Affordable Counselling through Churches and Schools

Fall 2017 < BACK Affordable Counselling through Churches and Schools

Churches and schools are continuing to find Shalem’s Congregational Assistance Plan (CAP) and Counselling Assistance Plan for Students (CAPS) effective and affordable ways to extend help to those who need it.

In fact, the program continues to grow as additional churches and schools discover how it can help them provide professional, faith-based counselling support to congregants and students.

There are currently 69 organizations in southern Ontario using the CAP and CAPS programs: 63 churches across 7 denominations, 6 high schools, and one university.

The most recent organizations to join the program include London District Christian Secondary School and Maranatha Christian Reformed Church of York. Check out Shalem’s website for a full list of participating churches and schools.

The CAP and CAPS program enables churches and schools to make counselling available from a professional, Master’s degree-level Christian counsellor. The counselling they provide supplements the pastoral care offered by pastors, elders and deacons, and provides psychotherapy to students beyond what guidance counsellors and caring teachers can provide. The services are anonymous and confidential, as the CAP/CAPS program works seamlessly behind the scenes.

Members, adherents or students can use up to four CAPS or six CAP sessions per year, provided at no cost to them. In most cases, if additional sessions are needed, people can continue to work with their counsellor on a fee-for-service basis. CAP and CAPS counsellors also provide referrals to other specialized services, treatment programs or resources as needed.

Currently we have about 150 counsellors providing services across southern Ontario, ensuring the counselling services are available locally. All CAP and CAPS counsellors are required to be a member in good standing with at least one of the six approved regulatory colleges in Ontario, authorizing their practice of psychotherapy, as defined by the Psychotherapy Act, 2007. This ensures they have the training and experience needed to provide a professional service.

Participating churches and schools are given non-identifying feedback about the rate of usage of the program. Some congregations are surprised that the need for counselling services is higher than they were aware of, demonstrating the need for such a program to help those who might not otherwise be getting the support. Shalem continues to hear positive feedback from churches and schools about how much the program is valued and how well it is working.

If you are part of a CAP or CAPS community and want to inquire about the services or book an appointment, please contact our intake department toll free at 866.347.0041 or by email at [email protected].

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of becoming a CAP church or CAPS school, please email or call Marg Smit Vandezande at 905.515.4758.

Marg Smit-Vandezande is the Director of Shalem’s Congregational Assistance Plan (CAP) and the Clergy Care program.

Key Word Tags: Congregational Assistance, Counselling