The National School Chaplaincy Association (NSCA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to renew its commitment to the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP).

NSCA spokesperson Peter James called the announcement, “a win for schools, families, and hundreds of thousands of students across the nation”.

“This confirms what many in our communities have known all along. School chaplains form a vital part of a school’s wellbeing and support team. It is a service that is overwhelmingly endorsed by school principals and school communities across Australia – and it’s easy to see why.

“From running resilience and wellbeing programs for small groups, to supporting individual students and families grappling with issues ranging from bullying, family breakdown, friendships and grief and loss, a chaplain’s door is always open to those in need.”

Mr James said school chaplains complemented the excellent work of other school-based support staff.

“School chaplains work in a support role rather than a counselling or case management role, referring complex issues to other professionals when identified.

“Furthermore, chaplains offer spiritual support, which research shows is considered highly beneficial for a child’s overall sense of wellbeing, specifically when presented in a safe, caring and nonjudgmental setting.”

He explained that school principals understand when hiring a school chaplain, they are welcoming a qualified youth or community worker to help support their school.

77 per cent of NSCA chaplains exceed the Federal Government’s minimum qualification requirement of a Certificate IV in Youth Work or equivalent, holding relevant diplomas, bachelor degrees and higher in related fields, including human services, counselling and education.

School chaplaincy key facts

In 2017 alone, funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) helped deliver:

  • 67,520 formal pastoral conversations around bullying/harassment;
  • One-on-one support for 28,264 students per week;
  • Pastoral care for 17,867 parents, careers and school staff per week;
  • 43,262 social and emotional programs and activities per term to support 314,353 students; 7,945 breakfast programs, and more.

About the NSCA
The National School Chaplaincy Association (NSCA) is a network of chaplaincy organisations in Australia. It is represented by ACCESS Ministries (Vic), Generate Ministries (NSW), Schools Ministry Group (SA), YouthCare (WA) and Scripture Union (ACT, Queensland, Tasmania).

About the NSCP
The Australian Government’s National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) assists more than 3,000 schools to engage the services of a school chaplain.
The program aims to support the emotional wellbeing of students through the provision of pastoral care services and strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of the broader school community. The program is voluntary for schools and students to participate in and all school chaplains must meet the minimum qualification requirement set by the Federal Government.