Last year Mind Of My Own embarked on their 2020 project, Included And Safe. Two new features, the Recite Me toolbar and the Safety Link, which notifies organisations immediately if any child or young person is feeling ‘unsafe’ ‘scared’ or ‘unhappy where they live’ combined to make up Included and Safe. They turned out to be a lifeline for young people and children during the pandemic lockdowns, and propelled Mind of My Own to being a finalist in the safeguarding category for the upcoming Children & Young People Now awards 2020.
Luke is 10 and lives with his foster parents in the south east of England. He has autism and complex learning needs that mean he struggles with reading some words and lacks confidence in difficult situations. At the beginning of lockdown people were worried about Luke and his supervising social worker signed him up to a Mind Of My Own One app account. He was able to access the One app through the desktop at his foster parent’s home and used the text-to-speech function on the Recite Me toolbar to help him navigate around the app. Two weeks into lockdown Luke filled out a ‘My Wellbeing’ statement and sent it to his supervising social worker. Luke reported feeling ‘sad’ and ‘unsafe’. The fostering service picked up this information on the same day as his name appeared in the Safety Link. Luke’s worker was then able to go and meet him outside in his garden. Luke usually finds face to face conversations very hard but he was able to eloquently write in his statement that his foster dad was getting drunk nearly every night and hitting him and his mum all the time. The worker had a printed copy of his Mind of My Own digital statement with her so Luke didn’t have to do much talking to start with. Immediately she was able to reassure Luke that everything would be ok. This meeting then led to a much longer and meaningful conversation about what else Luke is feeling during this difficult time, how his wellbeing is and where he usually feels at his happiest. Luke’s statement was used at the panel hearing and he was moved to a more appropriate placement.
Mind Of My Own builds apps to make sure all children and young people have a chance to have their voices heard. This helps children and young people to be kept safe and healthy.