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Chaplaincy

 
National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program 2012-2014
1. General statement about the aims of the service within the school:
 The Chaplaincy Service forms one part of the school’s Social and Emotional Learning Program, providing pastoral care and general spiritual, social and emotional comfort to all students, staff and parents who wish to access this service.
 Chaplains have a key role in supporting the spiritual wellbeing of students, regardless of faith or beliefs. The Chaplaincy Service supports students, their families and staff of all beliefs and does not seek to impose any beliefs or persuade an individual toward a particular set of beliefs.
 The Chaplaincy Service is funded solely by the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations) through the funding recipient Scripture Union. Fundraising is done at the community level to support Chaplaincy Services and Programs at our school eg Breakfast Club. Other services that support student wellbeing at our school are funded through Education Queensland ie. Guidance Officer and Support Teacher Literacy and Numeracy.
 
 The Chaplain must ensure that all services and programs she delivers:
i. are approved by the Principal,
ii. have the appropriate prior parental/guardian consent, and
iii. have the voluntary consent of the students who participate in the programs or service.
 Our school provides a yearly progress report to Scripture Union (the Funding recipient) and the report is lodged with the Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations (DEEWR).
 The school community participates in an annual consultation process in Term 3 of each year to ensure that the Program continues to be relevant and effective for the needs of our school community. The consultation includes:
i. invitations to comment in the school newsletter,
ii. surveys to parents from the P&C Association and from the school,
iii. student surveys and feedback,
iv. staff surveys,
v. records of the use of the Chaplaincy Service and programs,
vi. parent feedback throughout the year,
vii. feedback from the school’s wellbeing team, and
viii. comments and minutes from P&C meetings.
 
2. Overview of the role of the Chaplain within the school
 Our Chaplain is Samantha Whittington, known in the school community as Chappy Sam. She completed a Diploma of Youth Work in 2012.  Chappy Sam works as part of a school student support team to plan and deliver student welfare programs eg. lunchtime activities, personal leadership programs, school community celebrations. All programs are approved by the School Principal.
 
Our rostered days for Chappy Sam are every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year.  The Chaplain is bound by the Student Protection Policy and must report any concerns about child safety to the Principal immediately.
Chappy Sam:
  • runs the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club with local volunteers
  • participates in school camps and excursions
  • attends assemblies and other significant school events
  • supports school staff to supervise and interact with students during lunchtime
               play options and activities
  • provides support and appropriate referrals in times of grief and other critical                incidents
  • refers students, parents, staff, carers to specialist services in the school via the school’s Guidance Officer
  • attends P&C meetings, contributes to the fortnightly newsletter
  • facilitates community partnership programs between the school and the wider community
  • offers pastoral support to parents, staff, families and students with parental consent,
  • supports students who express a desire to explore their spirituality
  • does not provide Religious Instruction lessons to students in our school
  • adheres to the Program Guidelines and the Code of Conduct at all times
 
3. Voluntary participation in the service
 It is not compulsory for students to access the Chaplaincy service or programs run by the Chaplain. Parents must give written consent before their students can utilise the service.  Parents/guardians give permission by completing a permission form, obtainable on request at the school main office. The completed form is then given to the school’s Guidance Officer (the Chaplain’s line manager). The Permission form is also submitted to the school’s Student Support meeting where confirmation of
the request is made.
 
4. How to opt out of the service
 Because access to the Chaplaincy service activities is solely on a voluntary basis, with written permission necessary from parents, students will only participate when this requirement is in place. Parents opt out by not consenting to their child’s participation in Chaplaincy activity.
 
5. Complaints handling process
 Under this Program, a complaint is described as an expression of concern or dissatisfaction following an incident or pattern of behaviour by a NSCSWP funded chaplain or in relation to a particular NSCSWP service or funding recipient. Complaints can also relate to any aspect of the NSCSWP.
 All complaints about the school chaplain or the chaplaincy service should be directed to the Principal in the first instance. All attempts are made to resolve complaints at the local level in the first instance. If the complaint cannot be resolved at the school level or the complainant does not wish the matter to be dealt with at the local level, then the complaint will be escalated to the Scripture Union, (the Funding Recipient) or to the Department of Education, Employment
and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). All Code of Conduct matters and significant complaints are referred by the Principal to Scripture Union (the Funding Recipient).
 The Chaplain has signed a ‘Code of Conduct for School Chaplains under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program’. For a copy of the Code of Conduct, see Appendix below.
 The school has a Risk Management Plan that outlines strategies to address complaints made against the school Chaplain.
 
