Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:49 am
There is a major push against the government funding school chaplains.
My understanding is that schools generally do not employ social workers or psychologists to give emotional support to students and families. School counsellors generally are not oriented that way either. The term chaplain is used because counsellor cannot be used, as it would be confused with the official school counsellor. In Qld schools there are social workers and psychologists filling the role of chaplain in some schools. The role is not a religious role, but one of emotional support, and most principals are happy with the job being done. There is an atheist school chaplain in Qld.
It also happens, that as in most cases where the government will not fund welfare, religious groups are funding the role of school chaplain.
It appears to be the term that is the problem, not the position, and the fact that chaplains are funded by religious organisations. But then so are most of our women's refuges, homeless accommodation, and food outlets for the low income families.
So, change the title ..... take the funding and control out of the hands of religious groups .... but don't put in jeopardy a most important program supporting children and families.
And before someone jumps on me, I am sure there are people out there who abuse their positions wherever they are for their own agenda.