Woody Boyce

Faculty of Education and Arts, School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Supporting school transitions in out-of-home care in the Central Highlands

Many Victorian children are unable to remain safely in their family homes and are living in Out-of-Home Care (OOHC). The number of children residing in OOHC in Australia is growing, which is particularly concerning due to the cohort’s experience of poorer outcomes including educational participation and achievement. The Victorian government has established eight area partnerships with a shared goal to support better outcomes for vulnerable children, young people, and their families. The current research project is part of the Central Highlands Children and Youth Area Partnership (CHCYAP) and aims to use participatory action research (PAR) to identify and develop more effective “wrap-around” service systems in the region. The project will contribute to local knowledge and practice by (1) obtaining accurate data about educational pathways for children and young people in OOHC, and (2) identifying, analysing, and updating service system responses to children’s education, from a ‘frontline’ perspective, with a particular focus on school transitions and behaviours identified as ‘difficult’. This presentation will explore why there is a need for this research to occur, and will discuss the rationale for using a PAR methodology to collaborate with industry partners for the research project.

Woody Boyce is supported by an Australian Government RTP Fee-Offset Scholarship through Federation University Australia.