Unity Center of Des Moines Ethics Documents

3 documents:

1. Agreement between Faciliator/Leader and Unity Center

2. UNITY CENTER of Des Moines CODE OF ETHICS: Ethics, Agreement, Definitions and Review Process

3. Ethical Standards Review Process and Definitions for Unity Center Facilitators and Leaders


Agreement between Facilitator or Leader and Unity Center

As a Facilitator or Leader, I understand the duty of a Unity Center Professional or leader  and I have read and agree to the responsibilities to

  • affirm the dignity and value of each individual
  • respect the right of each faith group to hold to its values and traditions
  • advocate for professional accountability that protects the public and advances the profession
  • respect the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, sexual-orientation, and religious diversity of other professionals and those served and strive to eliminate discrimination.

Therefore, as a Facilitator or  Leader, I have reviewed and agree to the standards as documented in the Unity Center of Des Moines Code of Ethics and Ethical Standards Review Process and Definitions

 

_____________________________________________________              __________________

Presenter/Workshop Leader                                                                                      Date

 

_____________________________________________________                        __________________

Unity Center Representative                                                                                      Date

 

The intent of the Unity Center of Des Moines Code of Ethics and this agreement is to institute an understanding and process for  creating clarity in situations that could cause concern or create misunderstandings.  These are opportunities for all parties concerned to learn. The ethics review implements a process that outlines how to resolve concerns in a safe space that encourages honest words, compassionate communication and ongoing support for ethical standards.

All questions or conflicts regarding this code of ethics can be brought for consideration to the Unity Board. The Unity Board reserves the right to interpret these guidelines as they see fit and to suspend this agreement at any time.

 


UNITY CENTER of Des Moines CODE OF ETHICS

Ethics, Agreement, Definitions and Review Process

Unity Center of Des Moines exist to enhance the quality of spiritual life by engaging, supporting and providing resources to our community that are in alignment with the Vision and Mission of the Unity Center of Des Moines. All participants, whether an individual or member on any organization which participates, leases or shares space, share a common vision and purpose to assist the Whole’s spiritual wellbeing and development through intellectual, emotional and physical lectures, activities, workshops, and experiences available. It is the intent of Unity Center to promote and support respect for human dignity and diversity while encouraging a free exchange of ideas and opinions.

Facilitators and leaders (*) as well as members of the center work in a variety of settings and serve in multiple capacities. Leadership at the center embodies a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish spiritual health, wholeness and evolution.

Being a facilitator, leader or teacher for another is one of the greatest honors and privileges bestowed upon one human being for another.  It is a sacred duty of the facilitator or leader to hold the best interest of the member in mind in all interactions and be committed to the well-being and highest good for all concerned.  

The facilitator, leader or teacher must be mindful that there are lines that can be crossed which jeopardize the sacredness and purity of the relationship with a member.  These include anything that interferes with or confuses the relationship, anything that causes harm to or a sense of insecurity in the any person or group.

All professions and associations have an obligation to articulate its basic values, ethical principles, and ethical standards. These Code of Ethics set forth the values, principles and standards to guide leaders and members’ conduct within their provision of care as Unity Center of Des Moines facilitators and leaders. This code is relevant to all members regardless of their professional functions, the settings in which they work, or the populations they serve, or the services they engage or participate in. 

*For simplification “facilitators and leaders” will refer to leader, service provider, coach, teacher, minister, counselor or supervisor and “member” will refer to student, congregant, member or client of Unity Center.

In addition, all credentialed and non-credentialed leaders serving in the capacity of a credentialed Unity leader must adhere to:

           Unity World Wide Ministry Code of Ethics (unityworldwideministries.org/codes-ethics)

           Sexual Conduct Policy (unityworldwideministries.org/sexual-conduct-policy).

The Unity Center desire is to enhance human well-being by providing care to persons in physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, or social need in diverse settings. “Persons” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families groups, organizations, and communities. Spiritual care is defined here as the focus on individual spiritual wellbeing as well as within a social context of participation in community and society. Fundamental to spiritual care is attention to the issues of spiritual strength and distress that create, contribute to, and address challenges and joys in living as it is essential to each person’s experience of health, wholeness, and meaning in life. Unity Center leaders and facilitators seek to enhance the capacity of persons to identify and utilize their spiritual, religious and existential strengths, assist in accommodating practices when appropriate, and providing resources that harmonize with the value and mission of Unity Center. They also seek to promote and advocate for the responsiveness of health care and other organizations, communities, and social institutions in acknowledging and incorporating the spiritual dimension of persons in the services they provide.

Unity Center Professionals and Leaders are grounded in communities of diverse faiths and spiritual practices.  They are informed by professional education, training and personal and professional experiences.

