Commitment to School Chaplains needed

It was reported that the School Chaplaincy program was under immediate threat of defunding. This was not accurate in the short term, but is a very real possibility during the next term of government.

Taking funding from School Chaplaincy would be a harmful move given we have a growing dysfunction across society. School chaplains are often the only listening ear or voice of encouragement that many children and youth have in their day to day lives. They provide an essential service that teachers just don’t have the time to deliver.

The need for chaplaincy in society is one that is growing, not shrinking. The major sporting codes are taking on a growing number of chaplains because coaches have been overwhelmed by the emotional and social needs of the charges under their direction and care.

Government should be looking at how they can help more school communities access a very cost effective resource. Chaplains are working across 2,900 schools for a cost of $60 million, which is just over $20,000 a chaplain.

Family First calls on the Coalition and the opposition to guarantee ongoing future funding for school chaplains if they form the next government.

Rod McGarvie, Senate Candidate Family First