Based within the former Faculty of Communications and Creative Industries, the Smart Communities research group engaged in applied research into integrated government services and regional networked neighbourhoods to support children and young people at risk.
The main focus of the study explored the way information and communication services, as well as life choices available to children and young people at risk, could be enhanced and improved through the integration of government technology and support services within an effective community networked digital neighbourhood.
A common understanding of the term 'at-risk' was developed for use across intervention agencies involved with the children and youth 'at-risk'. It was anticipated that the agencies would be able to target their resources to where it is most needed, whilst providing increased levels of benefit in more efficient and effective ways. A key outcome of this research was to increase collaboration and information sharing between agencies to provide services to at risk children or youth, and people in general.
It was hoped that a tool would be developed for the community, which could be used to improve opportunities and educational outcomes for students at risk. The use of new media will allow people greater access to information about themselves and their families from a wide range of sources, including state and federal government departments as well as community support agencies. Media, such as the Internet, is used to widen access to services and resources to remote areas. Increased access to information and services will improve the life choices available not only to at-risk children and youth but to all students in the pursuit of life-long learning.