They are called to nurture their personal health of mind, body and spirit and be responsible for their personal and professional conduct as they grow in their respect for all living beings and the natural environment.

When Unity Center Professionals and Leaders behave in a manner congruent with the values of this code of ethics, they bring greater justice, compassion and healing to our world.

Unity Center Professionals and Leaders:

           affirm the dignity and value of each individual

           respect the right of each faith group to hold to its values and traditions

           advocate for professional accountability that protects the public and advances the profession

           respect the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, sexual-orientation, and religious diversity of other professionals and those served and strive to eliminate discrimination

Dignity of and respect for the person:

Unity Center facilitators and leaders are sensitive to spiritual, religious, existential, cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual-orientation and other expressions of diversity and affirm the dignity and value of each individual. Spiritual care providers strive to eliminate discrimination in all its forms and expressions.

Competence

Unity Center facilitators and leaders who incorporate spiritual care into their practice are informed by professional education, knowledge, training, and demonstration of competence. They practice within their scope of practice and continually develop and enhance their professional expertise.

Integrity

Unity Center facilitators and leaders behave in a trustworthy manner. They act honestly and responsibly both individually and as members of the organizations with which they are affiliated and employed.

 Importance of human relationships

Unity Center facilitators and leaders understand that relationships between and among people are important to personal and communal strength, support, and growth. They seek to engage persons as partners in the provision of spiritual care to address their challenges, joys, and needs. They seek to resolve conflicts and promote effective communication and understanding.

 The Unity Center promotes spiritual care as integral to the care, respect, and dignity of all persons. Its commitment to its members is the advocacy of the spiritual growth and healing, provision of knowledge and education, demonstration of competency, and commitment to quality improvement and research. All members and supporters of Unity Center will be treated with dignity, respect, and collegiality without discrimination.

These Ethical Standards are explained in more detail in the Ethical Standards for Unity Center Facilitators and Leaders available on the Unity Center website (https://www.unitydesmoines.com/) and include detailed explanation of the following concepts:

1. Ethical Responsibilities to Persons

Unity Center facilitators and leaders understand persons to be any clients, patients, counselees, members of a faith/spiritual/cultural community, family members, staff, or students to whom they provide spiritual care. Unity Center facilitators and leaders uphold the standards of professional ethics as outlined in the Ethical Standards for Unity Center Facilitators and Leaders

2. Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues

Unity Center facilitators and leaders engage in collegial relationships with peers including other Unity Center facilitators and leaders, community religious, spiritual, and existential belief system leaders, cultural community elders and leaders, and those from other professional disciplines.

3. Ethical Responsibilities in Education

Those who function as educators, field instructors for students, or trainers of other professionals should provide instruction only within their areas of knowledge and competence and should provide instruction based on the most current information and knowledge available in the profession.

4. Ethical Responsibilities in Research

Unity Center facilitators and leaders promote and engage in research to contribute to the development of knowledge and best practices within their profession.

5. Ethical Responsibilities to Unity Center.

Unity Center facilitators and leaders who participate in Unity Center, whether a leader, student or member of organizations serving within Unity Center, commit to integrity, competence, respect, and collegiality as defined by the Code of Ethics.

The Unity Center Code of Ethics was adapted from leading spiritual care communities Code of Ethics as follows:

           Code of Ethics - Spiritual Care Association (spiritualcareassociation.org/code-of-ethics.html)

           Code of Ethics - American Counseling Association. 2014 (counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf)

           Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students

(professionalchaplains.org/files/professional_standards/common_standards/common_code_ethics.pdf)

           Unity World Wide Ministry Code of Ethics (unityworldwideministries.org/codes-ethics)

           Sexual Conduct Policy (unityworldwideministries.org/sexual-conduct-policy).

 


Ethical Standards Review Process and Definitions for Unity Center Facilitators and Leaders

The intent of this document, the Unity Center of Des Moines Code of Ethics and the associated  Agreement between Facilitators, Leaders and Unity Center of Des Moines is to institute an understanding and process for  creating clarity in situations that could cause concern or foster misunderstandings.  These are opportunities for all parties to learn. The ethics review process outlines how to resolve concerns in a safe space with a process  for honest words, for compassionate communication and ongoing support for ethical standards.

All questions or conflicts regarding this code of ethics can be brought for consideration to the Unity Board. The Unity Board reserves the right to interpret these guidelines as they see fit and to suspend agreements between Unity Center and Facilitator and Leaders at any time.

This Document Elaborates on the Ethical Standards Definitions that will be utilized in the event there is a concern reported to the Unity Spiritual Council or Board of Trustees that warrants an Ethics Review by  the Ethics Review Team.

When an ethical concern arises, a review team is organized to consist of a member from the board, spiritual council and  two Unity Center Facilitators or leaders not on the board or spiritual council.  One member of the Review Team is assigned to be the Review Coordinator.  The review process explores what occurred, if there was a breach of ethics, and the path forward to address ethical breaches when they occur.

