Get Paper MOMO!

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Paper MOMO jpegYou can now offer or ask your young people to complete a paper version of MOMO’s ‘Prepare for a Meeting’ scenario anytime they have a review or other meeting.

When sent, by post, to young people before their meeting Paper MOMO is good because:

  1. it gives young people who have limited access to a device or computer a friendly option for expressing their views
  2. it introduces the app to them at a crucial moment in their care cycle, when they need most help to speak up and when expressing their views can have the biggest impact on their care.

Paper MOMO also comes with a foster carer invite letter template that you can customise and send to foster carers before their child’s meeting.

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I’m an IRO. Please help me use MOMO!

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MOMO Guy with My MeetingYou’re an IRO. You’ve heard that MOMO can help you and your young people.

You’ve heard how sitting down and going through MOMO with them can increase their engagement and contribution to the review process.

You’ve heard how MOMO saves you time, with no notes to write up, an easy to read statement of views that you can simply attach to case files.

And you’ve heard how it helps you fulfil your statutory requirement by strongly evidencing the child’s views, wishes and feelings.

But you’re not sure how to get started using it with your young people. You don’t have a mobile device to show it on and sometimes you don’t even get to see your young people until minutes before their review! (more…)

4 Ways You’ve Told Us MOMO Helps Your Social Work Practice

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If you’re a worker on the social care frontline you’re most likely interested in how MOMO can help the children and young people you work with.

That’s great. So are we. It’s MOMO’s main mission.

However, through researching your experiences we’re starting to understand the app’s social work benefits for you as social workers, IROs, PAs and other professionals working with children and young people.

Let’s look at these together.

1. MOMO saves you time

Because when a MOMO user creates a statement of their views and sends it to you, you immediately save time writing up their views and adding to their case file. This is especially relevant if it’s before an important event like a LAC Review or Child Protection Conference.

When Irene the IRO received Angel’s MOMO statement she could see her views at a glance and was easily able to attach it to her case file.

2. It fulfils a statutory requirement

Because when you receive a statement you’re immediately evidencing inclusion of the child’s views. This fulfils part of your social work duties and the requirements of the Children Act to consider their views, wishes and feelings in any decision.

When Sarah the Social Worker received Jamie’s statement it was easy to understand his views on school and to see where they could be accommodated in his revised care plan.

3. It improves engagement both ways

Because when you use MOMO during a 1-1 meeting it makes it easier for you and the child to engage with one another. Instead of you having to lead the conversation about how they are doing, MOMO guides it for you. This liberates you to get more alongside them, increasing the flow of the conversation, and avoiding stiltedness or the need to ask a series of required questions. Meetings become easier, more productive and you feel more satisfied in your role.

Mark the Social Worker arranged for Hannah’s foster carer to make a laptop available for his meeting with Hannah. Together they went through MOMO’s ‘Prepare for a Meeting’ scenario with Mark allowing MOMO to lead and prompt her. Hannah found it easier to talk about her views, wishes and feelings while interacting with the app. When they came to the section on family contact Mark was able to ask her to explain how she felt about it while Hannah talked and typed into the app.

4. It improves your relationships

Because when you use it alongside them it creates an opportunity to build trust and deepen your relationship. This could be simply because when they clearly state their views you understand them better. Or it could be because the app has provided a third point of focus in your meeting, allowing you to focus more on engaging and building rapport and empathy than leading an info gathering process.

After using MOMO with her social worker Hannah felt like he better understood how it felt for her to not be seeing her younger brother. She felt more optimistic about his ability to make the right decisions for her. She felt like she might actually be able to trust him like she wanted to.

Now its your turn…

Do you have any good stories about how MOMO has benefited you as a worker?

We’re always interested to hear about your experiences. If it’s a good story we’ll publish it on this blog. Get in touch here.

New Safeguarding MOMO For Children With Child Protection Conferences

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MOMO’s just undergone its biggest update since launching in 2013.

New features include: two new scenarios, more choice of people and services for users to send their statement to, and even better security so local authorities can be sure that MOMO offers at least as much security as their own IT systems.
Here we explain how and why we made the second new scenario: Prepare for a Conference. You can see it below. While it can be used by children and young people independently, we think it is best used with a worker.
Please note that this scenario is a bit different to others. It is only available to children and workers in areas using Service MOMO. Users will also need to be signed into a MyMOMO account to use it. Its fine for workers to set up their own account to use with children they visit.

