Michelle Wallace, Participation Officer with Coventry City Council writes that John Gregg, director of Coventry’s children’s services, could see how beneficial Mind Of My Own was for children’s views to be heard, so when they came to re-commission the apps in October 2019, he made sure they added the new scenarios ‘Return from Missing’ and ‘My Education’.
Michelle picks up the story:
Statements from children in their own words
Prior to this, when we were visiting family hubs to carry out training, many workers were discussing how difficult it could be to engage young people in return from missing interviews. They felt that if we had return from missing with Mind Of My Own then children and young people might be more likely to use one app in their own time to share information with their worker. The apps could help them verbalise their feelings so that their worker could provide the right sort of support. When workers see statements from children in their own words it convinces them that the apps are effective and one of our main strategies is to gain feedback from both children and workers and share that throughout the service to promote use.
Charlotte, a social worker who used ‘return from missing’ fed back:
It was very useful. At first the young person refused to speak with myself and they had their head in their arms on the desk. However, they were happy to engage when they had to complete the Mind Of My Own work.
The young person found it very straightforward and it most certainly did help them to share information with me as prior to using it they did not wish to engage at all.
The information that was gathered through the app has been useful and has contributed to discussions with the parents, young person and the edge of care team.
For us, the great thing is that Mind Of My Own captures the child’s views in their own words rather than relying on the interpretation of the adult to put across their perspective. Mind Of My Own enables the raw, unedited words of the child to be heard and that has a powerful impact on decision making.
Find out more in the long read by Michelle: Participation and safeguarding during COVID-19