Student wellbeing support program

What are the funding arrangements for the Student Wellbeing Support Program 2018-2020?

The Student Wellbeing Support Program 2018 – 2020 is a 3-year program to assist schools, working in partnership with their local community, through additional funding for a student wellbeing support officer to support school wellbeing approaches.

The NSW Department of Education will provide annual funding to schools of $7,000 to engage a student wellbeing support officer. Schools must contribute $7,000 and source $7,000 from the community. Schools and communities may choose to contribute more than $7,000.

Schools complete an application process. If the application is successful, the school will be notified and required to provide evidence of school and community funding before departmental funding is granted to the school. If evidence is not provided, or funding cannot be sourced, the application will become invalid and departmental funding will not be released to the school. Confirmation of community funding is not required until the school receives advice that its application has been successful.

Successful schools are required to participate in annual reporting and program evaluation. This may include:

  • Confirmation of satisfactory service by the student wellbeing support officer at the end of each year
  • Confirmation that the school contribution of $7,000 is available for the following year
  • Confirmation that a community contribution of $7,000 is available for the following next year

What is the role of the student wellbeing support officer?

While the key tasks of a student wellbeing support officer will vary depending on the needs of individual school communities, they could include:

  • Working closely with, and/or as part of the school learning and support team or wellbeing committee and delivering student resilience and wellbeing services.
  • Supporting the social and emotional wellbeing of students.
  • Developing relationships with, and referring students to specialist services within the school or externally, under the supervision of the school principal.
  • Attending Parents & Citizens’ or equivalent parent body meetings as required to provide details of the program and the services that are available.
  • Facilitating community partnership programs between the school and the wider community, under the supervision of the school principal.

What are the minimum requirements of a student wellbeing support officer?

Student wellbeing support officers must meet the following conditions:

  • Accept that participation by schools and students is voluntary.
  • Respect, accept and be sensitive to other people’s views, values and beliefs.
  • Comply with state laws and policies in relation to child protection.

Minimum qualification requirements

The minimum qualification is a Certificate IV in a relevant discipline for example, Youth Work, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, or an equivalent qualification. The qualification must include competencies in ‘mental health’ and ‘making appropriate referrals’.

Additional requirements for school chaplains

In addition to meeting the standard minimum qualification requirements, a chaplain must not proselytise.

Chaplains are to be recognised by the school community as having the skills and experience to deliver school chaplaincy and pastoral care support for school students.

Chaplains may be from any faith. A title other than chaplain may be used, if the title is appropriate to the religious affiliation of the individual.

Chaplains do not provide religious education or perform religious services or rites in their schools.

How do schools apply?

For details on how to make an application, email swsprogram@det.nsw.edu.au

Applications will be assessed against criteria that include:

  • Demonstrated need for a student wellbeing support officer based on the school’s planned approach to student wellbeing
  • School location, community vulnerabilities, total enrolments, Aboriginal enrolments and existing student wellbeing services
  • Specific details of how the student wellbeing support officer will support the wellbeing needs of students
  • School commitment of $7,000 annually for 3 years
  • Community commitment of $7,000 annually for 3 years
  • Priority will be given to schools that do not receive National School Chaplaincy Programme funding or Flexible Funding for Wellbeing Services.

How do schools engage a student wellbeing support officer?

Schools have the option to engage a chaplain or youth worker to fill the role of student wellbeing support officer based on what best meets the needs of their students.

Student wellbeing support officers must have a minimum qualification of certificate IV in a relevant discipline. The qualification must include competencies in ‘mental health’ and ‘making appropriate referrals’.

Schools may choose a student wellbeing support officer from the prequalified panel of external providers. Schools that choose to engage a school chaplain are required to use this prequalified panel.

Schools that choose to employ a youth worker may also choose to use the prequalified panel.

Alternatively, schools may choose to employ a youth worker under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013.

If schools want to use an external provider and are unable to source a suitable provider on the prequalified panel, they will have the opportunity to source a provider who may then apply for prequalification.

External Providers

The school and the provider sign a standard funding agreement provided by the department that outlines their roles and responsibilities.

The external provider will be responsible for the administrative processes associated with the employment of a student wellbeing support officer (chaplain or youth worker), such as:

  • Perform recruitment and selection of a student wellbeing support officer in consultation with the school principal. The school principal must give their endorsement before a student wellbeing support officer is engaged for the school.
  • Certify that the student wellbeing support officer is not a prohibited person under any child protection laws and will agree to undergo any screening as required under these laws and/or by policies of the department.
  • Monitor the student wellbeing support officer role, in consultation with the school principal
  • Provide ongoing professional development for the student wellbeing support officer
  • Replace a student wellbeing support officer if the student wellbeing support officer is unable to remain with the school
  • Arrange relevant insurances (e.g. workers compensation)
  • Pay general administration fees, audit and monitoring compliance fees and administration/support staff costs.

Providers invoice the school for four equal and upfront payments at the beginning of each term. The project agreement allows for the provider to use up to 20% of the total funds invoiced for related administration costs.

It is expected that $21,000 should provide a minimum of 400 hours of service a year.

Direct employment

A youth worker can be employed as a temporary employee to fill the role of student wellbeing support officer under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013. The school will be responsible for:

The award agreement for a youth outreach worker can be accessed in the department's industrial relations webpage (intranet only).

Contact details

For further information contact:

Student Engagement and Interagency Partnerships
Email: swsprogram@det.nsw.edu.au

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