Robotics programming kids for leisure
Children in out of home care (OOHC) in Australia are an unknown equation in relation to higher education. At present no Australian university collects enrolment data on students to see if they have previously been in care therefore there is no way of knowing the success of attending or completing higher education for a student who has been in the OOHC system. Children in the OOHC system are children under the age of eighteen years of age who the government has assessed at risk and in need of protection, by the state government (Australian Institute of Family Services, 2015). In 2009, a survey of education outcomes for 200 children and young people living in non-relative foster care and residential care in Victoria found that 23.7% had repeated a grade at school, 60.2% experienced a change of school, 18.1% did not attend school at all, 30.8% had wagged school in the past year and 14.7% of children surveyed had been suspended (Wise, Pollock, Mitchell, Argus & Farquhar, 2010). The University of Western Sydney aimed to address this very question by working with children in OOHC. In 2012, the KiC (Kids in Care) program was developed by the Western Sydney University to raise awareness and facilitate educational and career aspirations of children and adolescents in OOHC. Western Sydney University was aiming to address the increased university participation gap of children in OOHC through the use of leisure. At the core of the KiC club was the use of robotics technology facilitated through leisure education. Whilst the program has proven to be successful in the short term, the full outcomes of the program will not be known until the oldest KiC member reaches the age of university enrolment.