My Three Houses App

My Three Houses App

Get it on Google Play

PLEASE NOTE: The My Three Houses App is for tablets only, with optimal results on 10” screen devices. We designed it this way as you need the screen space to use the drawing pad feature effectively. It would be difficult to draw on a phone-sized device, especially for children.

My Three Houses helps professionals such as children’s services workers, teachers and child counsellors help children to write, draw and speak about worrying things in their life. Any time a professional needs to talk with a child, this is a fun and engaging tool to use. 

The app is highly flexible, with features that enable it to be used quickly by workers completely new to the Three Houses, and also for those that are already experienced with the tool.


Caseworker Toolbox

  • Brief introduction to the tool
  • How to prepare for a My Three Houses session
  • Signs of Safety framework overview
  • How to use My Three Houses with a child
  • Guide to working with parents and caregivers
  • Customisable questions library for ideas and prompts 
  • Examples of My Three Houses drawings
  • Notes facility
  • Managing multiple drawings and clients
  • Export all drawings, notes and audio you create with the child

Children's Section

  • Storybook: An animated, interactive storybook guides both children and workers through the My Three Houses process

  • A child-friendly animated video introduces the child to My Three Houses
  • A drawing pad to draw and record the child’s Three Houses work. This can then be accessed directly or through the storybook
  • Audio recording facility

Parent's Section

  • Brief introduction to the My Three Houses tool 
  • Introductory video
  • Parental consent form for the child interview
  • Written transcript of introductory video that provides a ‘takeaway’ explanation
  • Examples of My Three Houses drawings done by other children

Workers who are confident in using the Three Houses tool with children can go straight to the drawing board and get started after creating a profile. For workers wanting more support, or perhaps a novel way of engaging a child, the My Three Houses app has an exciting bonus feature. The app presents Bella and Buddy. These two cartoon dog and cat characters provide workers with a guided experience to engage children in using My Three Houses. Buddy and Bella can then be called on to help workers and children during the interview providing prompts and questions to deepen their work.

The app creates a profile for each child, holding session information, permission forms, audio recording and worker notes. These items can be exported out of the app for filing into any professional case management system.

The content of the My Three Houses app has been developed using a “with, not for” design philosophy by Dr Andrew Turnell, co-creator of the Signs of Safety®, and Katrina Etherington, working together with children’s services professionals in the UK, USA and Australia. The initial development of the three houses concept came from work done in New Zealand in the early 2000s initiated by Nicki Weld and Maggie Greening of which Andrew Turnell was an active part.

Funding for the development of this app was provided by the English Government through the 2014–16 Signs of Safety England Innovations Project, involving ten local authorities working to redesign their service delivery, practice guidance, organisational procedures and information management to better support the implementation of the Signs of Safety approach.


If you run into issues while using the My Three Houses app, you can contact us by sending an email to


This app was designed in consultation with children’s services professionals from around the world. Your feedback helps us continue to grow and develop the app to make sure it meets the needs of professionals and children alike. We would love to hear your feedback and requests for features and be a part of future development. To do so please use this link: