Aim of the Program
The Aim of the Chaplaincy Program at Hurstville Adventist School is to provide pastoral care, spiritual guidance, social and emotional comfort and support for the general well-being of the students and families associated with the School. The Chaplain is also involved in the spiritual development and support of staff, students and families within the school, irrespective of their faith or beliefs.
The National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Funding provides for an additional part-time staff member for 3 days per week (15 hours).
The National School Chaplaincy Program is a voluntary program that assists school communities to support the wellbeing of their students, including strengthening values, providing greater pastoral care and enhancing engagement with the broader community.
The Role of the Chaplain
1. Providing students, their families and staff with support and/or appropriate referrals, in difficult situations such as during times of grief or when students are facing personal or emotional challenges.
2. Supporting students and staff to create an environment of cooperation and mutual respect, promoting an understanding of diversity and the range of cultures and their related traditions.
3. Supporting students, their families and staff of all beliefs and not seeking to impose any beliefs or persuade an individual toward a particular set of beliefs.
4. Attend in-service activities as required by the principal.
5. Extra-curricular responsibilities as agreed by negotiation with the Principal.
6. Conduct and/or organise weekly Chapels and two Weeks of Spiritual Emphasis each year.
7. Visit classrooms on a regular basis informally and formally.
8. Mentor students with behavioural/emotional needs.
9. Interact with the students in the playground.
10. Be available if any student needs someone to talk to about an issue he/she may have.
11. Visit with families in the home when requested.
How the service links into other school support services and networks
Teachers can refer students directly to the Chaplaincy service when they see fit. Parents also are able to request that their child be able to talk with the chaplain. The Chaplain will offer referrals to, for example; Counsellors and outside agencies, when and if the need arises.
How to access activities such as arranging for one-on-one sessions
Students are able to contact the chaplain and negotiate a suitable time to meet together. It is necessary that the chaplain contact the parent and let them know that such a request has made and ask for permission to go ahead.
Parents are also welcome to contact the Chaplain by phone and request that he meet with their child.
How to opt-out of services
Whilst the service is provided by the Federal Government, Parents and Guardians can choose to opt-out of the service. Families may opt-out of any chaplaincy service provided by the school by contacting the Principal, who will pass this information on to the Chaplain. Being a Christian School, parents have sent their children to this school knowing of the religious content that is taught. Therefore, any programs run by the chaplain that involves the whole school will be compulsory. If the parent does not wish his/her child to be involved in any one-on-one or group activities with the chaplain, a letter requesting exemption from specific activities will need to be written and forwarded to the Principal.
If Parents and Carers have any complaints, they are welcome to discuss the matter with Miss Neva Taylor, the School Principal who will provide the Complaints Forms if required.
Distinction Between Roles
Pr Marcus Pereira is employed by the school for 3 days a week, funded by the Federal Government National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program. (NSCSWP) He works a third day funded by the school as a Chaplain to carry out the distinctly Adventist faith with the students, whereas on the two funded days a week, he follows the guidelines as set for the NSCSWP.
The NSCSWP is discussed on a yearly basis with the Home & School Committee and the Board of Management. A report was given to both bodies and it was endorsed by both that the Program should continue.
Parents and students are also given the opportunity to have their say by completing a survey.
This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.