Eight faith-based aged services providers in Victoria and a theological college have formed a consortium to sponsor the state’s first accredited training program in pastoral care and ageing.
The consortium members – Baptcare, Benetas, Cabrini, Catholic Homes, Churches of Christ Victoria and Queensland, Jewish Care Victoria, Mercy Health, Southern Cross Care Victoria and Stirling Theological College – have formed a sponsorship committee to sponsor and provide seed funding to launch the new program in June.
The consortium says that the training will assist aged care workers to provide holistic, person centred pastoral and spiritual care to people living in residential aged care or in community settings.
The training consists of two courses – a Certificate IV in Pastoral Care and a Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Care – which focus on pastoral care in relation to ageing, dementia, palliative and spiritual care for older people. The course includes presenters from different faiths including Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, who will contribute their respective understanding of pastoral care.
The courses will be provided through Holy Family Services, a registered training organisation that has run the courses in Sydney for several years. They were deemed by the committee to be well placed to address a number of desired training areas that had been identified for further development.
Practical and comprehensive
The courses are described as comprehensive and practical, designed for people who are currently engaged in pastoral care with older people in residential and community settings, or who wish to gain qualifications for employment in this sector.
According to the consortium sponsors, they will provide the knowledge and skill development to better support older people through the ageing process both spiritually and emotionally.
“They are suitable for a wide range of people involved in the care and support of older people such as pastoral carers, chaplains, clergy, nurses, diversional therapists, lifestyle coordinators and volunteers.”
“The exciting part of this venture is that so many aged care providers were able to work together to plan and sponsor this initiative which we believe is a real contribution to the aged care pastoral field,” said Kate Hewett, Director Pastoral Services, Mercy Health.
This is the first time this type of course will have been provided in Victoria. Each of the sponsoring organisations has encouraged their employees to consider studying the certificate, diploma or individual modules.
For information about the Certificate IV in Pastoral Care and the Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Care in either Melbourne or Sydney, contact Sandra McGregor, Course Coordinator on (02) 9678 8218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.