Action for Children celebrate a year with Mind Of My Own

July 11, 2018

Do you know what is special about this week for Action for Children’s Rights and Advocacy service in Bolton? 
It’s been exactly 12 months since they first received a Mind Of My Own statement from one of the young people with whom they work. Happy Mind Of My Ownversary! 

Action for Children

Action for Children Bolton is an independent children’s rights advocacy service, which supports young people who are looked after by the local authority (including those placed out of borough), subject to child protection plans and children and young people with disabilities. 
Although a small team, made up of only five workers (some of whom are part-time) they are supporting 26 children in care and 25 children who have child protection plans. There are 27 young people who regularly use Mind Of My Own to let them know their views.

How they compare

Out of all services using Mind Of My Own this little team were the top for performance this quarter. We regularly compare performance against targets set during implementation. These are based on the size of the service. In only the last three months children and young people have used Mind Of My Own 87 times in this service, which is amazing! Well done!
Cara Holden, Mind Of My Own lead says “Young people have engaged positively and are keen to use the apps. This is demonstrated through the number of documents we receive.  They like the fact that they can use it any time rather than wait until a meeting or a visit from their social worker.  They feel empowered and in control and taking ownership of the content of their statements and who they wish to send them to.  Additionally, some young people are choosing to  use their One app on a daily basis as a diary. They enjoy the flexibility that the app provides”.
One young person has signed up and actively used Mind Of My Own many times, mainly to support her looked after children reviews when she hasn’t been able to attend.  Her issues have been addressed and as a result so she has gained trust in Mind Of My Own.  This young person has shown a great level of understanding of what Mind Of My Own offers and how it can support each individual. Through using the OneApp app with Bolton local authority, this young person has increased her links with our service, including being  involved in the making of our Mind Of My Own video from start to finish.  She also takes part now in Mind Of My Own ‘floor walks’ with social workers and IROs, as well as becoming a peer mentor for our Mind Of My Own service.   
If you haven’t seen Action for Children’s brilliant video about Mind Of My Own, watch it hereit captures the views not only of young people, but of carers and professionals alike. 
Mind Of My Own has helped workers as well as young people. Using the apps has made the process smoother for advocates as it ensures that children and young people are prepared in advance for their statutory reviews and their wishes and feelings are already known by key members of the meeting, such as, social workers and IROs.  
“Using Mind Of My Own has also made case closures easier to complete with young people, as we are withdrawing one service but at the same time they have the safety net of Mind Of My Own.”  
“It also helps the team be more efficient in time management allowing  focussed direct work to take place in shorter time frames.”
Sarah Tootell, Children’s Services manager reports, “Using Mind Of My Own helps increase numbers of young people that the service reaches.  It helps use raise our profile our in Bolton. The team have worked in partnership with Bolton Council to promote and support young people to use Mind Of My Own. It has made caseload management easier due to the shorter turnaround time from referral to closure.”
“Mind Of My Own helps us deliver greater capacity than we could with just the team, this means that children and young people receive an enhanced service which meets their needs and allows them to engage in a way that they are comfortable with.”  – Carol Iddon – Acting Chief Executive, Action for Children. 
Well done to the whole team at Action for Children Bolton. We look forward to see where you go next with your Mind Of My Own journey!