Tool: My Three Houses

Benefits of using this tool

It invites the child and their network to pay attention to:

  • What is going well?
  • What are the worrying things?
  • How would we like things to be in the future?

Suggested materials

Large piece of paper | Stickers | Felt-tip pens, crayons | Post-it notes | Items of memorabilia e.g. tickets from events, etc

Using the tool

Present the child and their network with three blank house outlines or the child can draw their own versions:

  • ‘House of good things’ – Invite the child and their network to work on the first house, the house of good things, using strengths-based questions and prompts. Child and participants can draw, write words on post-its or add objects and memorabilia.
  • ‘House of Worries’ – encourage child and participants to talk about anything that they don’t like, or worry them e.g. times when the child becomes angry, or the child finds friendships difficult, the child has something they don’t like in their care placement etc.
  • ‘House of dreams’ – child and participants are encouraged to consider ‘how we want things to be’ and everyone can be invited to write one thing that they would like to change for the child. This can then lead to action-planning, with everyone identifying how they will each help the child over the next six months.

Download worksheet: Me and My Review – My three houses | Me and My World ReviewEmotions Emoji’s | Big Emotions labels via www.childhood101

Further guidance

This brief video introduces the development and use of the Three Houses Tool as an information gathering tool that can better enable the child’s voice to come through in assessment, planning and review.

This second video shows a role play that’s a little uncomfortable to watch but shows how the tool can be used to promote engagement with children and young people.