Student Welfare Looked After

Student Welfare Looked After

Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable

New Chaplains Program To Provide More Post-Trauma Support To Students

Victor P Taffa

A team of 83 Specially Trained Chaplains will be on stand-by to provide emotional guidance and support to students in Public Schools following traumatic incidents, Education Minister Liz Constable announced today.

The Program forms part of the State Government’s $46 Million Better Behaviour and Pastoral Care Strategy.

Dr. Constable said the Pastoral Critical Incident Response Chaplains project, funded through a $10 Million State Government commitment over four years, was at the forefront of School Chaplaincy Provision in Australia.

“The Chaplains will form part of a critical Incident Response Team, which includes School Leaders, School Psychologists, School Nurses, Teachers, Regional Education Staff and Staff from other Agencies.” the Minister said.

“Despite the best planning, traumatic events do occur each of these chaplains will be available to provide pastoral care to students at public schools around the State when needed.”

“When schools find themselves in need of extra help, they will now be able to call upon the services of a Pastoral Critical Incident Response Chaplain to provide pastoral, emotional and practical support to reduce and alleviate emotional and spiritual difficulties and help restore a sense of safety.”

“They will also be able to provide counselling to help with long-term recovery and refer people to more intensive and specialised interventions if needed.”

Dr Constable said each of the chaplains had been through a rigorous selection process for the training, which included Clinical Interviews and Psychometric Testing.

Training Included:

  • Brain and body reactions to stress;
  • Individual reactions to stress;
  • Crisis response and recovery cycle;
  • Emotional first aid;
  • The impact of trauma on children;
  • Gender responses to stress;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Growth after trauma; secondary traumatisation;
  • School chaplain self-care.

The service will be delivered by YouthCARE on behalf of the Department of Education and will be available to Public Schools throughout Western Australia.