A mobile phone app that was first rolled out in Perth and Kinross could save social workers millions of pounds as well as “free” them up to do other jobs, it has been claimed.
Momo (mind of my own) is being used by around 60 local authorities in England, with their Scottish counterparts being urged not to “waste an opportunity” to help time-pressed social workers make better use of “stretched” care budgets.
Perth and Kinross Council was the first Scottish local authority to introduce Momo in August last year, with other councils now set to follow suit across the country.
Momo director Yvonne Anderson, who has worked with young people for 30 years on local and national programmes, said: “Writing up case records is extremely time consuming and we’ve calculated that an average social worker would save about a week of administration time with the help of this app.
“Because children enter their views and emotions directly into the app, reports can be generated automatically, freeing staff up to do other things.
“There’s more than £2 million worth of social workers’ time that could be saved in Scotland – why wouldn’t local authorities want to grab this opportunity?
“It’s a modern solution to an age-old set of problems, and we’d love to see Scotland benefit.”
Fellow Momo director Jill Thorburn, a former social worker and independent reviewing officer, said: “As well as being a boon for the staff on the ground, Momo helps give children a voice.
“It’s easy for them to use, it’s there whenever they need it and it’s an extremely cost-effective way of communicating with those children with the greatest needs in Scotland.”
Jacquie Pepper, head of services for children, young people and families with Perth and Kinross Council, said: “We passionately believe in giving children a voice.
“We’re confident Momo will help us do this and make sure our services are shaped to suit the needs of children and young people.”
The £2 million saving figure is based on a typical social worker with 21 children on their caseload who could use the Momo apps, with each child visited once every six weeks (equivalent to 8.6 statutory visits a year).