Spirituality in Family-Centered Practice; Parents’ and Practitioners’ Views
Mount Saint Vincent University
This exploratory study used a qualitative research approach to acquire parents’ and practitioners’ views of spirituality within family-centered practice. Outcomes of this study were to a) gain an understanding of parents’ and practitioners’ views of spirituality and religion b) determine if these constructs are valued within family-centered practice and e) explore necessary practitioners’ competencies based on participants’ perceptions of the constructs. Parents (N= 6) and practitioners (N=7) participated in either individual interviews or focus groups to investigate their perceptions of formal and informal supports, the individual family service plan process, the family quality of life indicator of spirituality, and requisite practitioners’ competencies. Parents and practitioners actively engaged in the debate and reflection process pertaining to the integration of the constructs of spirituality and religion into family-centered practice. Results indicated that parents’ and practitioners’ views reflected the multifaceted nature of spirituality and the complexity of family-centered practice as outlined in the literature. Participants value the integration of spirituality and religion within family-centered practice. Highlighted was the fundamental nature of making spirituality and religion overt and distinct constructs to be discussed within family-centered practice. Emphasized was the strength giving nature of spirituality and religion in addition to the importance of following, honouring, and respecting the family’s beliefs. Furthermore, the data indicated that practitioners’ competencies need to be inclusive of skill, knowledge, and reflection regarding the constructs. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
Spirituality , Family-centered practice , Religion