Aim of the Program
The Aim of the Chaplaincy Program at Canberra Christian 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 2 days per week (10 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Attend in-service activities as required by the principal.
- Extra-curricular responsibilities as agreed by negotiation with the Principal.
- Conduct and/or organise weekly Chapels and one Week of Spiritual Emphasis each year.
- Visit classrooms on a regular basis informally and formally.
- Mentor students with behavioural/emotional needs.
- Interact with the students in the playground.
- Be available if any student needs someone to talk to about an issue he/she may have.
- 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. Parents are also welcome to contact the Chaplain by phone and request that he meet with their child.
How to opt-out of services
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 activity with the chaplain, a letter requesting exemption from this 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 Mrs Hills, the School Principal, who will provide the Complaint Forms if required.
Distinction between roles
Ivana Radonjic is employed by the school for 2 days a week, funded by the Federal Government National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program. (NSCSWP). She works extra hours 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, she follows the guidelines as set for the NSCSWP. Pr Phil Yates is also employed by the school to provide extra support with the teaching of Christian values and Bible to the students.
Parents and students are given the opportunity to have their say by completing a survey which is conducted on an annual basis. Results from the survey are discussed amongst the Admin team and recommendation forwarded to the chaplains for implementation
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.