Minding Yer Promise: How we empower Children’s Digital Participation in Scotland

February 15, 2021

If your work is related to Scottish social care you will likely already have had lengthy discussions about The Promise over several Microsoft Teams meetings.

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

At the very-core of Scotland’s promise to its children in care is Voice:

“Foundation: Voice
Children must be listened to and meaningfully and appropriately involved in decision-making about their care, with all those involved properly listening and responding to what they want and need. There must be a compassionate and caring decision-making culture focussed on children and those they trust”

The Promise, pg. 13

Here at Mind Of My Own we continue to be absolutely delighted by the Scottish approach to digital participation! We’ve been passionately campaigning about children’s digital participation for years.

“At Mind Of My Own we believe that every child should be able to give voice to their lived experience – and be heard…  Our ambition is for all children’s voices to be heard and we carefully co-produce all our apps with young people: these are two of the reasons why Mind Of My Own is the trusted app for children’s services.”

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And, like us, those clever people at the Independent Care Review have identified that children are digital communicators (and increasingly so).

“Digital Tools:
Scotland has the ability to support the development of innovative digital tools that reflect how children communicate and allow greater ownership and control of information so official narratives reflect their story, not just the facts the system holds about them… Scotland must be committed to the development of digital tools that incorporate the principle of information ownership. These digital tools must operate at a scale that allows care experienced children and young adults to have control over their information and how it is shared.
The Promise, pg. 36”

We’re happy to share our expertise in this area – we know a thing or two about co-producing digital participation tools.

All it requires is expertise in digitally-coproducing with young people over dozens of development cycles, several years of development and reiteration, and upwards of £1million in development costs. Here are our Ten Top Tips for successful design.

Luckily for the Local Authorities and non-profits across Scotland working with us already we’ve handled the whole messy process of digital participation design for them. Our Scottish community works with us to continually improve our apps and make sure children are heard.

We would encourage any Scottish care providers not already working with us to ContactUs@MindOfMyOwn.org.uk and find out how we are supporting Scotland’s commitment to the development of digital tools.