“Much preferred by our young people”: How Gateshead Children’s Services are using MOMO

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Gateshead Children’s Services have been using MOMO for five months and this week passed the century mark for both number of statements from young people and number of registered MOMO users. Chris Hulme explains how he and his IRO colleagues are using MOMO for child in care reviews, and how social workers are using it for child protection conferences.

Look out for the following interesting points

  • How a social worker has requested MOMO be used with a child who doesn’t like engaging through other means (1.27)
  • How Chris trained one of the least confident and tech-wise IROs to show colleagues how easy MOMO is to use (1.56)
  • How use of MOMO and the child’s views are being tracked on their case management system (3.07)
  • How Gateshead are doing quarterly reviews of the aggregated issues reported through MOMO (3.38)
  • Use of two referral and assessment team workers to use MOMO to support the social work process (4.48)
  • How Gateshead IROs trialed the use of two iPads in their reviewing processes and are now progressing to whole team roll-out of the devices (5.55)
  • Supporting IROs’ to carry out more visits and use MOMO to support these (6.17)

Thankyou Chris! We’re really looking forward to seeing how you and your colleagues progress with the implementation of MOMO in Gateshead.

MOMOCon 2016: Beyond the basic mobile


Monday, May 9th 2016, 9.30am – 4.00pm

CAN Mezzanine, Old Street, 49 – 51 East Road, London N1 6AH View map


**Lineup announced – see below**


We all face the same challenge of how to integrate digital technology into our social work practice.

The opportunities and benefits are clear: more transparency, more efficiency and more accessible services.

But achieving them is difficult. Most social workers’s hardware and software lacks functionality. When we’re offered better tech we’re so surprised we don’t know what to do with it. Fortunately MOMO and you, its community, has taken on both these challenges and journeyed to the front of the digital social work frontier.

At ‘Beyond the basic mobile’ we will show you how to embed MOMO as a social work tool to build a foundation of good practice in accessible services for children and young people. Inspiring, best practice examples delivered by members of the MOMO community who have gone beyond the basic Nokia will guide the day.


Keynote speakers will warm you up and get you thinking about the main themes.

  • ‘What happens when technology and social care collide?’ Dominic Campbell, Founder of Futuregov
  • ‘Digital innovation in public services’ Mary McKenna, Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology

Rapid ‘How we’re using MOMO’ presentations

  • Jo Mullard, Independent Reviewing Service Manager, Doncaster Childrens Services Trust
  • Jay Williams, IRO, Wiltshire Childrens Services
  • David Hamilton, LAC Service Manager, South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
  • Lisa Carter, Rights and Participation Manager, Birmingham Childrens Services
  • Chris Hulme, Childrens Rights Officer, Gateshead Childrens Services
  • Gemma O’Grady, Participation Manager, Kent Childrens Services


Our session leaders will share best practice and guide you through solution finding workshops.

  • ‘How we improved our MOMO performance’ Lyn Green, Participation Manager, Gloucestershire Childrens Services
  • ‘Using MOMO to help young people raise problems and complaints’ Sophie Ellis, Devon Childrens Services
  • ‘Implementing MOMO for the first time’ Joe Roberson, Co-founder, MOMO
  • ‘It’s about the User Experience: how to get involved in improving MOMO’ Manjul Rathee, Service Designer, MOMO

There will be open space and lunch for you to meet other delegates and share your MOMO stories.

And over the course of the day we’ll bring together all our data and learning and deliver it as a live in-conference report.

Attending and booking

This is a free event but is open to Service MOMO subscribers only (max. 2 places per organisation). Book now.

Eventbrite - MOMOCon 2016: Beyond the basic Nokia

New feature: How did the meeting go?

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How did the meeting go

Yesterday we released the latest version of MOMO – v2.2. Web and android apps have already updated to the new version while iPhone/iPad are waiting for the App Store to approve them and should follow in the next 2-5 days.

Here’s what you and your young people will find when you use the app:

  • New ‘How did the meeting go?’ scenario – young people preparing for a child in care review can now say when the meeting is happening. MOMO remembers the date and then after the meeting has happened it offers them the chance to talk about how it went and give some feedback. MOMO does this by emailing the young person a direct link to do it and also by displaying a ‘follow up’ button next to the original meeting statement in their MyMOMO account.
  • CP Conference scenario has moved higher up the home screen – to make it easier to find
  • New sign-up text – MOMO uses bolder, stronger and more inspiring text to guide young people through the sign-up process (if any of your young people don’t have an email address to sign-up with click here).
  • Welcome email – after sign-up users now receive a welcome email with links to download the app
  • Survey has moved – app users are now offered the survey after sending their statement
  • Revised text on all scenarios
  • Lots of small changes based on user feedback
  • Demo MOMO account data removed- all data is periodically wiped from the demo so please sign-up again for your demo account (and experience the funk of the new copy here)

Thankyou always for your support of MOMO. We’ll be active over Christmas so if you need to get in touch do so here.

