In My Shoes


In My Shoes* (IMS) is a computer assisted interview which uses images, sound, speech and video. 

The program was developed by Rachel Calam, Antony Cox, David Glasgow, Phil Jimmieson and Sheila Groth Larsen. The Department of Health and the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester supported the development of the program. The current version was completed with support from the Instone Bloomfield Charitable Trust and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.


IMS helps professionals communicate with children, young people and vulnerable adults about their experiences, including both positive and adverse events or relationships, for a variety of purposes, including:

  • experiences in family or other care settings
  • assessment of the likelihood of significant harm and neglect
  • assessment and planning about a child’s rehabilitation to their birth family
  • gathering a child’s wishes and feelings about being fostered or moving to an adoptive family
  • communicating about pain and discomfort, past or present, including children in hospital
  • assessing the needs of a sibling group
  • engaging adolescents who find face-to-face interviews challenging


  • The In My Shoes programme uses images, sound, speech and video
  • A trained practitioner assists and guides the child through a structured interview
  • In a series of modules, children are encouraged to share information on their experiences, thoughts, feelings and wishes – e.g. about different people at home and in educational and other settings
  • Suitable for PC (minimum Windows XP) or Mac (minimum OSX.3) with printer and additional mouse or trackball


  • Easy to use
  • Promotes the child’s engagement, rapport between the child and interviewer, and communication
  • Enables the interview to be structured, systematic and clear
  • Avoids leading questions
  • Suitable for use in a wide range of circumstances, including interviews with children:
    • who may have been abused
    • have difficulties expressing emotions
    • are hard to engage
    • have developmental delay
  • Maximises opportunities to address sensitive areas
  • Enables children with learning disabilities or hearing impairments, using the program tools and with support from a trained adult, to communicate their experiences and feelings
  • Generates extensive and detailed records, and pictures for later discussion

Learn more

A one day course is available for trainees who are comfortable and familiar with their computer system and are confident in working, communicating and interviewing with children or vulnerable adults.  For trainees who would prefer more in-depth training on the use of the In My Shoes software and interview skills there is a two day course option available.

Learn more about training for groups of staff in the use of In My Shoes:

Visit the In My Shoes website.

Download In My Shoes Interviewing & Assessment toolkit references.

* Described in detail in Calam, R.M., Cox, A.D., Glasgow, D.V., Jimmieson, P. and Groth Larsen, S. (2000) ‘Assessment and therapy with children: can computers help?’ Child Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, 5(3): 329–343.