Questions you may want to ask when Choosing and Evaluating a Community Deathcare Practitioner

We expect that before beginning work with a  practitioner you will want to take some time to learn about who they are and what they have to offer, in order to decide if they will be compatible with you, your family or friends. It is important to determine if they have the experience, values and qualities that you need at this time. To assist with this, we have provided a number of questions you may consider asking, before working together.

Evaluation Questions

Before thinking about the questions that you might want to ask of a community deathcare practitioner, we suggest that you take some time to reflect on what your family is looking for. What is it about working with a practitioner that is most important to you, or family members, or significant other? What are the key traits and capacities you are looking for?

Some questions you may want to consider asking:

  • What brought you to the field of community-centered deathcare?
  • Describe the nature of your alignment with the vision, mission and values of Community Deathcare Canada.
  • With understanding that the practice of community deathcare is entirely unregulated; do you hold any relevant titles pertaining to the services you’re offering? Are you accredited, or a member of any professional associations, or do you hold any related licenses or certifications?
  • If not, what kinds of standards of practice and/or codes of ethics do you adhere to in your community deathcare practice?
  • Are you insured?
  • What relevant education and/or training have you undertaken to develop personal and professional competency pertaining to the service you offer as a practitioner?
  • What personal and/or professional experiences inform your community deathcare practice?
  • What type of ongoing education are you involved with?
  • Please describe your involvement with any relevant projects, clubs, associations, organizations or groups pertaining to your practice.
  • Please describe the nature of the services you have offered in the field already.
  • Were you paid or were these services offered on a volunteer basis?

Requesting References

We suggest that you speak to families who the practitioner has worked with before, to ask them questions that are of relevance to your family.

  • What type of fee structure do you utilize? How would I be charged for your services?
  • May I be put in contact with others who have utilized your services?
  • What is your general availability?
  • What would your service look like for me and my family? Please describe the nature of our connection and
    what we might expect to receive in terms of time, products, services, support etc?
  • What other service might we be in need of in addition to what you offer? Do you work as part of a team of practitioners and/or are you prepared to assist us to find and procure additional formal and/or informal support services we may want or need?
  • It is important that our relationship is clear. Could you offer some kind of contract or letter of agreement which outlines the death midwifery services we can expect to receive from you?

After selecting a death midwifery practitioner and beginning the work, you may wish to reflect on how the work is proceeding and whether a beneficial relationship with the death midwifery practitioner has begun.

Evaluating the Process:

  • Do we all feel listened to and heard?
  • Are we getting the information we need to make good decisions and think broadly?
  • Does the practitioner take time to ask us if we understand what is being discussed?