Mind of My Own project pilot results

20 November 2019 - Published by Evite van Winkoop
Suffolk County Council strongly believes that in order to provide the best services for children and young people, it is better to co-produce services with them, rather than de¬signing the services that we as a Council think young people want. The young people that use and are affected by Children and Young People’s Services (such as fostering, adoption and being in care) are highly unlikely to engage with the Council on any channel other than those they choose themselves. We quickly understood that for us this meant smartphones as channels and apps as potential platforms. With this in mind the Suffolk’s Children and Young People’s Services directorate undertook a trial of the Mind Of My Own apps.

Mind of My Own went ‘live’ in Suffolk in June 2017. When launched, the tool was initially aimed at Child in Care (CiC) and Local Social Care teams. The Mind of My Own apps enable children and young people to share their views, feelings and feedback directly with their worker in an easy and accessible way. 3 x 2hr face-to-face training sessions were delivered by Mind of My Own to a small number of team representatives.

As a result of the declining use of Mind of My Own, the decision was made in June 2018 to ‘relaunch’ Mind of My Own in Suffolk. Since then a number of steps have been taken to raise awareness of Mind of My Own and to improve the number of worker accounts, child/young person accounts and the number of contacts/ documents from children and young people.

Steps that have been taken:

  1. Agreement to roll out to additional teams, including Leaving Care;
  2. Mind of My Own Champions Group established, to:
    • Support colleagues in signing up and using Mind of My Own
    • Guide the development of resources for workers
    • Share their experiences and feedback from children and young people
  1. Worker guidance reviewed and currently being updated – to be circulated to staff by end November 2018;
  2. Creation of data dashboard to monitor use of Mind of My Own;
  3. Inclusion of Mind of My Own information in appropriate training, including learning sessions for social work students and for newly qualified social workers;
  4. C2C (Customer to Customer) agreed to carry out a survey with children & young people using Mind of My Own;


We can see that just 12.5% of workers used their worker account between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019, to create either a One App (to communicate the views of young people) or Express App (to communicate the views of children with additional needs) statement with a child/young person.


Young Person Accounts

Reporting from Mind of My Own shows that at end of June 2019 there were 72 Young Person (live) accounts. However, we can see from One App data that 102 individual young people have used their own account to create and send a One App statement to their worker.

In the two years since its launch in Suffolk, Mind of My Own has enabled a total of 182 children and young people to share their views, feelings and feedback via the One App.


Next Steps

Despite attempts to increase use of the Mind of My Own apps, through face-to-face training, awareness raising with managers, creation on Champions to support colleagues, and improved monitoring and reporting, the number of workers and children and young people using the apps has remained low. Feedback was gathered from senior leads and workers that had used the apps alongside children/ young people. This feedback showed that Mind of My Own did not work for the young people. Children/ young people prefer to communicate the way other children do using the usual communication channels. As a result of the low usage and the feedback from children, young people and professionals, as well as significant funding pressures, the CYP Directorate Management Team agreed in August 2019 to not renew the contract on September 2019.