Why Conduct a Spiritual Assessment? A Theoretical Foundation for Assessment

David R. Hodge


In spite of increased interest in spirituality, the concept of a spiritual assessment remains a questionable practice in the eyes of many social workers. This paper
develops five rationales to underscore the importance of including spirituality in assessment. These reasons can be summarized as follows: spiritual assessment provides
insight into clients’ world views, serves as a vehicle to identify strengths, and
demonstrates respect for client autonomy. In addition, the profession’s ethics implicitly
recommend the administration of a spiritual assessment and, for a growing
number of accrediting organizations and agencies, it is explicitly recommended.This
paper concludes by discussing the implications for practitioners and educators.


Assessment; spirituality; religion; spiritual assessment; religious histories

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