Developing a digital tool for increased participation in child assessments (Dig-Child)
The purpose of this project is to increase children's participation in child welfare investigations by introducing a digital tool that children can use under the process of the investigation.
Raising children's participation in conversations and investigations in the municipal social services is necessary for all involved parties, especially for the children who are the focus of the work. In many cases, it is difficult to create a good working environment for social services, but regardless of the matter, the best interests of children are that they can make their voices heard. This innovation project may increase the very sense of control and influence over their lives that children often are deprived of in child welfare settings, by inviting children to co-develop the ‘digital ‘assessment plan’.
New knowledge will be generated also about professional meetings and children’s participation in child welfare settings in which the proposed digital tool will be used. This interdisciplinary project consists researchers from social work and computer science. Five phases of testing are planned, and three studies with separate data collections are included with school children, service users and documents. Year 1 the researchers will develop and test the application together with children in a school context. This will generate data about child-friendly assessment plans. In order to develop an application for the child welfare setting and integrate service users’ perspectives in the applications as well as research, as a next phase, children placed in foster care will participate trying out the app and being interviewed by their earlier experiences of child welfare investigations. Year 2 the application will be used in a small sample of child welfare investigations. Year 3, the child welfare investigations in which the application is used will increase and an analysis of assessment with and without usage of the application will be undertaken.