There was a time when Pastoral Care was thought to be a 'Church Word', however like many other of our words it is now used in a wider context.
The origins of the concept are found in the notion of the Palestinian shepherd with a small flock, where the shepherd was able to identify the sheep and distinguish them one from another. It suggested care, and commitment, looking out for, recognising need, and maintaining a safe environment for the sheep.
This kind of care and commitment doesn't come cheap, so in agricultural Australia we use motor-bikes and helicopters and mobs of sheep counted in the thousands, not the hundreds. Much of our day to day life leaves us feeling much the same way, and against that enormity that leaves us often feeling like we are just a number, the Church strives to know and care for people on an individual basis.
The Church is happy that others now see this as a word to use and a concept to emulate, and we remain as committed to this cause of action as we ever did.