The ICT for LAC Project aims to ensure that every Dudley Borough Looked After Child has access to a computer and internet at home where appropriate.
It promotes the safe and effective use of computers and the internet by looked after children and their carers and so helps raise the educational attainment of looked after children.
A support worker provides support, advice and training to carers and children. This includes a regular updates, guidance notes, workshops and general advice relating to computers and the internet.
Carers are encouraged to develop confidence in using computers and the internet which, in turn, enables them to support young people to use their computers effectively.
The Project identifies, co-ordinates and advises on various initiatives to help achieve its aims:
In the past it has offered foster carers a computer installed with a package of educational software, and a printer. Many of these computers, provided by RM, are still being used by carers and children.
About 120 laptops funded by the Computers for Pupils at Home Scheme were provided to looked after children of secondary age in 2008-9.
Many children looked after by Dudley MBC received computers funded by the BECTA Home Access Scheme (2009/10).
The Pupil Premium has been used to purchase laptops and other devices for many looked after children and young people.
A number of Kindles and Sony eReaders were provided to young people under a scheme to evaluate the value of these devices to support children's learning. The report of this scheme will be available late in 2012.
It facilitated Computer Club for Girls (CC4G) for a number of looked after girls. The Club is not currently active but may run again in future.
It provides ongoing support and advice to staff and children in Residential Units in the Borough.
The Project has been developed with and supported by the Dudley Foster Care Association, Dudley Council Children's Services Directorate ( formerly Social Services and Education and Lifelong Learning) and the Dudley Grid for Learning (DGFL)/Research Machines (RM) Partnership.