Integration of Clients’ Spirituality in the Practice of Social Workers in the Network of the Archdiocesan Caritas Olomouc: Exploratory Quantitative Study .

Jakub Dolezel, Kristyna Zivna, Edward R. Canda, Leos Zatloukal, Natasa Matulayova, Ivana Olecka

OBJECTIVES: Our study explores the integration of spiritual sensitivity in social work (SW) practice and professionals’ views on the compatibility of the combination with the mission and practice of social work, and how personal and professional characteristics influence these attitudes. THEORETICAL BASE: Our research is grounded in the theory of spirituality’s impact on psychosocial functioning and the global professional perspectives on the potential for spirituality in education and practice; it also draws from the evolution of secularisation of Czech society. METHODS: We conducted a quantitative survey, adapting the research instrument into Czech and assessing the significance of selected variables. OUTCOMES: The data showed a higher level of trust in the concept of spirituality than religion among SW professionals. To varying degrees, they already incorporate both into their practice, but nearly half are uncertain about their compatibility with the profession’s ethical mandate. The majority do not consider the domain of spirituality to be relevant at the stage of assessing the client’s situation. The integration of the concept of spirituality and/or religion (s/r) into respondents’ qualifying education and their spiritual characteristics were significantly related to their confidence in the potential of the topic of spirituality in practice. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: We recommend enhancing the integration of s/r into in SW education for professionals, particularly when considering clients’spiri tual diversity, establishing professional standards for ethically integrating these topics into practice, and deepening the empirical understanding of how s/r can positively or negatively impact clients’ lives and potentials to achieve their goals.

spiritual sensitivity, spirituality, social work ethics, social work education, cultural competence, diversity, social work assessment, social work interventions

p. 85-103

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