School chaplains make a valuable contribution to the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of school communities across Western Australia. This might include support and guidance about ethics, values, relationships and spiritual issues, and helping students engage with the broader community. They are part of the school’s pastoral care team.
The School Chaplaincy Program is voluntary and should be supported by the school’s governing body and community to be established. If a school and its community chooses to establish or maintain school chaplaincy services, parents and students can choose to participate in the program – they must be informed about its availability and the voluntary nature of their involvement.
The nature of the chaplaincy services to be provided, including the religious affiliation of the school chaplain, is decided by the school and its community.
Direct Funded Schools
The National School Chaplain and Student Welfare Program (NSCSWP) concluded at the end of 2014. A new Commonwealth program, the National School Chaplaincy Programme (NSCP), commenced in 2015. Under the new NSCP, Western Australia will receive $7.41 million a year. Of the 498 NSCP applications (for 500 schools), 248 schools were successful and receive NSCP funding in 2015 and 2016. In late 2014, the State Government decided to fund an additional $1.45 million in 2015 to cover the shortfall from previous Commonwealth funding which enabled 71 additional schools to be funded for In School Chaplaincy. These schools comprised the In School State Funded Chaplaincy Program (ISSFCP).
On 19 April 2015, the State Government announced additional $7.75 million funding for the ISSFCP for 2015 and 2016. This funding was distributed across 251 schools. One school received partial funding from both programs.
In total, 500 public schools that identified a need and submitted either an individual or joint application for the NSCP will receive direct funding in 2015 and 2016. This funding can be used to purchase In School Chaplaincy Services from external Service Providers.
State Funded Support Services
The State Government contributes an additional $5.68 million annually to YouthCARE through a service and grant agreement to provide chaplaincy services in public schools. This funding covers supervision, support and professional learning for all chaplain types. In addition, public schools that did not apply for NSCP funding are able to access the services of a Support Chaplain through these State funded agreements.
Schools accessing Support Chaplains through YouthCARE are not required to complete a Customer Order Form. This is provided at no cost to the school through the State funded Agreements with YouthCARE. Support Chaplains provide half a day per week of services to schools upon request. Schools with identified high needs populations may be allocated additional service time.
Schools should contact YouthCARE to request this service.