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Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)

GIRFEC is the national approach in Scotland to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help at the right time from the right people.  It supports them and their parent(s) to work in partnership with the services that can help them. 

Named Person

The Named Person service is a key part of GIRFEC, helping to ensure that children,young people and families can access extra help, advice and support if they need this. 

Read an article on 'getting it right for every child' by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney.

Parliamentary statement on information sharing provisions - 7 March 2017

Information Sharing Provisions for Parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

The Deputy First Minister has announced he will bring forward a Bill that will include new provisions on when and how information can be shared by and with the Named Person service. The new provisions will address the Supreme Court’s judgment, live up to Government's objective of supporting children and young people and give them and their families reassurance that their rights are respected fully. The intention is to introduce the Bill ahead of the summer recess. 

This approach will involve replacing some of the provisions in the 2014 Act that the Supreme Court was concerned about, with new provisions requiring Named Person service providers and others involved with children and young people to consider whether sharing information would promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person; and requiring them then to consider whether sharing that information would be compatible with data protection law, human rights and the law of confidentiality. Only if information can be shared consistently within these legal constraints will there be a power to share it and the legislation will make this clear.

The Deputy First Minister said:

“We are grateful to all those people who took part in what was a genuinely open engagement.  We listened to children, young people, parents/carers and practitioners. We listened to those who had concerns about information sharing and were prepared to consider a revised way forward. 

"I want to reassure Parliament that we have taken seriously, our responsibility to provide an appropriate response to the Supreme Court judgment. 

"The approach I have set out today seeks to bring consistency, clarity and coherence to the practice of sharing information about children and young people’s wellbeing across Scotland.  We now intend to put in place measures so that the aims of the Named Person service, as supported by parliament and described by the Supreme Court as “unquestionably legitimate and benign”, is compatible with data protection law, human rights and the law of confidentiality.

"By making these changes, we will respond to the Supreme Court Ruling in a way that improves the Named Person service and gives families, practitioners and the wider public greater confidence that information sharing for Named Person service will be in line with the founding principles of Getting it Right for Every Child and will respect their rights fully."

Read the Scottish Government news release.

Read the full statement of 7 March 2017 from the Deputy First Minister.

Read the output from the intensive engagement period

Parliamentary statement from the Deputy First Minister - September 2016

On 8 September 2016, in response to the Supreme Court judgment, Deputy First Minister John Swinney confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that the Scottish Government would undertake a three month period of engagement on how information sharing in relation to the Named Person service should operate. 

Read the Scottish Government news release

Read the full statement of 8 September 2016 from the Deputy First Minister

As the Scottish Government works towards commencement of the Named Person legislative provisions, local authorities, health boards and partners can continue to progress the GIRFEC approach and continue to develop and deliver “Named Person” services in line with current policy and existing legislation on information sharing. The link provided takes you to the Policy Update which was issued last year following the Supreme Court ruling and which sets out this position. The Deputy First Minister's recent Statement in Parliament on 7 March 2017, on information sharing does not change this.

As outlined in his parliamentary statement of 7 March 2017, the Deputy First Minister will work with Parliament to agree a timetable to enable commencement in 2018.

Read the policy update on delivering the 'Getting it right for every child' approach

Named Person Supreme Court Decision - July 2016

Following a legal challenge to the named person policy, the UK Supreme Court’s judgment:
• Ruled that the principle of providing a named person for every child does not breach human rights and is compatible with EU law
• Rejected the petitioners’ argument that the legislation relates to reserved matters
• Ruled that changes are required to the information-sharing provisions of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act to make those provisions compatible with Article 8 of the ECHR.

Read the Scottish Government press release - 28 July 2016

Read the Supreme Court judgement

Find out more


    National approach to improving the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland

  • Wellbeing

    The wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of GIRFEC

  • Named Person

    One point of contact that children and families can go to for advice or support if they need it

  • Information sharing

    Relevant information to ensure access to the right help at the right time

  • Child's Plan

    Single planning process for all services to build solutions with and around children and their families

  • Lead Professional

    Lead professional is the person who ensures that the Child’s Plan is managed effectively and that parents and children are actively involved in the planning process

  • Our partners

    A wide range of organisations support the GIRFEC approach

  • Resources

    Practical tools and examples of 'Getting it right' for children and families

  • Publications

    Guidance, reports and updates on the GIRFEC approach

Practitioner Information Pack to support communication with the public

GIRFECA set of leaflets explaining more about the GIRFEC approach, how we understand wellbeing, the Named Person and Child's Plan. Also information posters on GIRFEC and the Wellbeing Wheel.
Read more about the Practitioner Information Pack

What does GIRFEC mean for me?

Guidance and legislation

On video

Col 2


Alex Cole-Hamilton talks about the Named Person service

Col 3


Getting it right for Ryan

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