Have a great Christmas and see you in 2016!

My young person doesn’t have an email address. What should I do?

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need an email

(Download this info as a one page printable pdf here)

As workers learn what to do with MOMO and use of the app steadily grows we hear these words more and more:

“My child is too young for a personal email address”

“They have restricted use of the internet, what should I do?”

MOMO is safe for children and young people

First up, MOMO is a very safe and positive use of the internet. Its use introduces minimal new risks to young people and significantly reduces the risk of not being listened to or not being able to speak up when something bad is happening to them.

But to use MOMO they need an email address to sign up with. This enables them to keep a secure record of their views, reset their password if they forget it, for MOMO to send them a welcome email, and for the app to deliver them notifications.

If they don’t have a personal email address then it needn’t be a problem. Here’s what you can do to open the doors of MOMO to them.

What you can do

Ask them if they have a school email address

Many children in both primary and secondary schools are given a school email address. If they can remember their address then they can use it to sign up to MOMO.

Help them sign up for an email address

Use your judgement as to what is appropriate, and keep the child’s foster carer informed. These are some sign up options:

  • Ghostmail. Takes 30 seconds to sign-up. Its available for absolutely anyone to use, permission free, but we’d still suggest that you or a carer give consent. Very secure.
  • Gmail and Yahoo. Available for all 13-18 year olds. No permission required. Takes 1-2 minutes to sign-up.
  • Outlook. Available for under 13s where they have your’s or a carer’s permission. Slightly longer sign-up process (2-4mins) and you’ll need to enter yours or the young person’s phone number to receive an authentication SMS. Ghostmail is simpler and quicker but you may prefer Outlook because its more well known.

For some children it may be appropriate for the foster carer to control access to the email address by holding the child’s email password.

Use a foster carer’s email

For much younger children it may be appropriate to use a foster carer’s email address.

For young people who have restricted use of the internet it may also be appropriate to use a foster carer’s email address to sign up to MOMO with.

You and the foster carer will be the best judge of what is most appropriate here.

Children not in foster care

If you are working with a child where the parent/s hold sole legal responsibility for them (e.g. you want to use the child protection conference scenario) then depending on the age of the child who does not have an email address then we recommend discussing setting them up with one with a parent.

None of the above?

In the unlikely circumstance that you consider none of the above options to be suitable or you run into a situation where none of them can be used then let us know and we’ll do our best to help. Contact us here.

Download this info as a one page printable pdf here.

I’m a Worker. What do I do with MOMO?

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We’ve been asked this question so many times and by so many keen workers that we’ve written a ‘one-sider’ on what to do. Download it to print here or read on….

pdf iconEvery time you make a decision about one of your young people you need to be sure you’ve considered their views.

MOMO makes it easier, with extra benefits for all.

Good for you…

Use the app to help your young people open up about their views, wishes and feelings. MOMO guides your conversation then creates a clear and dynamic statement of their views that’s easy for you and others to understand and attach to their case records, saving time.

Good for your young people…

The experience of using MOMO with you gives your young people more confidence to speak up, attend meetings and articulate problems. Once they’ve used the app with you they can use it on their own anytime there’s a problem or something they want to change.

Step 1. Become confident: try the demo app

You’ll find it much easier to introduce your young people to MOMO if you’ve had a go on the demo.

We built it especially for you to have a play on. It works on most tablets, laptops and smartphones. You can find it at: app-demo.mindofmyown.org.uk (type this into your browser’s address bar).

Will you prepare for a meeting or sort a problem? Or something else? Prepare your statement then send it to one of the listed workers. Who will you choose?

Step 2. Get a device to use MOMO on

MOMO works on most laptops, tablets and smartphones. Workers in the UK have used it on:

  • Their work laptop or tablet
  • Young people’s laptops and tablets
  • Foster carer’s tablet or computer
  • Residential unit computers

You can do the same. Young people can sign up on one device then log in to use it on any.

Step 3. Use it with your young people

Reap the benefits of MOMO in your casework.

