Spiritual Care Counsellor – Vancouver

Spiritual Care Counsellor

Location: Vancouver

Reporting to: Coordinator, Counselling & Bereavement Services

Job status: Permanent, part-time 0.5 FTE

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice (CPCH) is British Columbia’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider. For over two decades, through the many programs and services we provide, we have made a significant difference in the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses and the families who love them. Be part of a talented and innovative team that takes pride in supporting and providing the highest quality pediatric palliative care.


Aside from being surrounded by a friendly, inclusive, dedicated team, Canuck Place offers employees up to 20 days’ vacation (pro-rated to their full-time equivalency), an employer-paid benefits package, a Health Spending account that provides up to $500 annually to provide additional coverage for health and wellness activities/services, weekly onsite massage therapy, informative lunch n’ learns, as well as various learning opportunities. Canuck Place Children’s Hospice also has a ‘Care For the Caregiver’ committee who provides ongoing, creative activities to connect us with one another as a reminder that it’s ‘this’ moment that really counts.


Spiritual Care at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice (CPCH) involves recognizing the importance of “meaning making” every day. The Spiritual Care Leader works to equip others on the team to understand and grow in their own personal philosophy of spiritual care through both educational and inspirational initiatives. As the interdisciplinary team is strengthened through the personal growth of individual staff members, the care offered to children and families will be enriched.

Reporting to the Counselling Coordinator, and working closely with the Counselling and inter-disciplinary team, the Spiritual Care Leader provides leadership in fostering spiritual care throughout all aspects of the palliative care program at CPCH. They are accountable for developing and delivering spiritual care programs and initiatives; providing direct spiritual care to children and their families; providing consultation and education to staff and volunteers in the principles and practice of spiritual care and supporting staff to recognize and integrate spiritual care in their practice. They are required to be with people in their most vulnerable time and help identify what is meaningful here and now. They are responsible for providing spiritual care both directly and indirectly to children, families, staff and volunteers in conformance with their faith and expressed desire for spiritual care.

This role is also responsible for taking an active role in CPCH’s counselling and bereavement programs including participating in and/or organizes end of life (EOL) rituals, memorials, funerals, bereavement support groups and events such as Remembering Our Children.


Related Master’s degree (e.g. theology or clinical related field) from a recognized institution.
Advanced units of CPE or equivalency and eligibility for certification with a recognized provider of CPE (e.g. Canadian Association for Spiritual Care – CASC) is preferred.
Four years of practitioner experience, including 1-2 years of recent counselling and assessment experience in palliative care, including grief and bereavement support, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Spiritual Care and Counselling

  • Provides comprehensive spiritual health and emotional support services to patients, families, staff and volunteers in a manner that is appropriate, according to their expressed wishes and respectful of religious and cultural diversity.
  • Identifies the children and families need for spiritual care and provides direct personal spiritual care throughout their involvement in CPCH’s programs, offering support through the various stages of their journey, including end of life and bereavement.
  • Assesses, plans, implements and evaluates the spiritual care needs of children and their families. Communicates needs and plans to interdisciplinary team members in meetings and by charting on child’s record.
  • Provides counselling to families, staff and volunteers and initiates referrals as required.
  • Collaborates with physicians and other members of the interdisciplinary care team by participating in interdisciplinary planning and evaluation of care, care conferences and rounds; reports observations, problems and changes in children’s and families’ condition.
  • Supports staff and volunteers affected by the emotional and spiritual challenges involved in palliative care work, and helps in the integration of the insights gained to enhance their understanding and practice of spiritual care. Facilitates small groups for staff and volunteer support when required.
  • Collaborates with spiritual care providers and clergy in the community, where appropriate, making referrals and helpful connections with the family’s community support.
  • Assists families in planning for end-of-life rituals, ceremonies, funerals, and memorials and, where appropriate, provides leadership at such events.
  • Provides consultation support and referrals regarding the diverse religious and cultural needs of families and gathering information regarding cultural or religious tradition and customs, consulting with staff and families around how to respect and meet diverse needs, and support ethical reflection care-giving dilemmas which arise.
  • Maintains client records by documenting client assessments, charting client information, preparing progress notes and reports in accordance with established standards, policies and procedures.

