Design for children and young peoples services

As a member of the service design team I developed new methodologies and tools for co-design and research with children and young people. These were designed to even out the adult/child power dynamics within a co-design environment and encourage the authentic voice of the child and young person to shine through.

 

Some tools were aimed at encouraging children and young people within the co-design space. These included pre-meeting information packs, with an intro video to aid the understanding of consent necessary for engaging in research and co-design, a comic strip and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) cards. Within the co-design space we designed mood cards for children and young people to discreetly let us know how they were feeling. All the workshops were designed around games and fun activities that led towards discovering ways of thinking and understanding the emotional states of children and young people.

This work also included research and co-design with frontline workers to aid meaningful and sustainable approaches to developing services for vulnerable children and young people. We developed workshop prompt cards, allowing frontline workers to deep-dive into significant aspects of our research. We also produced a series of top-tips posters to highlight the best approaches to designing products and services for children and young people.

We also promoted and advocated the development of profiles for frontline staff, so that children and young people could get to know something about the worker they'd be allocated prior to an initial meeting.

I worked with Barnardos 4U service in Southampton to develop protocols for engaging and communicating with children and young people over a WhatsApp messaging service. This was something that hadn't been previously done in any children's service, so it was unchartered territory. I delivered a couple of co-design workshops for frontline staff and managers up-skilling them to journey map the service they were developing. I also did a co-design workshop with children and young people to understand their levels of comfort around engaging with their worker over social media. The outcomes for this were agreed rules of engagement and staff communication protocols for engagement with the children they work with. 

I worked on Barnardo's Core Priority Programme for Mental Health and Wellbeing, delivering a number of workshops in North Tyneside, working with the local authority, early years practitioners, mental health practitioners and teachers. We ran sessions to collect holistic insights across different age groups of children and young people and the ecosystems they live within. The aim is to develop early intervention strategies to curtail the current spiralling figures of diminishing mental health and wellbeing with children and young people across the nation. This is a huge ongoing piece of work for Barnardo's that will continue for a number of years to come.

In my time at Barnardo's I have also delivered a number of workshops to senior management and team colleagues at away-day events.

Tasks included:

  • Developing and delivering multiple co-design workshops, working with people from a wide range of demographics and areas within Barnardo's.

  • Synthesising large amount of insights and data into readable and accessible formats.

  • Producing insights reports.

  • With colleagues, developing methodologies and tools for research and co-design with children and young people, including preparation videos, social stories, specific creative workshop activities to promote relaxed engagement, staff profiles to introduce workers to children prior to meetings, workshop prompt cards for staff, top tips posters for staff.

  • Mentoring junior members of the team.
     

Outcomes:

  • Co-design and up-skilling of frontline staff and managers within children's services.

  • Co-design and research with children and young people to develop greater understanding and quality of insights.

  • Improvement of services, designed by and for children and young people.

  • Facilitating the authentic voice of children and young people and making sure they are heard.

  • Facilitating senior management to adopt more people-centred and evidence-based approaches to the services that they wish to develop.

Client:

Barnardo's

Project dates:

Nov 2018 to Aug 2019

Category:

• Service design

• Social design

• Research

• Facilitation

• Design for print

• Creative direction

• Storyboarding

Top-tips posters for frontline staff and management, to highlight the best approaches to designing products and services for children and young people.

These are 'signal cards' that we designed to be used in co-design sessions with children & young people.

They're aimed at the facilitation of non-verbal communication for young people who may find it difficult to express themselves when engaging with an adult they don't know.

One of many tools and methodologies we've developed to build trust and comfort levels when co-designing with children & young children, ultimately levelling the power dynamic.

The storyboard for a video aimed at helping prepare children and young people understand consent necessary for engaging in research and co-design with them.

 

The overall purpose of the work is to re-balance the adult/child power dynamics in the space of research & co-creation.

This is one of the user journey maps I worked on with Barnardo's 4U young people's service to trial WhatsApp messaging service to enhance their engagement with the vulnerable children & young people they look after.

The hope is that there will be better engagement, attendance at meetings, trust built quicker and a more meaningful dialogue developed.

This journey map was done for the service on the back of a workshop, where the staff designed the interactions for the service, based on their extensive knowledge and experience.

A workshop I facilitated for Barnardos 4U service in Southampton.

 

The aim was to develop protocols for engaging and communicating with children and young people over a WhatsApp messaging service.

I delivered a number of workshops in North Tyneside, for Barnardo's Core Priority Programme for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

 

These workshops engaged the local authority, early years practitioners, mental health practitioners and teachers.

The aim of then sessions were to collect holistic insights across different age groups of children and young people and the ecosystems they live within.

 

The focus is to develop early intervention strategies to curtail the current spiralling figures of diminishing mental health and wellbeing with children and young people across the nation.

I delivered a workshop to senior management to investigate strategies to enable Barnardo's to become a 'learning organisation.' 

I've also delivered a number of fun mini-workshops to team colleagues at away-day events.

This workshop was called 'We start small and build up' and was about jumping into the design process, trying something, iterating and being flexible about how we make things within the teamwork dynamic.