Minding Yer Promise: Children should never be hard to reach.

March 11, 2021

Illustrative diagram detailing the 4 pillars of The Promise in Scotland of family, voice, care, and people

‘The Promise’ is a 124-page commitment for care-providers in Scotland to do better by our care-experienced children. It’s the result of an ambitious ‘Root and Branch review’ of Care in Scotland and is built on a bedrock of 5-core foundations. You can read our analysis of the Scottish Care Review here.

Mind Of My Own’s goal is to empower all young people the opportunity to have their voices heard. According to Scotland’s Care Review ‘The Promise’:

 “Services must be easy to access and must always try harder and be more creative in their listening” (The Promise, pg. 32).

In our last post about The Promise we shared how, through co-production, our apps enable young people’s participation to be both accessible and creative. Mind Of My Own ensures that all young people regardless of age, ability or nationality are supported to express their views, wishes and feelings.

“The voice of every person with care experience must be heard in their care journeys, with real weight given to their wishes in line with the UNCRC.” (The Promise, pg. 32)

Mind Of My Own was founded on upholding the UNCRC and the core principle that all young people have a right to have a say about the decisions about their own life.

“Scotland must make particular effort to understand and act upon quieter voices, including infants and nonverbal children and those with learning disabilities. No group should ever be considered ‘hard to reach’”. (The Promise, pg. 32)

The Express digital participation tool was specifically co-produced with young people with additional needs to ensure that their views can be uniquely captured in a way that suits them best. Express has been used with children as young as 2 years of age and in conjunction with Makaton. Both of our apps also feature ReciteMe technology which allows young people to tailor both apps to their unique needs. Watch this video about Express enabled a 4year old’s views to be evidenced in a court report:

“Scotland has a responsibility to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children with some Local Authorities in Scotland receiving a significant number. The Care Review has heard from them and their carers about the particular difficulties they face in navigating a complex system. Children who arrive in Scotland have often faced significant difficulties and trauma in leaving their home and in the journey to Scotland.” (The Promise, pg. 65 )

We know that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are often the most vulnerable and few have their views meaningfully heard. Our apps can be translated into over 100 different languages and also have text to speech functionality so that young people can speak up in the language they are most comfortable using.

“A significantly greater effort will be required to ensure the meaningful participation of people with lived experience in decisions about their own journey, and to inform relational policy and practice. Lived experience must directly and consistently inform continuous quality improvement with a rich qualitative as well as quantitative evidence base.” (The Promise, pg. 37)

We also know how important qualitative information is for young people and how important it is for it to be evidenced on young people’s case records. Our statements are saved as PDFs and allow young people’s views to be evidenced easily and clearly. This is best left to the powerful blog post that one of our Account Mangers Cameron, who wrote:

“access to something like the One app would have made a difference for me. To have been able to express myself knowing people were listening. Knowing that my journey could have been less of a rocky one. Knowing social services would have been able to spot the early warning signs of my imminent violent placement breakdown and been able to step in earlier”. You can read more here, as we know that there is, “No substitute for lived experience”.