Which of your 8-18 year olds will you visit next? When you visit, sign them up to their own ‘MyMOMO’ account. Then use MOMO to guide and focus your conversation about the upcoming meeting or any problems they are experiencing.

By the end you’ll have a statement of their views and they’ll have a ‘MyMOMO’ account they can use to contact you anytime they need.

Download as a pdf here

Your child or young person doesn’t have an email address? Click here.

Faster, Easier Demo App for Workers

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Demo MOMO in Hand
The success of MOMO’s demo app has been quite staggering. Since launching on July 31st a total of 781 people have accessed it

Thats an average of 204 per month.

Most of these will have been workers trying the demo out so they can more confidently introduce it to their young people, or foster carers checking the app out before their children use the real one.

Making the demo easier to access

So we had the demo app hidden, a little, behind a ‘htc access’ popup box. Just to make it clear that it wasn’t for real use. Well we’ve removed that annoying popup that got in the way for so many of you.

You can now access the demo app directly here.

Or for an even more realistic experience try this…

Use the demo app as Polly or Jamie

Polly is in care. Jamie is subject to a child protection conference. Use the demo app as either of them by clicking here.

Using MOMO for real

Once you’ve had a go on the demo you’re ready to use the real app with your young people.

MOMO works on most laptops, tablets and smartphones. Workers in the UK have used it on:

  • Their work laptop or tablet
  • Young people’s laptops and tablets
  • Foster carer’s tablet or computer
  • Residential unit computers

You can do the same. Young people can sign up on one device then log in to use it on any.

Use it with your young people

Reap the benefits of MOMO in your casework.

Which of your 8-18 year olds will you visit next? When you visit, sign them up to their own ‘MyMOMO’ account. Then use MOMO to guide and focus your conversation about the upcoming meeting or any problems they are experiencing.

By the end you’ll have a statement of their views and they’ll have a ‘MyMOMO’ account they can use to contact you anytime they need.

To learn how to use MOMO even more, sign up below…

The Power of People: How a simple app transformed communication within care settings

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The Health Foundation have today released a film about MOMO and its use by the South Eastern Trust for their Quality, Safety & Experience project. As David Hamilton, our Northern Ireland practice expert would say, “Happy days!”

(David and MOMO appear at 1:20 – 2:05 and at 3:57. The kidney consultant and doctor are also worth watching. Check out their hilarious sign off at the film’s end).

And below is the accompanying article, published 20/11/15 here.

Social workers at Southern Eastern Health and Social Care Trust found a new way to gather the views of young people who are in care, to support decision making at their looked-after-child review meetings. They started using the Mind Of My Own app, as featured in our ‘Bottoms up’ film. Here we look at how the project came about and what was involved.

Senior social worker David Hamilton says that communication is one of the most challenging aspects of children’s social work. ‘We have to find out the child’s view of their new care place, if they’re happy, if they’re settled, their views on school, friendships, anything to do with their lives. But it can be very difficult to just talk verbally.’

Increasing engagement

The social workers were finding that the consultation forms they were asking young people to fill in were only completed for around half of review meetings. They also felt that some questions were leading, such as being asked to identify ‘three good things about school’. They wanted to find a way to get meaningful input from every young person so they made this the focus of a Safety, Quality, Experience project.

The first time they met, the group looked at different ways of asking young people their views. One option they explored was the recently-launched Mind Of My Own (MOMO) app, which was developed with input from young people in care.

‘We all got our phones out, downloaded it and gave it a go,’ explains David. ‘All of us thought it looked intuitive and that the children would love to use it – so we decided to try it.’

Real insights

The MOMO app gave the team a new way for young people to communicate their views to their social worker. ‘It asks the child a number of different questions and they can decide to answer or not… Most meaningfully, it asks them what do you want to change, or what do you want to happen?

David adds, ‘it’s better to get a streamlined view of one thing the child really wants to communicate, rather than a lot of potentially tokenistic communication.’

Trialling the app

The team worked closely with the app developers to make sure it met strict data protection requirements, then chose a project champion to put it to the test. ‘We had really positive feedback from the children, from the social worker and from the chair of the looked-after-child review as well.’

The new way of working was gradually rolled out to other teams of social workers, with a project champion leading the way each time. Early on, social workers had to borrow an iPad from the local hospital, which was 20 miles away. But David says their willingness to make this effort showed how much they valued the tool. Eventually they secured funding to buy iPads for seven social workers to use the app with the young people they work with.

