive environment and will provide accommodations in accordance with the AODA – Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Please indicate in your application any accommodations you will require throughout the recruitment process.

For more information about the Dorothy Ley Hospice please see http://www.dlhospice.org

Job Types: Full-time, Permanent


  • spiritual care and bereavement: 3 years (Required)


  • Drivers (Preferred)

Click here to apply

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