6. Recognition and acknowledgment of the program:
 The source of funding enabling Scripture Union to employ a Chaplain to work two days each week at The Hall State School is the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.
 
Appendix:
Austalian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program Code of Conduct for school chaplains/student welfare workers
 
Following is a Code of Conduct for school chaplains/student welfare workers engaged under the
Program. This document must be signed by the school chaplain/student welfare worker before the
school chaplain/student welfare worker commences any chaplaincy/student welfare services under
the Program. School chaplains/student welfare workers who refuse to sign the code will not be
permitted to be part of the Program.
 
Code of Conduct
For the provision of chaplaincy/student welfare services at The Hall State School, School chaplains and student welfare workers are responsible for supporting the spiritual, social, and emotional wellbeing of their students regardless of faith or beliefs. School chaplains/student welfare workers must be able to provide support for a range of day to day matters affecting the school community and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people. They can become involved in a wide variety of issues including health, social and values education and emotional support.
 
It is expected that school chaplains/student welfare workers would support and work with the School Principal and the school’s student wellbeing staff or equivalent, to refer students to appropriate services where required. To assist in facilitating this, school chaplains/student welfare workers should have or develop an appropriate and suitable external network of professional groups working within the community. In providing these services, the school chaplain/student welfare worker must sign and observe this Code of Conduct at all times.
 
The school chaplain/student welfare worker must:
1. Adhere to all relevant Commonwealth, state or territory policy and legislation, including that concerning child safety, privacy, and confidentiality.
2. Not conduct themselves in a manner which impacts their delivery of the services under the Program. As such, school chaplains and student welfare workers must adhere to the Program Guidelines and the Code of Conduct at all times where conduct in a private capacity might impact their delivery of the services under the Program.
3. Recognise, respect and affirm the authority of the School Principal and/or school governing
body, and work in consultation with them.
4. Contribute to a supportive, safe, inclusive and caring learning environment within the school.
5. Respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs that may be
different from his or her own, including respecting the rights of parents/guardians to ensure
the moral and spiritual education of their children is in line with the family’s own convictions.
6. Actively discourage any form of harassment or discrimination on the grounds of religious
ideology, beliefs or sexuality.
7. Not perform professional or other services for which they are not qualified and if not
qualified, refer on to an appropriate service, in line with school protocols.
8. Refer a student to a service or organisation which is best placed to support the student’s
particular needs in accordance with the student’s own beliefs and values.
9. Provide accurate and impartial information about the support and services available in the broader community, including community groups and religious groups.
10. Not put him or herself, or allow him or herself, to be placed in a compromising situation,
recognising that there are circumstances where confidentiality may be sought by the student.
11. Avoid unnecessary physical contact with a student, recognising however that there may be
some circumstances where physical contact may be appropriate such as where the student is injured or distraught.
12. While recognising that an individual school chaplain/student welfare worker may in good faith express views and articulate values consistent with his or her own beliefs, a school chaplain/student welfare worker must not take advantage of his or her privileged position to proselytise, evangelise or advocate for a particular view or belief.
13. Adhere to the Guidelines of the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.
 
Use of Information on this form and privacy Information on this form is collected for the purposes of the administration of the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program. Information on this form can be disclosed to other parties without your consent in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.
Acknowledgement by school chaplain/student welfare worker
I understand and agree to the terms of this Code of Conduct.
……………………………………..........................................
Signature of school chaplain/student welfare worker
……………………………………..........................................
Name of school chaplain/student welfare worker
…………………………………………………………………..
Signature of Witness (the School Principal or his/her delegate)
…………………………………………………………………..
Name of Witness
…………………………………………………………………..
Position of Witness
................................
Date
 
Guidance to School Principals for breaches of the Code of Conduct
As school chaplains/student welfare workers hold special positions of trust, they must be accountable for their actions. In addition, the Funding Recipient and the School Principal must take all reasonable steps to ensure that school chaplains/student welfare workers comply with the Code of Conduct. On appointment of the school chaplains/student welfare workers the School Principal must outline to them the measures in place to ensure compliance with the code and how breaches of the Code of Conduct will be investigated. For guidance on the investigation of matters under the Code of Conduct, refer to Section 7.1.6 of the program guidelines.