Providing a consistent approach to planning, delivery and co-ordinated support
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is about improving the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland. The Act is wide ranging and includes key parts of the Getting it right for every child approach, commonly known as GIRFEC.
The Act 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 Child's Plan is planned to be available nationally from 31 August 2016.
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 manages a Child's Plan?
Overall responsibility for delivering a Child's Plan sits with an organisation, such as a health board, local authority or independent school, called the 'managing authority'. The Lead Professional, on behalf of the managing authority, will ensure that 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, implemented and reviewed regularly; and
- consult and work with the child's 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 managed properly, and who can work with the child, their parent(s), their Named Person and the other services who support the child. Depending on the situation, including consideration of the child's needs, the Lead Professional and Named Person may be the same person.
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.
In most circumstances, 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.
Key facts about the Child's Plan
1. The Child's Plan will offer a consistent approach to how extra support that is not generally available is planned, delivered and coordinated. It will help services to co-ordinate additional help offered to a child, tailored to meet their specific needs and circumstances.
2. Not every child will require a Child's Plan. A Child's Plan will be available for a child who needs extra support that is not generally available to address their needs and improve their wellbeing.
3. A Child's Plan is developed in partnership with the child, their parent(s) and the services involved. It will be coordinated by a Lead Professional who will ensure that the plan is managed, coordinated and reviewed to meet the needs identified.
4. The Child's Plan will contain information about why the plan has been created, what it is aiming to achieve, and the actions to be taken to improve the child's wellbeing.
5. The child's Named Person will be a partner to the Child's Plan. A child's Named Person will usually be their health visitor for pre-school children or a promoted teacher - such as their head teacher, guidance teacher or other promoted member of staff - for school age children.
Other information leaflets in this series include Getting it right for every child, Named Person and Understanding Wellbeing.
For more information on Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) visit: www.gov.scot/girfec
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