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Mon, Nov 01


Online Event

Religious & Spiritual Competency

Kelsey Pacha

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Religious & Spiritual Competency
Religious & Spiritual Competency

Time & Location

Nov 01, 2021, 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Kelsey Pacha

Training Description

This 6-hour course explores the concept of religious and spiritual competency for those who support system involved youth and their caregivers. People tasked with providing services and support to system involved youth and families often do not get any training or support on religious and spiritual competency, resulting in unskillful, dismissive, or at worst, biased care. Training participants will reflect on their own religious and spiritual experiences and their possible effects on care provision, learn key recommended religious and spiritual competency principles, review faith/cognitive developmental stages, and apply their learning in a roleplay designed to highlight possible religious/spiritual concerns among system involved children, youth and families.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define religious and spiritual competency.
  2. Review research related to the importance of religious/spiritual matters and their intersection with overall health and well-being.
  3. Complete a self-assessment for religious/spiritual bias.
  4. Review several models for religious/spiritual development and identify intersections with other identity development models across the lifespan.
  5. Practice a spiritual development evaluation for system involved youth in small groups.
  6. Review recommended religious and spiritual competency principles.
  7. Develop best practices based on the intersectional needs of system involved youth from various faith traditions.


9:30-10am: Introductions, objectives, self-assessment

10-11am: Define religion, spirituality, & faith. Review research on religion, spirituality, and health in the general population. Intersectionality and religious experience, questions competency answers, and provider bias & impact.

11-11:15am:  Break (CEUs will not be provided during this time)

11:15am-12:30pm: Cognitive development and other lifespan identity development—how do kids think about God? Supernatural energy? The afterlife? How does this overlap with other identity development (i.e. race, gender, sexuality?) Video.

12:30-1pm:  Lunch Break (CEUs will not be provided during this time)

1-2pm: Moral reasoning and faith development. How do children tell right from wrong? How do children, youth, and young adults make moral decisions, and how do we see this in our practice with youth in out-of-home care? Video and stage identification vignette.

2-2:15pm:  Break (CEUs will not be provided during this time)

2:15-2:45pm:  Religious & spiritual problems, overlap with mental health diagnoses.

2:45-3:20pm: Assessment, best practices, and APA Religious & Spiritual Competencies. Resources for children & youth about religion, spirituality, and faith.

3:20-3:30pm:  Evaluations, Questions & Answers

Meet Our Trainer

Kelsey Pacha, MA, M.Div. is a trans man who has worked with marginalized communities for 15+ years in a variety of settings. He holds a Master of Religion and Psychology, Master of Divinity, and Certificate of Sexuality and Religion from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Psychological Services from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He is the owner of Kelsey Pacha Consulting, which supports the work of institutions and individuals in increasing their capacity for cultural humility and social justice-informed institutional change. Kelsey offers educational trainings and LGBTQ workplace policy expertise with an emphasis on practical skills, identity awareness, and personal empowerment. He regularly works with corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion officers and LGBTQ affinity groups, as well as legal, clinical, medical, and direct service

(including child welfare and faith leader) personnel. 

This course meets the qualifications for (5) BBS CEUs for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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