The Community Ethics Network (CEN)
The Community Ethics Network (CEN) includes members from across Canada whose services operate at the local and regional levels involving direct service provision, coordination and commissioning.
Traditionally, ethics resources have focused on clinical ethics in acute care in institutional settings. Although there is an increasing recognition of community-based care as an essential part of the healthcare system, there have been few ethics resources developed specifically for those working in this sector.
The CEN addresses this resource gap by collaborating with community-based organizations to support ethical practice across the full continuum of care. In particular, the CEN works to support front-line providers – personal support workers, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, etc. - who often work without access to a team or other formal support to address the ethical issues they encounter in practice.
The CEN aims make innovations in applied ethics available to this often isolated service provider population. To this end, the CEN leads and facilitates building ethics capacity in the community healthcare and support services sectors. Through its website, newsletters, tools and resources and member-led workshops, the CEN promotes a common approach to ethical decision-making, and supports knowledge exchange in clinical and organizational ethics, within and across its member organizations.
Membership is open to community healthcare and support organizations and to independent individuals with an evident connection to these sectors. An annual membership fee is payable in April each year to cover ongoing administrative costs.
The CEN also welcomes Academic Partners to collaborate on specific projects.
The CEN Steering Committee oversees the network’s administrative functions such as communication with membership and external agencies, organizing Network meetings and planning educational events.