What chaplains do

School chaplains promote social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing through role modelling, mentoring, pastoral care, structured activities and programs leading to:

Social, emotional and spiritual support

Wellbeing outcomes

Educational outcomes

National school chaplaincy snapshot (based on 2021 National Chaplain Census).

Chaplains provide a caring environment for students, staff and parents/carers through taking the time to listen

Every week chaplains nationally have 29,838 informal conversations with students.

Every week chaplains have 21,659 informal conversations with parents/carers and school staff.

Chaplains have 15,318 formal pastoral conversations with students per week.

Student support

Top 5 pastoral issues: (Based on number of pastoral conversations per week)

Formal pastoral conversations with particular student groups per week:

  • Indigenous – 11% 21% 21%
  • Disability/Special needs – 9% 19% 19%
  • In-Care/Guardianship of Department of Child Safety – 7% 17% 17%
  • CALD (Culturally And Linguistically Diverse)/Migrant – 5% 15% 15%
  • LGBTQI+ – 4% 13% 13%
  • Parent in Prison – 4% 13% 13%

8,832 meetings each week with school-based support professionals including guidance officers, counsellors, special needs coordinators and many others.

Source of referral:

  • School staff – 46% 56% 56%
  • Self – 23% 33% 33%
  • Parent – 14% 24% 24%
  • Chaplain – 13% 22% 22%
  • Friend – 2% 12% 12%
  • Community organisation/Other – 1% 11% 11%

Outcomes:

  • Ongoing pastoral support from chaplain – 63% 73% 73%
  • Development of action plan – 9% 19% 19%
  • No further action required – 7% 17% 17%
  • Internal referral – 6% 16% 16%
  • Information given – 5% 15% 15%
  • Advocacy – 4% 14% 14%
  • External professional referral – 3% 13% 13%
  • Child protection reporting – 2% 12% 12%
Bullying
Chaplains have 1,904 conversations in relation to bullying per week.

2,874 students participated Social in 69 anti-bullying specific programs on average per school term.

%

Verbal

%

Social

%

Physical

  • Face-to -face bullying – 83% 83% 83%
  • Cyber bullying – 17% 17% 17%
Programs and activities
Each term chaplains run 6,839 programs supporting 307,042 students.

Social and emotional support programs
43,026 – Participants
3,383 – Programs

Spiritual support programs
5,274 – Participants
476 – Programs

Role modelling and mentoring programs
5,387 – Participants
525 – Programs

Educational support programs
73,656- Participants
1,697 – Programs

Community development programs
179,699 – Participants
758 – Programs

The 2021 National Chaplain Census took place during term 3, 2021 when 1,062 chaplains completed the survey. The data presented in this infographic has been extrapolated from the survey data to match the total number of chaplains (1,664) in Australia working for organisations that are part of the National Schools Chaplaincy Association (NSCA). Data labels in this infographic have been rounded and may, therefore, sum to 99% or 101%. Any calculations where two or more data points have been added are based on raw data (not the rounded data labels on the graph) which have then been rounded once combined.