Spiritual Care Worker Training:
Disaster Spiritual Care Worker Training Courses

This course prepares leaders and caregivers to provide basic spiritual and emotional care during deployment in emergency settings such as mass-care facilities, evacuation centers, and Point of Distribution (POD) sites, as well as within their own house of worship or religious institution. This 4-8 hour training provides a basic introduction to Disaster Spiritual Care, Disaster Mental Health, and Self-Care, in an interactive format. (FEMA’s on-line IS 100 course on the Incident Command System must be completed prior to this training.)

The Operations Module includes:

  • PCAID (Presence, Connect, Assessment, Intervention, Develop Plan of Care) technique for interventions
  • Practice in providing spiritual and emotional care in various disaster scenarios

The Mental Health Module focuses on:

  • Phases of psychological reaction to disaster and their impact on behaviors, thoughts, and feelings
  • Psychological First Aid as a simple, appropriate intervention which anyone can offer
  • Indicators that referrals for professional mental health care may be appropriate

The Self-Care Module explores:

  • The need for care providers to develop effective self-care practices
  • Practices that minimize compassion fatigue (“the cost of caring”) and other stresses related to providing care in times of crisis
  • Strategies to promote recovery and resiliency, especially through support systems that monitor, nourish and maintain self-care for individuals and communities


  • Endorsement, in writing, by 1) the senior religious leader in your house of worship or religious institution OR 2) your employer/senior-level supervisor.
  • Completion of FEMA’s on-line IS 100 course on the Incident Command System (available on-line at FEMA IS 100).
This curriculum is compliant with NIMS (National Incident Management Systems) and incorporates FEMA Incident Command System 100 training and also complies with the National VOAD* Points of Consensus for Disaster Spiritual Care.
*Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster


  • Follow the Incident Command System structure, respecting the chain of command
  • Respond sensitively to the needs of ALL who are affected regardless of nationality race, religion, belief, class, or sexual orientation
  • Refrain from proselytizing, sermonizing, or promoting a particular religion or world view
  • Recognize their personal and professional limits, working closely with other disciplines such as Mental Health
  • Speak to the media only when authorized, by their team leader