MELVILLE council has axed funding for the YouthCare chaplaincy service.
The city has backed the program since 2011, offering $10,000 for chaplaincies in Melville, Applecross, Leeming and Rossmoyne senior high schools.
The council says it made the cuts after surveying young people, who identified bullying, anxiety, relationships with family and friends and body image as major issues.
The council believes the money previously going to chaplains could be better used if spread across a range of support agencies.
YouthCARE, which has had chaplaincy services supporting schools in the area for more than 25 years, says no chaplains will lose their jobs and any shortfall in funding will be made up through extra fundraising.
However, reduced funding for Melville council will place extra strain on volunteers and churches to make up the shortfall.
A parishioner from Kardinya Uniting Church says the congregation has done a lot of fundraising for the local chaplains and are “very annoyed” by Melville’s decision.
Melville Senior High School principal Phillip White, has just appointed a new full-time chaplain and says the school has not been affected.
“We value and will continue to support the program despite local funding cuts,” he says.
“They play an important part in our well-resourced support program.”
Melville council’s most recent donation to the chaplaincy service was $10,000.
by JAYDEN O’NEIL