Getting it Right for Every Child

Underpinning the Scottish Government’s early intervention agenda, Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) provides a national consistent and integrated approach to supporting children across Scotland, affecting every practitioner working with children and their families.

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Getting it Right for Every Child

Designed to be threaded through all existing policy, practice, strategy and legislation affecting children, young people and their families, GIRFEC is founded on ten core components which can be applied in any setting and in any circumstance:

  • A focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families based on a shared understanding of wellbeing
  • A common approach to gaining consent and to sharing information where appropriate
  • An integral role for children, young people and families in assessment, planning and intervention
  • A co-ordinated and unified approach to identifying concerns, assessing needs, and agreeing actions and outcomes, based on the wellbeing Indicators
  • Streamlined planning, assessment and decision-making processes that lead to the right help at the right time
  • Consistent high standards of co-operation, joint working and communication where more than one agency needs to be involved, locally and across Scotland
  • A Named Person for every child and young person, and a Lead Professional (where necessary) to co-ordinate and monitor multi-agency activity
  • Maximising the skilled workforce within universal services to address needs and risks as early as possible
  • A confident and competent workforce across all services for children, young people and their families
  • The capacity to share demographic, assessment, and planning information - including electronically - within and across agency boundaries

The wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of GIRFEC. The approach uses eight areas of wellbeing, SHANARRI indicators, which represent the basic requirements for all children and young people to grow and develop and reach their full potential:

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Achieving
  • Nurtured
  • Active
  • Respected
  • Responsible
  • Included

The indicators are used to record observations, events and concerns and as an aid in putting together a child’s plan.


Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is designed to further the Scottish Government’s ambition for "Scotland to be the best place to grow up in by putting children and young people at the heart of planning and services and ensuring their rights are respected across the public sector." 

In relation to GIRFEC, the Act will:

  • require local authorities and health boards to develop joint children's services plans, in co-operation with a range of other service providers;
  • require a 'Named Person' for every child; 
  • require a 'child’s plan' where targeted intervention is necessary;
  • create a statutory definition of 'wellbeing'.

The Scottish Government has published a guidance framework document to support the GIRFEC functions in the Act. The document provides a 'contextual background' to the provisions and a proposed outline of the areas and issues which will be covered in the statutory guidance supporting Parts 4 (Provision of Named Persons), 5 (Child's Plan) and 18 (General) of the Act. 

The Scottish Government has since published draft Statutory Guidance for Parts 4, 5 and 18 of the Act. Responses to the consultation can be viewed here. An analysis of views on the draft guidance has also been published. 

The Scottish Government has laid orders before Parliament in order to stop the Named Person provisions which were due to commence on 31 August 2016. An order is required to stop commencement of Parts 4 and 5 of the 2014 Act following the recent UK Supreme Court judgment on Named Person and anticipated changes to the Act. Furthermore, the secondary legislation that implements Parts 4 and 5 (the Named Persons Order, Child’s Plan Order and the Complaints Order) will also require revocation.


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