Code of Ethics and Practice

Reviewed 26th February 2010

  • The bereavement support volunteer seeks to provide support for all those bereaved including those bereaved through suicide.
  • A client of the service must be understood to be a client of the support group as a whole rather than any individual volunteer.
  • Volunteers accept responsibility for establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries between themselves and the client.
  • Often clients need reassurance that what they are experiencing is normal and may only require one session. If further sessions are required, a verbal agreement of a further two sessions will be offered and then a review to avoid creating dependency by the client.
  • Supervision is available to support persons at regular intervals. Please refer to Supervision Guidelines (Feb 2010)
  • Volunteers must take due regard to the limits of their competence and responsibility. Support work is not a substitute for professional counselling or other professional assessment and treatment. Referrals must be facilitated where appropriate.
  • Volunteers should conclude bereavement support when it is appropriate.
  • If the support person is unable to attend a support session, it is important to inform the client and reschedule the appointment. This should be done through the Contactor. In this instance the Contactor is Vyvyenne Nugent.
  • If for any reason a volunteer is unable to continue the support of a client, they should discuss this with the supervisor and alternative support arranged.
  • Best practice suggests that bereavement support volunteers should not undertake bereavement support of their own relatives or friends.
  • Bereavement support volunteers will treat with strict confidence personal information about clients. Any note taking should be kept to a minimum for the purpose of gathering statistics and service evaluation, or in the event of a client requiring to be seen by another volunteer.
  • The bereavement support volunteer undertakes to inform clients of the limitations of confidentiality.
  • If a client reports any form of abuse during the sessions the support person should immediately inform the client of the services available to him or her to deal with such matters.
  • As this work can be very demanding, it is important that the support person access support from group, through supervision or debriefing.
  • All support personnel should comply with the Child Protection Policy Document and any issues arising relating to Children should be brought to the attention of the Childrens Officer for the Service. In this instance Derville Daly. (See Child Protection Policy Document).
  • When seeing a client it is the responsibility of the support person to ensure that there is either other support personnel on site at the time or other sessions where personnel are accessible for health and safety purposes.
  • If a client presents to the service who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or other illicit substances, the client must be informed immediately that the present session is being terminated and that they will be contacted with a further appointment if appropriate This incident will be brought to the attention of the supervisor / co-ordinator as soon as possible.
  • For your information a full copy of National policies is available in the Turas Le Cheile Press in Whitestown House.


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