A cultural shift

David believes MOMO has made a real difference to the way social workers interact with young people. Because the answers are sent directly to the chair of the meeting, there is no chance for details to be left out or miscommunicated.

‘We thought it’s most important that the child’s views are there on the table in the most uncensored way,’ comments David. ‘It means we start the meeting with consideration of the views of the child, which is a cultural shift for us.’

New App Features (+ Launch Dates)

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What you want to talk about

Its that quite exciting time again. MOMO’s continuous improvement cycle has birthed another new version of the app.

Here’s what you can expect to see (followed by imminent release dates):

  • Easier, shorter scenarios that focus on what young people most want to say. We’ve trimmed the fat, tightened the belts, and given them a facelift.
  • Change to the ‘Good’ button. Its been replaced by a tick, so its clearer what its for.
  • Expanded profile to include date of birth and ‘status’. No more need for young people to repeat themselves in the statements.
  • New input type. ‘What I want to say’ in the ‘prepare for a meeting’ scenario is easier to fill out.
  • Friendlier text. We’ve rewritten parts of the app for extra clarity.
  • Automatic saving. Statements are now saved as soon as young people complete them and hit the continue button.
  • Many ‘under the hood’ improvements. All part of keeping an app running well.

Release dates

Here’s its availability.

  • Web app: live now
  • Android: likely to be live Oct 22-23
  • iOS: likely to be live Oct 27-29

If you already have the app installed then it should update automatically.


Periodically we need to wipe the data from the demo app. We’ve just done this. So if you have a demo MOMO account you’ll need to signup again. You can access the demo app here.

Next up…

We’re planning to squeeze out another update before Christmas. This is likely to include:

  • More text changes. There’s a few areas needing more work e.g. ‘How I’m feeling’ sections
  • More personalisation
  • Easier to use demo app
  • A couple of new features, details to be confirmed

Thanks for reading. Get MOMO here

We’re Hiring! A Service Designer for MOMO – is this you?

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Tech For Good Service Designer
London, UK

Come and join one of the UK’s most exciting and fastest growing Tech For Good companies.


  1. Shiny laptop to work on
  2. Set your own working hours
  3. Work from home and office
  4. Professional development coaching, one hour a month
  5. Warm fuzzy feelings from working for the good of children in care
  6. Be part of the fun and caring tech for good community
  7. No dress code
  8. Go to one conference of your choice per year, in reach of a budget flight
  9. Work with one of the coolest dev teams around at Neontribe

Salary: £40-50k, depending on experience

The job

Every year 170,000 children pass through the social care system. Many of them will experience a life of chaos, be placed a long way from home and struggle to understand what is happening. For some their experiences of the system will simply compound their trauma.

MOMO is on a mission to solve these problems.

Its two things:

  1. A free, award winning app that helps them speak up, access their right to be heard and take control of their care.
  2. Service MOMO: a package of extra features and support that children’s services can unlock for themselves and their young people.

With 27 local authorities signed up since launch in 2013 and a strong track record of support and investment MOMO is on course to transform the care system by 2020. To help it get there it needs a confident and experienced Service Designer with product understanding and an interest in changing the world through digital powered services.

Working with the Product Manager and Business Director you will take ownership of the continuous improvement of MOMO’s product suite including app, Service MOMO and support packages.

Within this role you’ll be required to bring your design and research skills to the fore, increasing the quality and volume of incoming insights and data, producing new solutions to the challenges faced by product and service, and helping the business make more data-driven decisions.

This will include:

  • user research
  • leading MOMO’s approach to usability testing
  • designing better Service MOMO support for children’s services
  • supporting product design and business decision making

As you might expect, the role will require the ability to work at both micro-content and macro, strategic levels.

Your experience

  • At least four years’ experience in delivering design-led solutions in the form of services, and ideally products too
  • Educated in design to at least degree level (or able to demonstrate a similar level of insight and experience in a related field, from User Experience to Service Design)
  • Experience in planning and leading design projects: managing stakeholders, clients and team members as well as keeping projects on time and budget

You are

  • An innovative and inspirational thinker
  • Visionary – wanting to continually progress what you can do and what we can deliver
  • Deeply focused on user-centred design
  • Able to question and challenge well
  • Able to support and inspire others
  • A strategic thinker
  • Able to manage a fast paced workload
  • Passionate about making a social difference
  • Curious about the application of technology
  • Emotionally intelligent, self-aware, and keen for feedback
  • Enthusiastic about the digital design industry & technology at large
  • An enthusiastic and hands on team player that builds and maintain strong working relationships with colleagues, partners and clients
  • Motivated by a passion for drawing out and driving creativity and innovation
  • Proficient in influencing, negotiating and communicating, in both written and verbal mediums

