YouthCARE, a provider of chaplaincy services in Western Australian state schools, welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government to continue chaplaincy funding.
$247 million will be allocated to schools across Australia as part of the National School Chaplaincy Program.
In his budget speech, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the Federal Government would be “extending the National School Chaplaincy Program on a permanent basis, with a special new anti-bullying focus”.
YouthCARE Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Jeyaraj, said the decision provides certainty for a large number of state schools in WA to access chaplaincy services.
“We welcome the announcement and thank the Turnbull Government for seeing chaplaincy as an invaluable service,” he said.
“YouthCARE chaplaincy in WA works thanks to the collective financial effort from the Federal Government, State Government and local community.
“Our chaplains play a vital role in their school communities and this announcement is a significant vote of confidence in the fabulous work they do.
“Many schools, principals, support groups, a significant number of Parliamentarians, local churches, community groups and families have been pivotal in advocating for this result.
“The beneficiaries of this funding are the children and families in our school communities throughout the state.”
For more than 35 years, YouthCARE has been WA’s largest provider of chaplains in state schools. A number of these chaplains are Uniting Church members.
“Chaplains provide pastoral care to students and others in the school community,” Stanley said. “They also organise and run social, emotional and physical programs – many of which have a strong focus on anti-bullying and we welcome the opportunity to further strengthen that aspect of our service.”
Further details regarding the specific allocation of funding between schools will be outlined in the near future.