What makes the Ommej app unique?

The Ommej app is free for all children and young people and can be downloaded where apps are available or used as a web app on the computer. In the app, children and young people can answer research-based questions about how they feel in all areas of life. The result is a comprehensive knowledge base of children's existence and growing up environment, social environment and other contexts based on their own perspective.

The app is continuously developed together with children, young people, parents and professionals in various activities and disciplines (see on the website who Ommej collaborates with). Ommej always starts from the child's perspective and new areas are added when necessary, e.g. if from new research reports or if any new risk is identified in children's lives, or society. 

The app has a dynamic and intuitive user interface that adapts to each individual child. Ommej is therefore not a digital survey, but the right questions are asked, to all children. Ommej can be used for an individual child but also for large groups of children such as classes or entire schools. In group invitations, children can be anonymous and aggregated data is compiled automatically. 

Ommej's algorithms enable the app to adapt to each child and their unique environment, situation and mood. By giving the child the chance to tell about their entire holistic perspective, a better collaboration is made possible for the children and young people who need support. Collaboration means that various actors involved in the child's or young person's life work together to provide support and help based on the child's or young person's needs. It can, for example, involve collaboration between parents, school, social services, health care, leisure activities and other bodies that may be relevant to the child's or young person's situation.

A holistic perspective means looking at the child's or young person's life and situation as a whole, where all aspects of their life affect each other. It is about not only focusing on a problem or a difficulty, but looking at the whole situation and trying to understand which factors affect the child or young person and their life. It can be about factors such as family relationships, social relations, school environment, health and finances, and how these factors interact and influence each other.

By collaborating around children and young people and seeing the whole holistic perspective, you can create a better understanding of their situation and needs, and thus provide more relevant and effective support and help. The research shows that when children become involved and listened to early in meetings with adults, adults understand the child's basic problems more quickly and the right interventions can be given early. 

What are risk and resource factors in children and young people? 

Children and young people's risk and resource factors need to be mapped in order to meet the individual child in the best way. Children are born with different conditions to meet and master experiences in life. What differs is, among other things:

  • The child's personal characteristics.
  • The parents' ability to be good enough parents.
  • The family's social and financial resources.
  • Peer contacts.
  • Experiences of preschool and school.

The child's conditions will affect the child's life, health and development in a more or less comprehensive way. The child is influenced by relationships and conditions at different levels, such as the own family, preschool, peers, social relationships and support outside the family, as well as prevailing culture, legislation and overall societal factors in general.

The Ommej app maps risk and resource factors in the child himself, in his family and in his immediate environment, i.e. the whole child's perspective. Risk factors and resource factors are factors that can affect the health, development and well-being of children and young people.

Resource factors

Resource factors can be defined as the factors that increase a child's opportunities for good adaptation and development, despite challenges and problems. Protective factors refer to conditions that have been shown to increase the child's resistance to stress or dampen the effect of risk factors. Resource factors provide conditions for promoting children's health, preventing ill health and assisting when a child shows symptoms. Examples of resource factors can be:

  • A supportive family and social network
  • Good self-esteem and self-image
  • Encouragement and support from adults such as teachers, mentors or coaches
  • Access to training and development opportunities
  • Good physical health and access to healthcare
  • Positive and secure life experiences, such as having a loving home environment. 

Risk factors 

Risk factors are factors that increase the likelihood that the child will develop problems and difficulties. Studies show that there are various factors such as individual vulnerability of the child and factors in the child's environment that can lead to an increased risk of problems and deviations in the child. Examples of risk factors in children and young people can be:

  • Parental alcohol or drug abuse
  • Poverty and social vulnerability
  • Mental illness in parents or in the family
  • Negative or violent parenting
  • Deficits in education and development of social and emotional skills
  • Traumatic events such as abuse, violence or the loss of a parent

How do risk and resource factors affect each other? 

Research has shown that there is not a simple linear relationship between the number of risk factors and the outcome of an individual child. Instead, the relationship is cumulative, which means that the simultaneous presence of several risk factors increases the risk of developmental problems. Furthermore, there is not always a clear causal relationship between a specific risk factor and a specific outcome.

Presence, duration and number of risk factors all play a role in how they affect a child's development and health. The more risk factors there are around a child, the greater the risk that their development and health will be negatively affected. If there is a small degree of change over time, it can also cause the problems to accumulate and worsen over time.

Why do we need to identify risk and resource factors?

Identifying all of the child's risk and resource factors is important because it provides a holistic picture of the child's situation and can help discover the root causes of any problems or challenges the child may have. By understanding both risk factors and resource factors, you can get a more nuanced picture of the child's life situation and thus more easily identify the fundamental problem.

By identifying the fundamental problem, one can then work on finding solutions that actually help the child and contribute to improving their life situation. If you only focus on a single problem without taking into account all the factors that affect the child, you can miss important contexts that can be decisive for solving the problem in a sustainable way.

It is also important to identify both risk and resource factors to avoid stigmatizing children who may have problems or challenges. By focusing only on risk factors, it is easy to see the child as only a problematic person instead of seeing them as an individual with both strengths and weaknesses. By also identifying resource factors, you can show the positive sides of the child's life and thus strengthen their self-image and self-confidence.

It is important to identify and manage risk factors in children and young people, while working to promote resource factors to promote their health and well-being.

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