Role requirements

  • Work solo and in a small, diverse team, while managing relationships with stakeholders, clients and users
  • Plan, coordinate and conduct user research; compiling the results into a series of insights, service opportunities and design principles
  • Plan, organise and facilitate workshops and usability testing sessions: bringing together users and stakeholder to unpick the challenges faced by the service and propose new solutions
  • Create elegant and functional service touchpoints for use in prototyping new solutions
  • Plan and conduct live prototyping of ideas and solutions with workers and end users, refining MOMO’s products and services based on their feedback
  • Communicate and envision service experience concepts and ideas using methods & tools that illustrate all the components and touchpoints of the digital service
  • Gain a deep understanding of people desires, business goals and service performance to unearth unmet needs and innovation opportunities
  • Brief the product manager and developers on your research and collaborate with the development team to create user stories and wireframes
  • Focus on impact and measurable results – nothing gets designed for the sake of it
  • Have a structured and organised approach to work but with the ability to be flexible with shifting priorities and timelines when necessary, performing other role related duties when required
  • Work in partnership with MOMO’s Business Director to support planning, costing to ensure delivery is on time / on budget and mitigates potential risks
  • Champion, explain and demonstrate the design process to key stakeholders, staff, frontline workers and the wider public
  • Work flexibly, sometimes from home, sometimes from our office in Tottenham Court Road and sometimes from customer sites.


If you think you’ve got what we need and you like what you’ve heard, then get in touch. Call us on 07834 364 205 or send a CV and portfolio to hello [at] mindofmyown.org.uk.

Closing date: Noon, Monday 19th October

Interviews: Tuesday 27th October

MOMO Shortlisted for Double Award by Young People & Professionals

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CYP Now 2015 Finalist LogoThere was rather a nice surprise waiting when we checked out the CYP Now Awards shortlist on Friday.

MOMO’s been selected as a finalist by the magazine’s panel of professionals and young people in two award categories. The Children in Care Award and the Advice & Guidance Award.

This is both exciting and unexpected as we thought we’d had our go on the awards trail last year when we won the Advice & Guidance Award. The possibility of winning again is something we hadn’t even contemplated.

Here’s what we said back in June:

“The task and challenge

Since we entered last year’s awards the challenge has been to further develop the app’s functionality and increase MOMO’s adoption by young people, sharing stories of its positive impact so that more workers and young people become part of the MOMO community of users, champions and subscribing local authorities.

What was done

  • New functionality to help children on the safeguarding register contribute their views and feelings, hopes and fears to child protection conferences.
  • More options for young people to send their statement to a wider range of professionals.
  • App security: 6 months of behind the scenes security work to make MOMO’s security system world class and compliant with ISO27001 international standard for data security.
  • 213 hours of face to face time with local authorities, staff teams and children in care councils

How it was done

  • An unprecedented second grant from the Nominet Trust to help the app grow and reach financial self-sufficiency (we are on target!) enabling more investment in app development and backend security.
  • Growing Team MOMO with a product manager, service designer and more testing with Surrey users.
  • 27 visits to local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, inspiring them to join Service MOMO.
  • Further user research with children and young people in Devon and foster carers across the country.
  • Regular consultation with user groups in Surrey, Gloucestershire and Northumberland and consultation with child protection advocates in Brighton and Cambridgeshire

The contributions of partners

Surrey young people continue to test the app and have helped develop a pathway planning scenario. All our 22 Service MOMO subscribers are considered partners and regularly suggest app and service improvements.

Results and outcomes

  • 574 uses to prepare for a meeting (71% LAC reviews), 151 uses to get a problem sorted (formal and informal complaints) and 149 uses to request a change to care plans. The app has now had 5112 downloads and web app uses and 13 more local authorities have signed up to Service MOMO (note, this data has since changed. See update here.)

  • In one local authority engagement in LAC reviews increased from 54% to 100% (n=76) when offered use of MOMO. Ed Timpson has cited MOMO at the APPG as an example of innovative practice, it was selected for 2015’s International Forum for Quality and Safety in Healthcare and has had 2 films made about it.

  • It’s too early to be able to measure the long term impact of MOMO but anecdotal evidence from a range of local authority children’s services shows that use of MOMO saves workers time, increases young people’s engagement and improves relationships between them.”

The awards will be given out in London on November 26th. We’ll be there and who knows, we might even win another one…