What happens when a concern is received?

Is my concern of an ethical nature? How do I know? We all navigate challenges and disagreements differently, not every concern that gives us a challenge is of an ethical nature as described in Unity Center’s Code of Ethics.  Ethics and values we hold dear remind the heart about how we function together in community relationships. Ethical policy and accountability are necessary functions for organizations and professional communities. It’s about accountability to the highest standard for each other.

  • Ethical concerns should be directed to the Unity Board who will assign an Ethics Review Coordinator.  It is a good idea to review the policy and what areas are covered as it relates to each potential concern. Not all challenges we experience in communities and with individuals are of an ethical nature.  A review of Unity Center of Des Moines Code of Ethics and Unity Center’s Ethical Standards for Review Process and Definitions should be done before submitting a complaint.

Ethical Standards Review Procedure

  • If it is determined that an issue is of an ethical nature and it is covered by the Unity Center Code of Ethics policy, a signed release of information form from the individual expressing the concern.
  • When signed release is received, the assigned Review Coordinator sends a letter of notification to the reviewee (the person(s) or group that is being reviewed) indicating:
    • Review has been initiated
    • The nature of the concern–including a copy of the statement of concern
    • The original written complaint from the complainant
    • Calls reviewee within 48 hours after notification has been sent.
  • The complaint is assessed by the Ethics Review team
  • Decisions of review can include:
    • Clearance
    • Ethics violation has occurred and a Plan of Action is created to address the behavior/s that created an ethical violation
    • Individual or Group Suspension from Unity Center and/or Cancellation of Contracts with Unity Center

Ethical Standards Definitions

1. Ethical Responsibilities to Persons

Unity Center facilitators and leaders understand persons to be any clients, patients, counselees, members of a faith/spiritual/cultural community, family members, staff, or students to whom they provide spiritual care. Unity Center facilitators and leaders uphold the following standards of professional ethics:

  1. Speak and act in ways that honor the dignity and value of every individual.
  2. Represent their competencies, education, training, and experience relevant to their practice in an accurate manner and provide services only within the boundaries of their certification or credentials. No professional identification, degrees, certification, or credentialing should be used that is false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive. Specialized services, techniques, or interventions should only be represented and engaged in if the spiritual care professional or provider has the appropriate education, training, or supervised experience.
  3. Respect and promote the rights of persons to self-determination and assist them in their efforts to identify and clarify their goals. Unity Center facilitators and leaders promote the best interest of the person and foster strength, integrity, and healing. Unity Center facilitators and leaders have a duty to at times limit a person’s right to self-determination when, in their professional judgement, the person’s actions or potential actions pose a serious, foreseeable, and imminent risk to themselves or others, for example when a person has abused a child or has threatened to harm self or others.
  4. Demonstrate respect for the spiritual, religious, existential, and cultural values of those they serve and do not impose their own personal values and beliefs on those served. Proselytizing is strictly prohibited by any spiritual care professional or provider.
  5. Understand culture and its function in human behavior, community, and society, recognizing the strengths that exist in all cultures. Unity Center facilitators and leaders should have a knowledge base of cultural competence particularly that of persons they serve, and are able to demonstrate sensitivity to that culture and to differences among people and cultural groups. This includes, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual identify, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religious, spiritual, existential or no belief system, immigration status, mental or physical disability, and social indicators such as literacy, homelessness, incarceration, or income level.
  6. Provide services and care to persons only in the context of a professional based relationship. Unity Center facilitators and leaders should use clear and understandable language to inform clients of the purpose of the services, limits to services, the person’s right to refuse, and provide opportunities for persons to ask questions in order to experience informed consent. In instances when clients have difficulty understanding the primary language used in the setting, Unity Center facilitators and leaders should take steps to ensure comprehension, including arranging for a qualified interpreter whenever possible. When a person lacks the capacity to provide informed consent to spiritual care services, permission should be sought from an appropriate surrogate caregiver of the person, seeking to ensure that the third party acts in a manner consistent with the person’s wishes and interests.
  7. Respect persons’ right to privacy and confidentiality. Unity Center facilitators and leaders should not solicit private information from persons unless it is essential to conducting spiritual care assessment, screening, evaluation, or research. Once private information is shared, standards of confidentiality apply. Appropriate confidential information may be disclosed to other members of the professional team within the setting of care according to organizational policies in documentation and creation of a plan of care. Respect the person’s confidentiality when communicating with family members or significant others except when disclosure is required for necessary treatment, granted by the person’s permission, or for the safety of any person as required by law. All confidentiality of persons should be safeguarded when using materials for educational purposes or written publication.
  8. Maintain relationships with persons on a professional basis only. Unity Center facilitators and leaders should not take unfair advantage of any relationship or exploit others to further their own personal, religious, political, or business interests. They should engage in appropriate physical contact with persons only after setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries that govern such physical contact.
  9. Sexual harassment actions, both physical and verbal including misconduct, harassment, or assault, of persons by Unity Center facilitators and leaders is strictly prohibited by Unity Center facilitators and leaders.
  10. Use of derogatory language and actions by Unity Center Leaders and Professionals or providers to or about persons, their beliefs or any aspect of their culture, either by verbal or written means, is strictly prohibited by Unity Center facilitators and leaders. Included is any kind of language or actions that are forms of harassment, coercion, intimidation, or otherwise abusive. Accurate and respectful language should be used in all communication to and about persons.
  11. Any conflicts of interest or appearance of conflicting interest(s) should be avoided or corrected. Unity Center facilitators and leaders should not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship to exploit others to further their personal, religious/spiritual, political, or business interests.

