In the complex environment of the health care system, the therapeutic clown works in the best interests of the client (infancy to elder) and all family members, seeking to improve quality of life by contributing to relief of stress due to hospitalization and/or illness. The therapeutic clown offers to the client playful and humourous interactions, opportunities for empowerment and mastery, and a supportive relationship. Acknowledging that the therapeutic clown is both an artist and a member of a health care team, the Therapeutic Clown Best Practices relates to artistic as well as professional and personal standards.
1. Above all, the therapeutic clown safeguards the physical, psychosocial and spiritual well-being of each client or family member with whom he or she interacts. Always mindful of the power and responsibility of the clown, the therapeutic clown treats each person with dignity, compassion and respect.
2. The therapeutic clown asks permission before approaching any person, and is sensitive to each client's and family's situation.
3. The therapeutic clown serves all clients and families impartially, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, illness or disability.
4. The therapeutic clown maintains the highest artistic standards and preserves the integrity of his or her clown character at all times. The therapeutic clown's costuming and behaviour are appropriate to the health care setting and to the clients, families and staff with whom he or she comes into contact.
5. The therapeutic clown is a member of a health care team. As a professional, the therapeutic clown is responsible and accountable for his or her actions, and is mindful of the needs of other staff. The therapeutic clown abides by the code of conduct, the policies and the procedures of the health care setting in which he or she works, with particular attention to safety, hygiene and confidentiality.
6. The therapeutic clown works only within his or her area of competence and makes appropriate referrals to other members of the health care team.
7. The therapeutic clown is guided by the regulations of the health care setting in which he or she works with regard to conflicts of interest and accepting gifts. The therapeutic clown does not use his or her work in the health care setting for inappropriate personal or professional gain.
8. The therapeutic clown is responsible for maintaining his or her own physical and mental well-being.
9. The therapeutic clown observes appropriate professional/personal boundaries with clients, families and staff.
10. The therapeutic clown is committed to high standards of practice and professional growth. He or she promotes the profession of therapeutic clowning through the quality of his or her work, and through education and ethical research.