WELFARE officers have started work at two Wimmera schools for the first time.
Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty said the State Government had paid for officers at Goroke P-12 College and Natimuk Primary School this year.
He said the welfare officer program across Victoria helped schools to develop a positive culture and aimed to combat bullying problems.
"The welfare officers provide support to students experiencing issues which might be affecting their health, behaviour and well-being, as well as helping student engagement by promoting school attendance," Mr Delahunty said.
Natimuk's welfare officer is Mars Drum.
Principal Ingrid Clarkson said Ms Drum's role included promoting school values and positive attitudes to pupils, which helped their self-esteem.
"It's about a set of skills, attitudes and values that are apparent in successful people," Mrs Clarkson said.
"Children become familiar with these areas, practise them and aim to be successful in their lives and schoolwork.
"Having a welfare officer means that children will have a greater understanding of these values and attitudes."
Goroke's welfare officer is Geraldine Walter, formerly the college's primary school co-ordinator.
Principal Joy Forbes said the welfare officer's role covered all year levels.
"Part of Geraldine's role is helping students with their learning and helping to plan programs with staff members for individual students," Ms Forbes said.
"It is an absolute bonus, because it means we now have someone who is free to structure programs to help with student welfare.
"There has been a genuinely positive response from most families, now that we have someone in that role."