School Wellbeing Chaplain

Mission Statement:

The objectives of the program are to assist school communities to provide pastoral care and general social and emotional comfort to all students, irrespective of their faith or beliefs.

Background:

The school community has had the services of a School Chaplain since July 2012 employed under a Federal Government initiative. The community has chosen to continue this program funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program. Funding provides for an addition to the staff for 10hours per week.

The School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain works closely with the School Wellbeing Team under the direct guidance of the Deputy Principals and Head Teacher responsible for Well-being. The School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain is paid for 400hours over the 12 month period, usually 10hrs per school week.

Participation in any program or service conducted by the School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain is voluntary. Families may opt out by contacting the Deputy Principal responsible for their child's year group.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Operate within and promote the core values in NSW Public Schools (integrity, excellence, respect, responsibility, cooperation, participation, care, fairness, democracy)
  • Respond to referrals from staff and school wellbeing team with a view to providing care and support
  • Provide comfort and appropriate referral in times of grief and other critical events
  • Listen to students and staff who express a desire to share concerns
  • Support whole school student wellbeing initiatives eg. School camps, assemblies
  • Support students and staff in their learning environments eg. Tutorial centre, classes, sport
  • Respond to student queries about spirituality respecting their family's convictions
  • Refer students, families and staff to appropriate welfare resources in line with student wellbeing protocols

Qualifications & Engagement Process:

The School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain will need to meet the employment qualifications as outlined by DEEWR in the document: National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Guidelines.

The School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain will be subject to all the required checks as outlined by DEEWR in the document: National School Chaplaincy and School Welfare Guidelines. The Funding Body will be responsible for conducting those checks and providing evidence of the outcome to the school Principal.

The selection of the appropriate person for the role of School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain will be a joint responsibility between the school and funding body. An interview will be part of the process.

Complaints Procedure:

The School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain is subject to the Code of Conduct outlined by DEEWR in the document: National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Guidelines.

Any complaints about the performance of the School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain will be handled according to the DEC Complaints procedure in conjunction with those outlined by DEEWR in the document: National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Guidelines. Initial concerns would be raised with the School Principal or relevant Deputy Principal, as the direct supervisor of the School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain. In this way the School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain is considered similarly to any staff member. The Deputy Principal will maintain the confidential complaints log as the Complaints Officer.

Evaluation of the Program:

Annual evaluation of the program is required by DEEWR in the document: National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Guidelines. This will be conducted by the Funding Body with support from the school. An annual report will be presented to school community, usually via the staff, P&C and SRC. Following presentation of the report the school community will be asked to confirm ongoing support for the continuation of the program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does ‘Chaplain' mean? Chaplain = someone who provides care and comfort

What does ‘spiritual comfort' mean? Spiritual comfort = care and comfort provided in a manner sensitive to the students' needs at the time of care

How can I find out about the program at Marsden High School? Communication about the School Well-being Youth Worker/ Chaplain and their role will appear in a school newsletter in Term 1 each year and be permanently available on the school website.  More information is available from the DEEWR website www.deewr.gov.au/schoolchaplaincy .