The role of a Chaplain is to provide support to the whole school community: students staff and school families. Chaplains are present in schools at the invitation of the Principal, in consultation with the local community, and with the support of the P&C Association.
Chaplaincy is not religious education/religious teaching. A Chaplain is meant to be a safe person that a student can go to if he/she would like to discuss ethical/spiritual issues. A Chaplain may run programs with spiritual content, but if so, this would be voluntary for students, and would require signed parental permission. A Chaplain does not perform counselling. A Chaplain provides pastoral care – this means supporting the student who is struggling, listening, helping to develop resilience and problem solving skills and being there for them. Signed parental permission is required for this as well. Chaplaincy is funded by the government. The school does not pay to have a Chaplain. (The government provides funding for a school to have a Chaplain for 2 days. Any extra days would come from donations from churches, the community or Chaplaincy fundraising events, etc.) Chaplaincy is ultimately about building relationships with students (and staff and parents) and journeying through the ups and downs of life with them. What does a School Chaplain do? A School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school and provides a listening ear, caring presence, and a message of hope. Chaplains run positive, fun activities for students and assist in fostering supportive, caring school communities. Working with other members of the school’s support team, the Chaplain cares for students struggling with issues such as difficult relationships with other children or family members, poor self-esteem, family breakdown, and depression. The partnership between the school and the Chaplaincy Service, supported by local churches, businesses and community organisations, provides a network of local support and assistance. These positive relationships help young people to face difficult issues, and provide hope, connection, meaning, and purpose. The Chaplaincy Service is available to everyone in the school community regardless of their religious beliefs.
Will my child be involved? Involvement with the Chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be a part of the activities that are offered. Parents will be consulted if their child wishes to be involved in ongoing one-to-one meetings with the Chaplain or in any program or group involving spiritual or ethical content. Parents have the right to refuse permission for their child to be involved in any Chaplaincy activity or event.