2. Ethical Responsibilities to Colleagues

Unity Center facilitators and leaders engage in collegial relationships with peers including other Unity Center facilitators and leaders, community religious, spiritual, and existential belief system leaders, cultural community elders and leaders, and those from other professional disciplines.

  1. Colleagues and their qualifications, views, and professional obligations should be treated with respect, regard, support, and confidentiality.
  2. Unwarranted negative criticism of colleague should be avoided in all verbal and written communications, with other colleagues, and with persons to whom care is being provided. Unwarranted criticism includes but is not limited to colleagues’ level of competence or individuals’ attributes such as race ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, spiritual, or existential beliefs and values, culture, immigration status, and mental or physical disability.
  3. Collegial and responsible action should be taken when concerns about or direct knowledge of incompetence, impairment, misconduct, or violations against this code arise.
  4. Cooperation with other Unity Center facilitators and leaders and other professional disciplines should always be demonstrated in order to enhance the well-being of persons being served.
  5. Participate in and contribution to decisions that affect the well-being of the persons being served will be contributed to by contributing the expertise, perspectives, and experience of the spiritual care profession. Professional and ethical obligations of the interdisciplinary team as a whole and of its individual members should be understood and respected.
  6. Advocate for changes in their settings that honor spirituality as a key component to whole person care.
  7. Participate in quality improvement projects and programs to enhance the provision of spiritual care services and contribute to the overall setting.
  8. When a team decision raises ethical concerns for a spiritual care professional or provider, attempts to resolve the disagreement should be pursued through appropriate channels within the setting of care.
  9. Understand the limits of one’s individual expertise and make referrals to other professionals when appropriate.
  10. When evaluating the performance of colleagues, such responsibility should be fulfilled in a fair and considerate manner and on the basis of clearly stated criteria.

3. Ethical Responsibilities in Education

Those who function as educators, field instructors for students, or trainers of other professionals should provide instruction only within their areas of knowledge and competence and should provide instruction based on the most current information and knowledge available in the profession.

  1. The educational environment will be maintained free of coercion, intimidation, harassment and with clear boundaries and respect for privacy and self-disclosure. Educators will not engage in any dual relationships with students in which there is risk of exploitation or potential harm to the student. Clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries will be established.
  2. Students will be provided adequate, timely, and constructive feedback, with demonstration of knowledge and competency evaluated and graded in a manner that is fair and respectful.
  3. When students are engaged in care of persons, the educator spiritual care professional or provider will ensure that persons are informed that the services are being provided by students.

4. Ethical Responsibilities in Research

Unity Center facilitators and leaders promote and engage in research to contribute to the development of knowledge and best practices within their  profession.

  1. Pursue continuing education in methods of reading, understanding, and critiquing methods and conclusions of research.
  2. Keep current with and critically examine emerging knowledge relevant to spiritual care and fully use evaluation and research evidence in their professional practice.
  3. Engage only in research within the boundaries of their competence.
  4. Understand and utilize ethical principles including adherence to research design and implementation, informed consent, the right to withdraw consent and involvement, confidentiality, evaluation, and the use of information and findings for professional purposes only.
  5. Report research data and findings accurately, including conscientious attribution of sources in research and writing.

5. Ethical Responsibilities to Unity Center

Unity Center facilitators and leaders who participate in Unity Center, whether a leader, student or member of organizations serving within Unity Center,  commit to integrity, competence, respect, and collegiality as defined by the Code of Ethics.

  1. Members will represent their certification or credentialing in an accurate manner to the Unity Center Board, Unity Center Spiritual Council, employers, colleagues, and the persons whom they serve.
  2. Members will pay bills associated with space rental or usage in a timely manner.
  3. Members will complete the annual continuing educational hours or certifications as required by their standards.