Pastoral care is the caring response of people within the school community for each other. It is an attitude, before it is a programme or process. Pastoral Care is an attitude that says, with and without words:
“We are glad you are here. You are important to us. Your contribution means something to us. We believe in you and we are here for you.”
Pastoral care touches all aspects of the school life and all members of the school community. It comes out of the Gospel message of Jesus, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full” and the foundational belief, “We are all made in the image and likeness of God".
Pastoral care is the lived expression of the Catholic school’s ethos; it is how the unique spirit and character of the school is manifest. Foundational to pastoral care is:
- how people relate to each other
- how learning and teaching happens
- how policies are formulated
- how discipline is administered
- how decisions are made
- responsibility shared and life enhanced for all.
Pastoral care integrates the academic, social and religious dimensions of the school curriculum to promote the development of the whole person.
- Schools should have a Pastoral Care Committee
- Evaluating the quality of the care within the school by using the evaluation tools Signs of God’s Presence and Fully Alive. Plans to enhance the care and support of the school and community based on these findings need to be included in the School development Plan
- A policy on care and support should be part of the school’s portfolio or included in the safety and security policy or the HIV/AIDS policy.
If you need help for your school, contact the Pastoral Care Unit for assistance in the development and implementation of your pastoral care programme.
Click here to download "The Journey of Hope: Creating a Network of Care for the Children of Luckau Village" booklet to see some of the work that the Pastoral Care Unit does.
During 2012, health screening was undertaken in 7 schools in the Eastern Cape/KwaZulu-Natal region with an average of 75 children screened on each day. Prior to conducting the health screening process at each school site, the regional manager visited the schools involved and explained the process. Consent forms were distributed and collected before health screening began. Parents, SGB members and Health care workers were invited to assist on the day. CIE formed collaborative partnerships with the Department of Nursing Education at Wits University and the South African Optometric Association (SAOA). The work was conducted by volunteer professional nursing sisters, assisted by CIE staff. The Pastoral Care Unit and regional manager are following up with schools to ensure that the children referred to clinics have received treatment. The screening highlighted issues of skin disease, parasites, eye problems, vision and learning problems. The health of learners in the KwaZulu-Natal schools had improved since the health screening took place in 2010. It was noted that nutrition in both regions was adequate.
To read the field diaries from the first week of the 2012 visits, click on the following links:
- Day 1 - Ongeluksnek Junior Secondary School
- Day 2 - Hardenberg Junior Secondary School
- Day 3 - Farview Junior Secondary School
- Day 4 - St Theresa's Primary School
To see a gallery of the day of testing at Hardenberg, click here.
The CIE will be returning to the same schools in May 2013 in order to track the progress of the learners and to continue the health screening process. New schools in the Uitenhage area in the Eastern Cape will be added to the programme in early June.
Caring Schools Programme
CIE has been supporting the most vulnerable children in Catholic Schools that are Public Schools on Private Property (PSPP) for more than 7 years. This involves the promotion of caring schools and the distribution of grants to identified learners to support their material needs to stay in schools. Currently CIE supports 23 rural schools with a total of 2543 beneficiaries from Limpopo, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape.
To supplement the grants, CIE encourages the Pastoral Care Committees to broaden their ‘Circle of Care’ by forming strong links with local businesses, community service providers and government departments. We also encourage schools to establish food gardens so as to sustain their pasotral care programmes.
From the beginning of 2012, the CIE Pastoral Care Unit began to use the Participatory Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPM&E) methodology so as to increase participation in all aspects of its programmes. This methodology has enabled schools to evaluate their pastoral care programmes, share ideas and expertise through parallel learning.
What are the benefits of the Caring Schools Programme?
- Improved access to education and a better chance to perform well at school;
- psychosocial support to learners and teachers;
- better care and improved self esteem;
- a strong ‘Circle of Care’.