The Heart of Caring

The Heart of Caring

I think compassionate care is about being open and honest, and being non-judgemental and kind, listening to people and building rapport. They may be scared or may have preconceived ideas. We don't always know their story.

Registered Midwife | 1 Year Experience

A Framework & Reflective Resource for Leading Compassionate Care

The Heart of Caring reflective resource book Edition 2 (SESLHD, Nursing & Midwifery Practice & Workforce Unit, 2019) is a collection of story excerpts from ‘Our People’.  95 health care professionals, volunteers, consumers, board members and clerical staff shared their stories of caring and compassion.

Background & Framework

A 2015 nursing and midwifery grant and initiative resulted in the publication of Edition 1 of the book and also, thematic analysis of the story excerpts, resulted in the emergence of The Heart of Caring Framework, which includes 4 domains/concepts (strong themes) to lead person centred compassionate care.  The 2015 nursing and midwifery stories revealed that ‘The Heart of Caring’ to them meant providing ‘Person Centred Compassionate Care, that was ‘making a difference to the care experience’, that was ‘supported by ‘teamwork’ and that ‘self-care & well-being was essential to enable its sustainability. The framework has been developed as part of a broader strategy to support and underpin leadership development programs towards the provision and leadership of person centred compassionate care across SESLHD. Themes from the 2019 stories aligning perfectly to the Heart of Caring Framework domains, this demonstrates that, regardless of our roles, caring and compassion and the delivery of person centred compassionate care is our shared goal.


The Reflective Resource Book

HoC Book

The book includes 10 sections, each sharing story excerpts that encourage and stimulate reflection, a reflective activity is included within each section that can be undertaken individually or as a team. The telling of stories is an important way for messages that are central to the development of effective cultures of caring to be conveyed. Stories from the heart carry weight in ways that directives and policy cannot. The underlying principle in story telling of this nature is that it requires reflection and that it will stimulate both focus and reflection on practice.


Examples of an story exerts from The Heart of Caring- Stories from Our People

Compassionate care means showing respect at all times and not making assumptions, tuning into that person’s experience and not closing off to feelings is very important. Remaining open despite the fact that it might be painful at times.

Senior Clinical Psychologist | 20 Years’ Experience

To Purchase your copy of the Heart of Caring booklet please click this link and complete the attached form.

SESLHD Strengths, Positive Thoughts & Affirmation cards

Example of Strength & Affirmation Card

Positive quotes & affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Much like exercise, they raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought” neurons. Strengths are a good way to self-encourage and regain self-confidence, they can be used individually or to engage as a team, combining our strengths can cement our teams together.

Facilitation Cards: Facilitation cards are included for strengths spotting & cultivating positive thoughts through affirmations.

To Purchase your copy of the Strength and Affirmation cards please click this linand complete the attached form.

Heart of Caring Resource Facilitator Guide


Publication: The heart of caring - understanding compassionate care through story telling

Resources for Leading Person Centred Compassionate Care:

Connecting Human to Human

Engaging as a team

Key Jar questions

Caring conversations

Positive Affirmations & Strength cards

SCARF (Neuro leadership Model & questionnaire)

Image Cards

Every Brilliant Thing or moment

Giving and receiving Feedback (Appreciative feedback, enabling questions, effective feedback tools)

Exploring the SENSES

Helium stick- communication exercise

Role clarity exercise

Strengths exercise- and Facilitation Guide

Personality styles questionnaire (DOPE & Myers Briggs)

Values Clarification exercise

Kindness Bingo

Creating Positive Workplace Culture

Promoting self-care and wellbeing

High Challenge and High Support Matrix

NMLT Action planning tool

Positive Inquiry tool

Strength and affirmations activity

Strengths exercise

Values Clarification template

Psychological Safety

IHI Joy in work white paper

Story taking (Emotional touchpoints, ACI NSW, Unfolding story tool)

Kim Manley Workplace Culture conceptual Framework 2019

Coaching template- iGROW

Clinical Supervision tool kit

Resilience based clinical supervision

SESLHD Clinical Supervision Agreement

SESLHD Clinical Supervision First meeting guide

SESLHD Clinical Supervision session Notes guide

SESLHD Clinical Supervision Session outline

SESLHD  Reflective Supervision Reflective Tool

Nursewell website

Mentoring toolkit

Building Resilience Dr Amit Sood