A gift for early intervention
Imagine knowing which children are unsafe or unhappy where they live, which is often the same thing. You can when you help them to constantly share their authentic views, thoughts and feelings with you. We know that early intervention is all about directing interventions at the earliest point of identified need but if you don’t know the need is there you can’t do it. Often the child’s perspective is key. They are very good predictors of the risk they live with. It is their life after all.
Early intervention is absolutely key to making cost savings further down the line. By using Mind Of My Own digital participation tools you can receive high-quality data to target services where they are most needed both to individual children or service areas. Understanding which children are struggling at any given point allows you to intervene at the right time for them. This is key to enabling you to target your constrained resources to exactly the right children at the right time.
Supporting better outcomes for the child.
A My Wellbeing statement was received from a young person working with Early Help who had scaled as 1 in low mood and shared information about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Workers introduced the tool and the young person sent the Mind Of My Own statement to share how they felt. This young person had not talked about how they were feeling or told anyone about their thoughts. When the statement was received, The Early Help team reacted swiftly and was able to put in support and create a safety plan.
Lucy and her family had been known to the worker for some time. There was already a good relationship in place so there was no real expectation of gaining any new information while using Mind Of My Own. After a while of happily chatting through the different parts of the app, she disclosed something completely unexpected to the worker. Upon checking out the detail of the disclosure, it was decided to move Lucy’s case from Child in Need to Child Protection. The worker had been surprised at the disclosure and felt it was due to working in a different way with the child that had enabled them to share this information.
We find that focussing on a screen rather than looking at someone can be helpful when there are difficult things to say. Coventry Social Care Worker.
Why take the child out of child protection?
For some reason, we have not transferred the learning we have from developing participation for Children in Care to those receiving Child Protection services but we should put the child back into Child Protection as this conference chair explains the difference it can make.
It was unanimous that the girl was made subject to Child Protection Plans and her views were identified as the main evidence for the threshold being met by professionals. I have to say, despite having read them several times prior to the conference, I felt very emotional reading out how things have impacted her.
Practitioners tell us that when children are involved plans are more successful and they can see their experience from the child’s perspective. The child’s lived experience is clear which makes them safer, happier and their well being improved. Another important factor is that children become more visible, without needs overshadowed by the adults around them.
Having the child’s view and voice is paramount in the work that we do. This then informs practice, risk assessment and decision making. The children and young people feel a lot more comfortable sharing their feelings and I had some very full and informative answers. Suzie, Social Worker.
So as you can see. As well as improving practice in a range of areas Franklin is most definitely right, time is money and saving both while improving the experience for children is the future.