Natalie reflects

February 16, 2022

How far we have come

I’m just back from a year of maternity leave when our little boy, Shelby, made his appearance (pictured). I was surprisingly excited to return to work and felt immediately grateful to do so for an agile company that moves quickly, developing our digital participation tools at the speed that our end users (children and young people) require, meeting their biggest need of all, to be listened to. I was delighted to see how much has changed in just one year!

It’s now five years ago though that I joined Mind Of My Own and it feels the right time to take a moment to see how far we have come and celebrate those who have been on the journey with us during that time. It is so important that we keep moving and focused on ensuring our apps are the best they can be for young people.

What’s changed?

When I started there was just the One app with five helpful scenarios to help young people communicate with their workers. We now have 13 different scenarios to cover all aspects of a young person’s life including ‘My Wellbeing’ and ‘Return from Missing’ and the latest, ‘This is Me’. In 2016 we introduced worker accounts which enabled all young people to be heard, even when they were unable to have an email account, or if they had no access to technology. 2017 saw the launch of Express, a tool designed to ensure that younger children and those with additional needs could be heard too. Express was re-imagined in 2021 to make sure that the design and user experience were compatible and inclusive for this cohort of children and young people.The introduction of the Safety Link in 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, provided an additional safety net for services to help safeguarding. It allowed children to alert their social workers when they felt unsafe, even when isolating at home. In regular co-production sessions with workers we have developed and redesigned the service portal to allow services to create meaningful reports that change practice.

Growth

Continuous improvements and developments in our implementation programme and training have ensured incredibly high customer retention rates with some in our community celebrating their 7th anniversary with us already. From 20 services using our digital tools in 2016 we now have a thriving community of over 400 services.Thank you to all those who stayed with us over the past five years (some even before that) and for embracing all the changes! We love working with you!  

Look out for Natalie’s next blog on tips for returning to work after maternity!