Ethical Principles

The Canadian Traumatic Stress Network

Reseau Canadien du Stress Traumatique

As members of the Canadian Traumatic Stress Network we are committed to the following ethical principles in our work with individuals, groups and communities who experience trauma in its many forms. In addition, we have a dedication to each other as a supportive collegial network respecting all our levels of experience and training.

Principle I: Respect for the Dignity of Persons

As trauma responders we have an abiding respect for individuals who are experiencing devastating traumatic events in their lives. We are committed to recognizing the inherent dignity that people possess, with all the personal, social, spiritual and cultural diversity present in our society. We make every effort to provide interventions with respect to the dignity of those we serve as a primary ethical commitment. It is not our right to judge others, but rather assist them to understand and ultimately come to terms with the devastating events they have experienced.

We are dedicated to helping individuals, groups and communities build on their unique strengths; to help enhance their coping skills, and, in the best possible time, encourage their strengths so that they once again becoming self-reliant and independent.

Principle II: Responsible Caring

Members of the Canadian Traumatic Stress Network are dedicated at all times to approaches that are caring, compassionate, and positive in our interventions. This commitment requires a dedicated sense of responsibility to those we serve. It is the requirements and interests of others that are paramount in our work.

We have an essential commitment to extend our caring to ourselves and our colleagues. We support our peers and colleagues in their work and interventions and are available as involved colleagues when our own members need help.

Our dedication is to a collegial atmosphere of non-judgmental support for our colleagues. We insure that we remain personally healthy as trauma responders, and contribute in supportive ways to our own well-being as we intervene and provide interventions.

We are committed to engage in proactive self-care and on-going support and education.

Whether we are part of a peer debriefing team, individual trauma counsellors, members of a community disaster response team, or members of a victim assistance group, we are committed to being available and providing cooperative support and help with issues of personal stress associated with trauma interventions and counselling.

We engage in mutual support and continuing education in all the appropriate areas of trauma response, not only to remain current and enhance our training, but to ensure that our interventions are appropriate and up to date, so that as trauma responders we are engaged in healthy self-care.

Principle III: Integrity in Relationships

We are dedicated to a strong sense of integrity in the relationships we develop with the traumatized individuals and groups to whom we provide interventions, including ourselves. As trauma responders we have a duty to be forthright in all our actions and behaviour, ensuring that we present ourselves as being competent in our training, knowledge and credentials; we do not misrepresent qualifications and levels of competence. We make every effort to extend respect to others, at all levels of our society, and within any organization. We insure that the right of confidentiality and privacy is actively maintained for those we serve. We have a positive attitude about the well-being of others to the point where we are confident that our interventions "do no harm," as we engage in providing help and interventions.

We hold fast to the Commitment of Confidentiality as a guiding principle in the interventions we provide. We are not afraid to indicate we do not have all the answers and we are open and willing to learn.

We insure that we refer traumatized individuals to the appropriate resources, providing on-going liaison support for those who need it until additional support can be obtained.

We exercise due caution whenever we find ourselves in dual relationships with victims of trauma or those needing interventions. For example, we refer family members and personal friends to colleagues rather than provide interventions ourselves. Within organizations we insure confidentiality for those we help and do not engage in practices that interfere with their right to privacy, respect and dignity.

Principle IV: Responsibility to Society

The Canadian Traumatic Stress Network is founded on the belief that as members of the Association we are committed to responding to the needs of our Canadian Society at all levels, from individual events to the needs of traumatized groups and communities. In addition, we are committed to meeting the needs of our members in the areas of continuing education including CIS Teams, Peer Support personnel, victim assistance associations, and mental health practitioners . Our ethical goal is a strong commitment to a mutually supportive group of colleagues who can bring trauma response skills and intervention strategies to every area of our country as the need arises, with a sense of responsibility to the people we wish to serve.

Each of us has something to contribute and provide in the area of interventions. Our nation experiences trauma in all its forms. As members of the Canadian Traumatic Stress Network responding to traumatic events, we are dedicated to meeting the needs of our society in a forthright ethical manner.

As members of the Canadian Traumatic Stress Network, we dedicate our responses to providing appropriate support for individuals and the community, to enhance the social fabric, and for the ultimate good of our Canadian society.

Signed: _____________________________________

Date: ______________________________

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