Chaplaincy is a well-accepted and valued pastoral care model in many parts of society (eg defence forces, sports, industry, hospitals etc.). The Chaplaincy Service at this school is provided by a Pastoral Care Worker, on behalf of the local combined Christian community, employed by Schools Ministry Group (SMG). The Chaplaincy Service is funded by the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP), administered by DECD SA, with additional contribution from the local community. The aim of this service is to offer pastoral support to students, staff and the school community.
Our Pastoral Care Worker supports our school community in the following ways:
• Working closely and in partnership with leadership and other wellbeing staff in the school to provide pastoral care and practical support to students, families and staff as requested
• Providing pastoral care in a ‘first response’ capacity to critical incidents, referring to specialist support, and to provide ongoing presence and follow up
• Being well positioned to work across the whole school to ‘build a sense of’ community, harmony and cohesion
• Being trained and equipped to provide our school with a unique dimension of social, emotional and spiritual support in line with the DECD wellbeing framework
Chaplaincy Services promote student wellbeing, engaging young people in activities that are preventative and which support early intervention and referral of mental health issues.
Talking with Children About Terrorism
"The extensive media coverage of terrorist attacks, violence, conflict, and war in the international community means that many children these days are aware of world events as they unfold. Parents are faced with the challenge of explaining traumatic violent events to children". https://www.psychology.org.au/psychology-topics/talking-to-children-about-terrorism/
So begins an article in the Australian Psychological Society Journal intended to provide adults with strategies that prepare us for questions children might raise about the events of the past few weeks. The age of the child and the exposure that they have to images and discussions of conflict will naturally influence their feelings of safety and security. An understanding of age-appropriate conversations and perceptions is addressed within the article.
The final strategy is: "Practise forgiveness and acts of kindness". What a delightful statement! It can direct us to intentionally look for stories of hope and kindness within the media or the local community. It might inspire students to want to create their own acts of kindness especially for those in need. As a parent/carer you might consider building a regular time with your child to reflect on the good things in their day, or create a gratitude journal or thank you cards; the possibilities are endless. These ideas are not designed to negate the terrible suffering that the victims of violence experience but to help create pathways of hope and kindness that result in better well-being outcomes for all.
If you have any concerns or further questions, please contact leadership or myself. Raising healthy children takes a whole school community. In the face of suffering and terrorism we can be examples of forgiveness and kindness for the benefit of all.