Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is our commitment to provide all children, young people and their families with the right support at the right time. This is so that every child and young person in Scotland can reach their full potential.

We want all children and young people to live in an equal society that enables them to flourish, to be treated with kindness, dignity and respect, and to have their rights upheld at all times.

Our ambition is to work together with children, young people, families, organisations and communities to make Scotland the best place to grow up. Through GIRFEC, everyone in Scotland can work together to build the scaffold of support children and young people need to grow up loved, safe and respected.

GIRFEC provides Scotland with a consistent framework and shared language for promoting, supporting, and safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people. It is locally embedded and positively embraced by organisations, services and practitioners across Children’s Services Planning Partnerships, with a focus on changing culture, systems and practice for the benefit of babies, infants, children, young people and their families.



  • base GIRFEC principles and values on children's rights
  • promote eight wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI) to describe how a child or young person is doing at a point in time
  • support practitioners to consider ways to improve the wellbeing for a child or young person through the National Practice Model
  • improve the support for children, young people and their families through a clear point of contact: sometimes referred to as a named person
  • seek to clarify who would be the appropriate practitioner to fulfil the role of the lead professional for children and young people who are supported by a child’s plan
  • provide guidance on information sharing, including what can be shared with or by a practitioner acting as a named person or in connection with a child’s plan
  • will improve how support is planned, delivered and co-ordinated for children who require extra support by making a child’s plan available
  • committed £50 million in 2022 to 2023 to Whole Family Wellbeing Funding (WFWF) to contribute to preventative whole family support measures
  • produce national GIRFEC resources for everyone interested in the policy and its delivery


GIRFEC timeline

2023: Publication of GIRFEC Child’s Plan guidance.

September 2022: Publication of finalised refreshed policy and practice materials.  

2021: Co-production working groups made up of representatives across the GIRFEC workforce including the public sector, health boards, third sector and national organisations, created drafts of the seven practice guidance documents including the National Practice Model and Information Sharing. The Statutory Guidance for the Assessment of Wellbeing was subject to a public consultation which closed in February 2022.

2019: In September 2019, the Deputy First Minister made a commitment to the Scottish Parliament to seek to repeal Parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and to develop refreshed GIRFEC guidance.

2012: A Guide to GIRFEC updated and published.

2010: Messages from pathfinders and learning partners published, which told us that GIRFEC:

  • Provided greater clarity about who families could go to when they needed help;
  • reduced time in meetings for professionals and parents, children and young people;
  • agencies and third sector partners were able to focus resources on those children who needed most support;
  • support provided earlier ; and 
  • fewer children required compulsory state intervention.

2009: Publication of the Evaluation of Highland Pathfinder work.

2008: A Guide to GIRFEC published. This was designed to support the workforce and to raise awareness with children, young people and families.

2006: GIRFEC Implementation Plan published; the approach was used and tested by pathfinders across Scotland.

2005: Public consultation on the reform of children’s services.

2001: For Scotland’s Children report published. This outlined the system improvements required in information sharing, assessment, resource allocation and review processes.



Telephone: 0300 244 4000 - Central Enquiry Unit

Scottish Government
Children and Families Directorate
Victoria Quay

Twitter: @girfec

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