The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations is seeking expressions of interest from community groups to take part in the controversial School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program, which is being expanded to an extra 1000 schools from next year.
Earlier this year the Government expanded the scheme to include secular welfare workers, introduced minimum qualifications for new and existing chaplains and welfare workers and set benchmark standards for service providers. The complaints management process has also been overhauled.
Schools in regional areas, and in disadvantaged communities have been prioritised in the new program, while grants for schools in remote communities have been increased to
$24 000 a year for three years, while other schools are eligible for funding of $20 000 a year to engage a welfare worker or chaplain.