Definition of Chaplains Assistant:
In the exercise of pastoral care of prisoners, Chaplains within a particular centre may discern the need for persons other than approved Chaplains to enter the Centre to assist the chaplain in his / her role by providing a specific service such as assisting in facilitating a bible study, or assisting or conducting a Church service on a Sunday.
A chaplain’s assistant, then, is any person who enters into the correctional centre on a regular basis to assist a chaplain in the running of services, programs etc.
This definition is not intended to include visits of a “one off” or irregular nature such as Christian bands and singing groups. Such visits are better handled as specific requests as they occur.
The appointment of chaplains assistant is the responsibility of the denomination / organization concerned, and no application to the State Chaplaincy Board is required. However, prior to appointing a resource worker the denomination / organization concerned shall through its chaplain at the centre:
- Request a standard security check of the person by the centre concerned using the departmental Request for Security Check form;
- Advise the chaplaincy team coordinator of the intention to appoint a resource worker and provide him / her with personal details of the resource worker, the nature of the role he/she will fulfill, and the details of proposed attendances at the centre (e.g. day of the week, frequency, length of time in the centre.)
- Request in writing the approval of the General Manager of the centre for the appointment, providing him with the personal details of the resource worker, the nature of the role he/she will fulfill, and the details of proposed attendances at the centre (e.g. day of the week, frequency, length of time in the centre.)
- Ensure that the resource worker undergoes whatever induction training the centre may deem appropriate.
Chaplains assistants are not chaplains, and therefore will not normally be issued with QCS ID cards. Although the chaplains assistant will have undergone a security clearance the board requests that such persons normally be escorted by a chaplain wherever they go within the correctional centre, and refrain from any activity other than that for which they were approved to enter the centre. However, if a chaplain is not available, chaplains assistants may enter a centre unescorted by a chaplain in order to conduct services and programs provided that the General Manager of that centre has given approval. Under such circumstances the resource worker is not to engage in any chaplaincy functions other than the service or program for which the approval has been granted.