OK so I hope I don't offend anyone so I'll apologise in advance lol
Many chaplains have just a counselling cert, (I have some inside knowledge being part of the P&C) which is 12 months. Some have a youth work TAFE course, which is 2 years.
The issue is, particularly with the counselling cert, is it counselling skills and that's it. To be a good counsellor is more than just understanding the principles of counselling, like open and closed questions, agendas and reframing. You need to understand the dynamics *causing* the issues at hand.
In a social work course we cover many modules on counselling, but also on child protection, multi culturalism, disability, drug and alcohol, research. So we aren't just taught the mechanisms of conducting a session but a deep insight into many more integral factors... and of course this goes for psychologists too.
Of course I'm bias lol and I hope I don't come across as elitist, but there is a huge difference between a 12 month counselling cert or youth work and social work or psychology degree.
Then there is the issue of their directive to not bring religion into it. Why therefore, employ chaplains instead of SW's and psych's?? The govt is being foolish employing religious people in a *kind of * religious position (thus the term chaplain) then expecting their views don't filter thru? The reason??? cost. While SW's are horribly paid for their experience and credentials, the govt plays chaplains even less, and since they aren't 'clinicians' they can argue they only need 5 hours a week instead of 20 bc they aren't doing clinical work.
Get rid of the chaplains and put in fully qualified people without a religious agenda. That isn't a stab at religion, just an opinion from a social worker that thinks the chaplaincy program is a poor substitute.