Education and Consultation

  • Provides spiritual care education and training for interdisciplinary team members on the cognitive framework and practical skills needed to effectively advance the spiritual care offered to families, and to enhance and strengthen their understanding and practice of spiritual care as professionals through the personal challenges involved in palliative care.
  • Models interpersonal support and effective spiritual care in relationships with members of the interdisciplinary team.
  • Initiates and delivers to staff, education and practical application in the use of ethical frameworks.
  • Promotes the Mission, Vision and Values of CPCH in the wider community and offers supervision and support to students and others seeking training in spiritual care.
  • Liaises with Spiritual Care providers in the community and other hospices/hospitals, furthering the work of spiritual care through networking, workshops and other opportunities.

Evaluation and Research

  • Evaluates and provides input regarding the quality of spiritual care practices in the delivery of various services.
  • Develops, presents and represents CPCH at local and national workshops and conferences on the principles, experiences and learning gleaned about spiritual care in pediatric palliative care. Participates on various committees as required.
  • Produces written materials and articles on the learning and experience of spiritual care and pediatric palliative care.
  • Participates with colleagues in providing input in the development, implementation and evaluation of CPCH’s philosophy, program planning, policies and procedures related to Counselling and Spiritual Care.

Facilitation & Participation

  • Facilitates and demonstrates leadership in care planning, critical incident and stress management (CISM), conflict resolution, team building and feedback amongst the inter-disciplinary and practice leader teams.
  • Leads and facilitates a variety of groups (e.g. parent bereavement support group, parent support group, family team meetings). Actively participates in and provides leadership of the bereavement care services.
  • Participates in and/or organizes various CPCH bereavement events including our annual Remembering Our Children event.


What you bring to the role:

  • Solid understanding of the difference between spiritual care and religion.
  • High level of understanding of the nature of spiritual care and counselling services in a health care setting; preferably in palliative care.
  • Demonstrated spiritual maturity and integrity coupled with a high degree of sensitivity, compassion, gentleness, caring, vulnerability, humility and approachability.
  • Demonstrated ability to acknowledge and respect different expressions of spirituality without imposing personal religious or other beliefs.
  • Demonstrated ability to be with people in their most vulnerable time and help identify what is meaningful here and now.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, inspire, and relate to individuals and groups during their bereavement process.
  • Ability to facilitate and lead creative ritual in response to diverse patient and family needs with sensitivity openness, flexibility and respect within the context of diverse religions and expressions of spirituality.
  • Superior listening, verbal and written communication skills such that messages are understood in terms of both the essence and subtleties of the communication and the intended audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to define a vision and facilitate, guide and mentor individuals/groups towards the vision, while maintaining cohesiveness, motivation and commitment.
  • Superior conflict resolution skills and crisis intervention techniques.
  • Knowledge of family, group and individual therapy.
  • Knowledge of mental health counselling principles, methods, procedures and practices.
  • Knowledge of psychodynamics of children and adolescents and their treatment strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand, encourage and influence group and inter-group processes.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish rapport with children and families in order to explore issues that are beyond the initially presented concerns.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, prioritize and organize workload.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a member of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in a work setting.
  • Ability to establish and maintain appropriate professional and personal boundaries.

You have:

  • High integrity; creativity; balance, good judgment and objectivity; high vision and conceptual capabilities; consultative, facilitate and collaborative; sense of humor.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Demonstrates flexibility that allows you to work with high energy, creative people.
  • Able to thrive and effectively manage priorities in a changing, ambiguous environment.

Note: Flexibility is necessary, as this position requires occasional weekend and evening work and travel within and outside the Lower Mainland.

At the discretion of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, the information in this job description may be reviewed and revised, as required, to meet the needs of the organization.

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equality and diversity within its community and to a welcoming and inclusive workplace. We especially welcome applications from Indigenous persons, visible minority group members, persons with disabilities, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.


Please submit your cover letter and your resume to recruitment@canuckplace.org. This position will remain open until filled. Please indicate where you discovered this job posting and specify which role you are applying for in the subject line of your email. We recognize the importance of a diversified workforce, and we encourage First Nations, Inuit and Metis candidates, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities to apply.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those candidates who have been short-listed will be contacted.

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