1. Each lecturer at the Institute has a general duty of pastoral care for the students in his or her classes. The lecturer is the most likely person on the staff to notice students having difficulties and to be the person a student may feel confident to speak to. A general duty of pastoral care may involve such things as: being available to answer student questions; initial response to critical incidents in student’s lives, e.g. bereavement; marriage breakdown; taking note of learning difficulties; establishing a welcoming and caring relationship with students.
In some cases, where no conflict of duty exists, and the lecturer believes he or she is competent, the lecturer may be the right person to help the student.
In other cases, where either party discerns a conflict of duty, a process of referral should be followed.
2. A panel of three Institute staff members should be established to act as the first point of referral of students experiencing difficulties. One or other of the panel may be approached, as deemed appropriate by either student or lecturer, to facilitate the required assistance.
The tasks of the panel members would be:
• to act as a referral point in the first instance for students experiencing difficulties;
• to decide whether the student is able to be assisted from the resources available at the Institute itself or whether the student should be referred to appropriate other person or body.
• to arrange the referral of students where necessary to the appropriate other person or body.
• to determine the limits of the Catholic Institute of Sydney’s duty of care to students in each particular case.
3. By an arrangement negotiated between the University and the Institute, Australian Catholic University Campus Ministry and Counselling will act as the appropriate first point of referral for all those cases that the panel decides would be beyond the Institute’s own resources.
Campus Ministry and Counselling will in turn refer on any student who it discerns is in need of more specialised assistance.
The Institute will bear the costs only of those services provided by Campus Ministry and Counselling and only to the extent determined by the panel member who refers the student in the first instance.
Issued by the President: 24 July 2003