The Primary Welfare Officer Initiative is designed to enhance the capacity of schools to:
- develop positive school cultures
- support students who are at risk of disengagement and not achieving their potential.
Funding is currently provided to approximately 800 eligible schools with primary students to employ a primary welfare officer, which may be an existing staff member, or new staff member.
Primary welfare officers promote a whole school approach to health and wellbeing within the school community and work in collaboration with:
- students and parents
- school staff – including principals, teachers, aides, specialist staff, nurses and student support services officers
- broader community agencies.
The initiative complements and extends existing programs that enhance student health and wellbeing, engagement, retention, academic achievement and the acquisition of life skills.
The Victorian Government’s current priorities for the initiative are to tackle bullying and support students with behavioural, mental health and welfare issues.