Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC): policy statement

Provides an overview of the policy and legislative context for GIRFEC. It gives an outline of the core components of the policy, including refreshed values and principles, and ambitions for how we can do more in practice.

4. Policy Statement

GIRFEC as a strengths-based approach seeks to realise children’s rights on a day-to-day basis and is therefore underpinned by key values and principles:

  • Placing the child or young person and their family at the heart, and promoting choice, with full participation in decisions that affect them;
  • Working together with families to enable a rights-respecting, strengths-based, inclusive approach;
  • Understanding wellbeing as being about all areas of life including family, community and society;
  • Valuing difference and ensuring everyone is treated fairly;
  • Considering and addressing inequalities;
  • Providing support for children, young people and families when they need it, until things get better, to help them to reach their full potential; and
  • Everyone working together in local areas and across Scotland to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families.

Based on these principles, GIRFEC is about enhancing the wellbeing of all children and young people as well as building a flexible scaffold of support: where it is needed, for as long as it is needed. This is delivered through the core components of:

  • a named person who is a clear point of contact for children, young people and families to go to for support and advice. A named person can also connect families to a wider network of support and services so that they get the right help, at the right time, from the right people;
  • a shared and holistic understanding of wellbeing and a single model of how this can be considered and supported; and,
  • a single, shared and rights-based approach to planning for children and young people’s wellbeing where support across services is needed, co-ordinated by a lead professional.

This is supported by use of the National Practice Model (Practice Guidance 1) which sets out a shared framework and approach to identification, assessment and analysis of wellbeing needs. It provides a consistent way for practitioners to work with children, young people and their families to understand the child or young person’s individual growth and development in the context

of their rights, unique family circumstances and wider world, exploring strengths, resilience, adversities and vulnerabilities.

Wellbeing is considered and assessed across the aspects of children and young people being Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included. These are the wellbeing indicators (see glossary) as referred to within section 96(2) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, commonly known as SHANARRI. The UNCRC provides a foundation for the wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI). They are overlapping and connect areas that are fundamental to understanding what children and young people need in order to grow, develop and reach their full potential.



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