Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support programs were developed in 2005 in partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute in Melbourne to address the gap in educational support for kids and young people living with cancer. Today the programs operate in major paediatric hospitals in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, with plans to expand to other hospitals to ensure no child or young person living with cancer is educationally disadvantaged by their illness.
The need for education support for kids with cancer
In 2016, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predicted that more than 800 Australian children would be diagnosed with cancer, while another 5,600 would continue with their treatment.
Young learners with cancer are absent from school for long periods during treatment and recovery, often becoming isolated from their school and friends. Many drop class levels when they return to school and find it difficult to engage with their education.
How does Back on Track help?
Our education support programs enable learners to maintain their education and connection with their school and school friends. They are also supported by a flexible, individual education program that works around their illness and treatment, allowing them to resume their lives as quickly as possible.
Continuity of education for kids and young people living with cancer helps ensure they reach their educational, professional and vocational potential.
The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne
In partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute, Fight Cancer Foundation launched its pilot education support program for kids and young people living with cancer in 2005.
The program helps learners from as young as three continue with their education while they receive treatment for cancer.
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
In 2006 Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support program expanded to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and is delivered in partnership by The Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute.
The program provides individual and group sessions to engage kids living with cancer.
The Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick
Fight Cancer Foundation and The Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute expanded the reach of the Back on Track education support program to The Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick as part of the Sydney Hospital Network.
The program was officially launched in August 2015 by Fight Cancer Foundation patrons Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman.
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide
Back on Track launched in 2016 at The Women’s and Children’s Hospital and is delivered in partnership with the Department for Education and Child Development Hospital School SA at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, supported by Team Kids – Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The hospital’s footprint also captures children and young people living with cancer from Northern Territory – ensuring they also receive education support during treatment and recovery.