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Pastoral care

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For the book written by Pope Gregory I, see Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is the ministry of care and counseling provided by pastors, chaplains and other religious leaders to members of their group (church, congregation, etc). This can range from home visitation, to formal counseling by pastors who are licensed to provide pastoral counseling. The appropriate priority level of pastoral care in a religious leader's overall set of responsibilities, particularly one not duly licensed as a mental health professional, is a matter of some dispute.

Pastoral care can also be a term generally applied to the practice of looking after the personal and social wellbeing of children under the care of a teacher. It can encompass a wide variety of issues including health, social and moral education, behaviour management and emotional support.

Pastoral caregivers must be extremely careful not to foster codependency, dependent personality disorder, and other psychological malaties common to unprofessional caregiving relationships.

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