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The National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) Project is an ongoing program that is a Commonwealth-funded initiative to provide pastoral support services in government, Catholic and independent schools. The New South Wales Government has been administering this program on behalf of the Commonwealth. The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has Pastoral Care Workers in 33 schools.

The program aims to support students through the provision of pastoral care services and the promotion of strategies that support the emotional wellbeing of students and the broader school community.

Pastoral care is defined in the agreement with the Commonwealth as “the practice of looking after the personal needs of students, not just their academic needs, through the provision of general spiritual and personal advice.”

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is very fortunate to have a dedicated group of Pastoral Care Workers (PCWs) who make an invaluable contribution to the pastoral needs of students in our Catholic schools.

The witness of Christ present among us is evidenced by the work of the Pastoral Care Workers in raising the dignity and worth of many individuals who are experiencing hardship and are in need of special care. These workers provide a visible acknowledgement of the Catholic Church’s Social teaching on a preferential option for the poor. These poor are not always in need of physical support but can often be faced with emotional or spiritual neglect. The one-to-one support offered by a Pastoral Care Worker provides a living witness to the Gospel story of the “Lost Sheep”.

The diocese is fortunate to have the services of a number of religious sisters who also provide pastoral care for students. These sisters have been providing care well before the National Chaplaincy Program was advertised. They work closely with the government-funded Pastoral Care Workers to ensure a consistency of service and diligent attention to the wellbeing of our students. 

To find out more about the pastoral care service offered, please contact your individual school directly to enquire.