Perth & Kinross Children’s Services have just become the first Scottish service to join Mind Of My Own. They will be using Mind Of My Own with their children and young people to help them express their views and to support their GIRFEC led approach to service provision.
Mind Of My Own supports every aspect of GIRFEC. The two combine brilliantly. But before we get into explaining how, we should probably, for non-Scottish folk, answer this question first…
What is GIRFEC?
GIRFEC stands for ‘Getting It Right For Every Child‘ and is the Scottish approach to supporting the wellbeing of its children and young people.
When children and families need support it tries to make sure that services offer the right help, in the right way and at the right time. At the heart of the approach is a commitment to putting the rights and wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of the services they receive.
Here’s how Mind Of My Own supports the GIRFEC approach, by turning its principles into everyday actions.
The child-focused principle
GIRFEC is child-focused. It ensures the child or young person – and their family – is at the centre of decision-making and the support they receive.
Mind Of My Own supports this principle by helping children structure and communicate their views, wishes and feelings during decision making events and situations. It propels those views, expressed in each child’s own words, into the centre of the decision-making process. When workers use Mind Of My Own they can be more confident that they are focusing enough on the child’s views.
The wellbeing principle
GIRFEC is based on an understanding of the wellbeing of a child. It looks at their overall wellbeing – how safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included they are – so that the right support can be offered at the right time.
Mind Of My Own supports this by helping each child express what they feel best supports their wellbeing, in the words that make sense to them. Its app-based scenarios do this across a whole range of areas from emotional health to physical health to their education. It even helps children consider and express what they’d like to change about the support they are getting.
Early action principle
GIRFEC is based on tackling needs early. It aims to ensure a child’s needs are identified as soon as possible, so as to avoid bigger concerns or problems developing later on.
Once a child has a OneApp account they can express their needs and, in particular, any problems, anytime they need to. That’s 24/7. It gives them a way to raise issues and ask for help before problems get worse. When workers use Mind Of My Own during needs assessments they get a better insight into how life is like for each child.
Joined up working principle
GIRFEC requires joined-up working. It is about children, young people, parents, and the services they need working together in a coordinated way to meet their specific needs and improve their wellbeing.
Mind Of My Own supports this by delivering the child’s views, verbatim, to their workers. It increases the flow of information from the child to the worker, creating a written record that can be shared as needed. This in turn enables smoother coordination of their support.
For all children principle
GIRFEC is for all children and young people because it is impossible to predict if or when they might need extra support.
Mind Of My Own supports this by being non-dependent on a child having a particular status or social care label. It has both specific and universal elements and is accessible via phone, tablet or laptop. This means it can be used by all children who have capacity to manage their own account.
For children and young people
Using the GIRFEC principles and Mind Of My Own together means that children and young people will:
- Better understand what is happening and why
- Have been listened to more carefully and that their wishes will have been better understood
- Feel more involved in discussions and decisions that affect them
- Experience a more straightforward and co-ordinated response from the people working with them
When workers use Mind Of My Own and GIRFEC together it:
- Makes it easier to understand each child’s unique needs and put them at the centre of their work – because of the way Mind Of My Own captures each child’s views in their own words.
- Brings a clear and structured process to face to face meetings between child and worker, while also giving the child a tool they can use when the worker isn’t there
- Gives them deeper and more insight generating information about the child’s problems and difficulties, so they can identify needs earlier and assess them more accurately
- Gives them more insights into the particular things that support a child’s wellbeing, as expressed by them, and the conditions or support required to help them reach their full potential
If you work in Scotland
If you’d like a hand with this let us know here.