Resolution breakdown:

Student Wellbeing Counsellors

Following the release of the 9th Annual Congress Report 2014, we're breaking down the seven resolutions driving VicSRC advocacy into bitesize snapshots for the year ahead.
Next up: Student Wellbeing Counsellors.

Student Wellbeing Counsellors

Content complied by Sam Ilobuchi, Qais Sadat, Sammy Chapman and Sabrina Bassal. Republished with permission via Connect Magazine (209, October 2014).


What is the Student Wellbeing Counsellors resolution?

That the VicSRC advocates for the government to provide extra student wellbeing counsellors for secondary schools and equivalent places of learning when requested for by schools. 

Why does it matter?

Every single student should feel safe and secure while at achool as well as outside school. The VicSRC Exec team of Qais, Sammy and Sabrina share this vision but acknowldge that it's not done as easily as it is said.

Did you know...

The issues around student wellbeing counsellors and cuts to welfare coordinators have been making news:

Demand for school social workers at 'catastophic level' | The Age, November 18 2014

"The ratio of social workers to students in Victorian schools is blowing out from the recommended one worker to every 500 students to 10,000 and higher.

"Student Support Services Officers – psychologists, social workers and speech pathologists – say they struggle to deal with everyday student issues, let alone find time to work with some of the state's most vulnerable students."

Schools to lose student welfare officers under chaplaincy program | The Age, November 4 2014

"Ms Robertson has become the public face of the Abbott government's decision to restrict the funding of the program to faith-based chaplains from next year, an edict that will  cost hundreds of student welfare officers nationwide their jobs.

"Victoria will be the worst hit.  It has secular welfare officers working in 246 schools - more than any other state or territory."

What's next?

The team is employing strategies to achieve optimum results. This includes reseach into the state of student wellbeing and its support in schools throughout Victoria, and gathering case studies to bring to the attention of key decision makers. The team is also considering developing a resource which could potentially redefine how student wellbeing is approached at school - keeping in mind the importance of incorporating student input into this resource and into views on effective student wellbeing support. 

A student-led resource could not only improve approaches to student wellbeing at schools but also ensure that students have a sense of safety when approaching their student wellbeing counsellors. It woul dalso identify other avenues available that students could utilise - and hopefully create a safer environment for students at school.