What is a Chaplain?
Chaplains contribute in a voluntary role to the pastoral care network of the whole school. Chaplains seek to provide a safe, professional, confidential presence for the school and community. Whilst they are personally committed to Christian values and beliefs, they show respect and sensitivity to the values and beliefs of others. The chaplain will not impose religion on anyone or promote any particular denomination or church group. They are conscious of personal dignity and appreciative of diversity.
Chaplains can do any or all of the following:
- Get alongside a student in a non-judgement manner and encourage them to work through their issues so they generate constructive solutions.
- Work with students struggling with peer pressure, self control, or authority issues.
- Support children with learning needs.
- Assist staff/children at times of illness, grief or personal difficulties.
- Great listeners.
- Able to relate to a wide range of people.
- Understand and provide confidentiality.
- Approachable, flexible and adaptable.
- Non judgemental in their approach.
- Understanding of school policies.
For a person to be registered as a chaplain with the Lifewalk Trust they must:
- Complete the Lifewalk Trust chaplaincy training programme.
- Complete the police vetting process.
- Abide by the Lifewalk Code of Expectations.
- Abide by the local school policies.
What does a Chaplain do?
A chaplain provides a confidential, listening ear to the whole school community. They are a friend of the school who is non-judgemental and supportive.
Chaplains can provide professional programmes and services to their school, such as Interactive Drawing Therapy, Seasons for Growth, Roots of Empathy, and Mentoring.
A chaplain ‘walks alongside’ people, is empathetic and caring.
Code of Expectations for Chaplains
A Lifewalk Chaplain is a safe, professional volunteer presence in the school; it is a privilege to be welcomed into a school and therefore we expect all Chaplains to abide by the following Code of Expectations:
- Become a Lifewalk accredited Chaplain by
- Completing the 5 module training course, Read More…
- Undergoing Police Vetting every 3 years,
- Complete Church Endorsement every three years,
- Attend 5 supervision groups annually, and
- Attend a Professional Development workshop on an annual basis.
- Carry out the duties of a Chaplain. These duties will be agreed in discussion with the school, but broadly speaking the role of a Chaplain is to be a supportive presence, listening ear and caring adult in the lives of the school community, as agreed upon between the school representative and chaplain.
- Abide by all policies and procedures of the school in which they work.
- Abide by all policies and procedures of Lifewalk Trust.
- Comply with all relevant health and safety and other laws applicable to the school environment in which they work.
- A Lifewalk Chaplain must show respect and sensitivity towards each student; regardless of the student’s religious belief, ethnicity, race, or any other prohibited ground of discrimination as set out in the Human Rights Act 1993.
- The parties acknowledge that the Chaplain may not be able to discuss personal information of students with staff at the School, where the student discloses this to the Chaplain with an expectation of confidentiality.
- Despite point 7 above; should a student raise a topic of a serious nature (for example: abortion, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders), and/or should the Chaplain be concerned about a student’s health or safety, the Chaplain must inform the appropriate representative of the school, as per the school’s policies and procedures.
Professional Development is very important to us as an organisation. We want our chaplains to be continually upskilling themselves, to keep current and to offer our schools a high level of understanding in issues pertaining to children and the effect of these issues on their ongoing well-being or ‘hauora’ in education and in life.
Here are some of the current courses/workshops we are actively promoting:
Child Matters – ‘Educating to prevent child abuse’ We have formed a partnership with Child Matters to regularly provide workshops, of which they offer more than 24 specialised topics pertaining to the care of children for example,
- Recognising and responding to child abuse
- Protecting children with disabilities
- Caring for children with difficult behaviours
Seasons for Growth – a peer-based programme helping children cope with change, grief and loss. Visit their website here.
Our chaplains are expected to attend monthly group supervision with other chaplains. This is a requirement to keep our chaplains emotionally healthy, and to keep them connected with their peers and with Lifewalk as an organisation.
Supervision is confidential, informal and overseen by a facilitator, either a trained counsellor or pastoral person.
Please contact us about any supervision queries.