Star Kids is a mixed-methods action research project comprising empirically-informed development and delivery of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) courses targeting enhanced inclusion and future employability of children aged 5-17 years, who are in residential care and/or benefitting from LEAP! community centres in the Maltese Islands. The early stages of the project comprised research using questionnaires with a sample of the targeted minors, as well as focus groups with minors and their families/carers and related professionals. Multivariate, content and thematic data analysis informed the development of the ICT courses.
The research process revealed that engagement with resilience by participating children, families/carers and professionals included access, competence, purpose and responsiveness; whilst identified limitations were not necessarily related to the children’s residential care status or necessity of services provided by LEAP! centres. These included experiences common to many living in 21st century societies, such as stress, difficulties with time-management, work-life balance and the need to stay updated with ICT developments. The development of Star Kids ICT courses capitalized on the identified resilience and targeted vulnerabilities as opportunities: in the short-term for ICT teaching and learning; in the medium-term and long-term, for enhanced inclusion and employability.