Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, Vol 6, No 2 (2018)

Auditing a Paediatric Chaplaincy Provision: Reflections On the Use of a Taxonomy

Paul Nash, Emma Roberts, Sally Nash, Kathryn Darby, Aftab Ahmed Parwaz
Issued Date: 19 Jan 2019


Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with permission from Advocate Health Care in Chicago, adapted a taxonomy of chaplaincy activities for a paediatric context. Twelve members of the Chaplaincy team, representing three world faiths, recorded their activities on 80 taxonomy charts and an audit questionnaire. The audit addressed issues outside of the taxonomy chart, including how spiritual needs were assessed, and asked for reflections on the use of the taxonomy. A thematic analysis was carried out on the audit responses by a team of four, including experienced chaplains and researchers. Themes identified for intended effects (why chaplains do what they do) were: initiate/build supportive relationships, engage to assist sense of belonging, mitigate/process feelings, enhance assets; for method (how chaplains do what they do): demonstrate/offer care, empower/enable, explore and process, engender and encourage strengths and emotions, family/community; and for intervention (what chaplains do): religious care, sense/ meaning making, processing, enhance spiritual wellbeing. The audit heightened intentionality and facilitated recording and explaining what chaplains do to multidisciplinary staff. It also helped the team better understand how they work through purposeful articulation of encounters.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/hscc.35698


Bryant, J. R. (2013) “Assertion and Assumption: A Single Site Study of Acute Healthcare Chaplaincy”. Retrieved from eTheses Repository – University of Birmingham.

Darby, K., P. Nash and S. Nash (2014) “Understanding and Responding to Spiritual and Religious Needs of Young People with Cancer”. Cancer Nursing Practice 13(2), 32–37.

Handzo, G. F., K. J. Flannelly, T. Kudler, S. L. Fogg, S. R. Harding, I. Y. H. Hasan, A. M. Ross and R. B. E. Taylor (2008) “What Do Chaplains Really Do? II. Interventions in the New York Chaplaincy Study”. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy 14(1): 39–56.

Massey, K., M. J. Barnes, D. Villines, J. D. Goldstein, A. L. Pierson, C. Scherer, B. Vander Laan, W. T. Summerfelt (2015) “What Do I Do? Developing a Taxonomy of Chaplaincy Activities and Interventions for Spiritual Care in Intensive Care Unit Palliative Care”. BMC Palliative Care.

Nash, P. (2011) Supporting Dying Children and Their Families. London: SPCK.

Nash, P., K. Darby and S. Nash (2013) “The Spiritual Care of Sick Children: Reflections from a Pilot Participation Project”. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality 18(2): 148–61.

—(2015) Spiritual Care of Sick Children and their Families. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Nash, P., and W. McSherry (2017) “What Is the Distinctiveness of Paediatric Chaplaincy? Findings From a Systematic Review of the Literature”. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy 5(1):16–32.

Nash, P., E. Roberts, S. Nash, K. Darby and A. A. Parwaz (2018) “Adapting the Advocate Health Care Taxonomy of Chaplaincy For a Pediatric Hospital Context – a Pilot Study”. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy (Forthcoming).

Office for National Statistics (2012) Census 2011 KS209 Religion. (accessed 24 August 2017). (accessed 1 December 2017).

Simpson, J., M. Collin and C. Okeke (2014) “What Do Chaplains Do Now? The Continuous Process of Adaptation”. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy 2(2): 213–34.

Woodward, J. (1998) “Abstract: A Study of the Role of the Health Care Chaplain in England”. Retrieved from


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email:

Privacy Policy