The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 ensures a single planning framework – a Child’s Plan – will be available for children who require extra support that is not generally available to address a child or young person’s needs and improve their wellbeing.
The Child’s Plan is part of the GIRFEC approach to promote,support and safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people. The Scottish Government is working with Parliament to agree a timetable to enable commencement in 2018.
What’s in a Child’s Plan?
Every plan, should include and record:
- information about the child’s wellbeing needs including the views of the child and their parent(s);
- details of the action to be taken;
- the service(s) that will provide the support;
- the way in which the support is to be provided;
- the outcome that the plan aims to achieve; and
- when the plan should be reviewed.
A Child’s Plan will also record who will coordinate the support. This person is known as the Lead Professional for the plan who will work with the child and their parent(s) to keep them informed.
Who ensures a Child's Plan is working well?
Overall responsibility for delivering a Child’s Plan sits with an organisation, such as a health board, local authority or independent school. The Lead Professional will ensure the Child’s Plan is managed properly. The Lead Professional will;
- make sure that the child and their parent(s) understand what is happening at each point so that they can be involved in the decisions that affect them;
- ensure the Child's Plan is accurate, up-to-date, taken forward and reviewed regularly; and
- consult and work with the childs Named Person.
The Lead Professional will be a practitioner who is chosen because they have the right skills and experience to ensure the Child's Plan is taken forward properly, and who can work with the child, their parents, their Named Person and other services supporting the child.
Information about a child’s needs, specific circumstances and the help they have already received may be shared with the Lead Professional and other services involved in the Child’s Plan. The child and parent(s) will know what information is being shared, with whom and for what purpose, and their views will be taken into account. This may not happen in exceptional cases, such as where there is a concern for the safety of a child or someone else.