Charity uses app to help children in care express their feelings

The app aims to help social workers gain a more regular insight into the emotions of children in care.

Joe Lepper | 18th Apr 19

Action for Children is to use a mobile and tablet app to help children in care let their social workers know how they are feeling.

Looked after children supported by the charity will be given access to the app that has been developed by technology organisation Mind of My Own.

The app, which has been co-designed by children and young people, enables children to share worries and concerns they have directly with their social workers, who will be able to more regularly assess children’s wellbeing and happiness.

It uses child-focused language and design to help young people share thoughts confidentially.

The UK wide roll out of the app by the charity follows a pilot by Bolton Children’s Rights Services last year.

“We’re constantly seeking to find new ways to support and communicate with vulnerable children and young people, especially those who we look after,” said Action for Children’s National Director John Egan.

Safe and effective communication

“Tech can get a bad press, however, we’ve found that Mind of My Own provides safe and effective ways for children in care to powerfully use their voice and share experiences with our staff and others who work with them outside formal meetings,” Egan continues.

“Feedback so far has been hugely positive and our staff are finding the communication invaluable. Children who have sometimes struggled to discuss difficult issues are now using the app to start a conversation. The apps will complement, not replace, our face-to-face work.

“At Action for Children, we hope to use the Mind of My Own data to track themes and issues which will help us develop and adapt our services to the needs of the children and young people who need us most.”

Mind of My Own director Jill Thorburn added: “It’s fantastic to be working with such an established and forward-thinking organisation as Action for Children to help the children and young people they support.

“We’re driven by our vision of ensuring all children’s voices are heard. Staff can’t always be there 24/7, but Mind of My Own can.”

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