Why we made the Prepare for a Conference Scenario

Because of your feedback. You said that MOMO’s generic prepare for a meeting scenario didn’t quite ask the right questions in the right way. Questions needed to be more geared towards signs of safety and the needs of children who had never had a conference before. We agreed and made this new scenario our development priority.

What we did

We worked with child protection advocates in Brighton and Cambridge to create user stories that went like this:

  • As an 11-15 year old I want to feel that I have a say in my conference because its about me and my family
  • As a 7-10 year old I want to feel that its ok to talk about the things that scare or worry me
  • As a social worker I want a hand to help young people communicate their views before a CP conference
  • As a Child Protection Conference Chair I want to make sure that the child understands why the conference is happening and that their views are clearly understood by all and included in any plans
  • As a manager I want to know how many young people have used MOMO for their conference and if they feel it was helpful.

From this we drafted the scenario and checked it out with safeguarding managers in two other Service MOMO areas, just to be sure that it matched the way that they currently ran conferences.

It did. All good.
This is what it looks like. Once you’ve filled it in you can choose who to send it to in your area.
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What we’ll be doing next

The scenario is live and ready to use now! Its also what’s known as a ‘beta version’. This means that we’re publicly testing to see how it an be improved further. We’re really interested to hear from young people, social workers and CP Chairs about their experience of preparing for a conference with MOMO. If you think of some feedback then get in touch by email or contact form.
The scenario is live on android and iOS versions, and on MOMO’s web app here.

New MOMO To Help Care Leavers Take Control of Pathway Planning

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MOMO’s just undergone its biggest update since launching in 2013.

New features include: two new scenarios, more choice of people and services for users to send their statement to, and even better security so local authorities can be sure that MOMO offers at least as much security as their own IT systems.
Here we explain how and why we made the first new scenario: Planning for Adulthood. Or scroll down to view the whole scenario.


What Have Hurling And MOMO Got In Common? (+Video)

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Hurling & MOMOWhat happens when MOMO wins a local award and then that local organisation gets selected for an International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare?

We go visit of course!

Last week I went to meet David Hamilton, MOMO’s first Irish champion, to catch up on his team’s progress with the app and learn about the Irish sport of hurling!

David’s Story

David is a senior social work team leader in his early 30’s. He works in pne of the South Eastern Trust’s Children and Families Team (Northern Ireland’s authorities have merged their health and social care teams). 15 months ago he was introduced to MOMO by an ex-colleague from VOYPIC.

You probably know the rest. David trialled MOMO by using it face to face with young people, found it increased participation in LAC reviews from 54% to 100% and won, with colleagues, the South Eastern Trust’s Quality and Safety in Innovation Award.

But here’s some useful facts you might not know:

  • Before David’s success with using MOMO in this way we were unsure about it. We thought young people would prefer to use it on their own (we were wrong!).
  • He got his first iPad by borrowing it from his local hospital (he had to travel 20 miles to pick it up!).
  • MOMO is now being used by three Children and Families Teams who have 7 iPads between them.
  • Each time David gets a financial stipend with a student social work placement on his team he buys the team another iPad.
  • David is a Hurler – he plays the world’s fastest and most dangerous sport!
  • David used to work for VOYPIC (Voice of Young People in Care), Northern Ireland’s voluntary sector organisation for children in care (MOMO straddles the bridge between social work and independent advocacy).

Before we parted we shot this short video where David explains how its streamlined their process of involving young people in reviews and raised the participation rate to consistently over 80% (the figure is higher but David needs to check his service’s stats for the official figure):

The Rest of Northern Ireland

David came with me to show practitioners and managers from the Belfast Trust how MOMO works. He was able to speak with more authority than me! We’re hoping that they come on board MOMO.

I was also able to meet with staff from the Northern Trust in Antrim before making the trip over to Derry to meet managers from the Western Trust. MOMO was enthusiastically received in both areas so fingers crossed that they adopt it too. On the way back I stopped to watch a hurling training session near Altahullion.

Finally I met up with Alicia Toale, Assistant Director at VOYPIC. As the main advocacy and participation provider in Northern Ireland they will be an important part of any work that MOMO does in the country. They already feel like a new partner.

We really enjoyed meeting so many people interested in and committed to MOMO. If you or your service would like us to visit too then get in touch.


(Update: here’s David and Team’s poster at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare.