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.

8. Achieving our Ambition

GIRFEC is an internationally recognised, ground-breaking policy, which continues to be our national approach to improving outcomes for children and young people, since its inception in 2006. GIRFEC creates the conditions where children and young people can flourish, reach their full potential and go on to build a Scotland that is even better for future generations. The

aspirational values and principles, alongside the core components, give us a clear framework to strengthen the implementation and realisation of children’s rights and The Promise, to make life better for all children and young people in Scotland.

GIRFEC prioritises an equitable approach that considers each child or young person’s unique circumstances. Recognising and tackling multiple and overlapping inequalities is key to creating a successful country where all can reach their full potential.

Commitment to the eradication of child poverty, gender inequality and inequality related to disability, race, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, experience of care, immigration, refugee and asylum seeker status is fundamental to our success. Eradication of all forms of inequality cannot be achieved by one person alone, and every professional whose work directly or indirectly impacts upon children and young people has a part to play (specific policies, guidance papers, training and best practice can be found in Annex A).

Significant progress has been made in embedding GIRFEC to support all children and young people in Scotland. When GIRFEC is put into practice fully, we know it works well and makes a positive difference. It provides a consistent framework and shared language for children, young people and families, those who work directly or otherwise support children and families, the strategic planning and delivery of children’s services (which includes related services such as adult- and community-based services), and in shaping national policy.

However, we also know that GIRFEC practice is varied across Scotland. Effective practice needs to be shared and replicated, and meaningful involvement with children and young people must be undertaken. Identification of need, and therefore resources and support, must be provided sooner. We must continue working together with children, young people and their families, taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, recognising that a child’s wellbeing is experienced within the context of their family, local community and wider society.

We acknowledge the significant progress made so far in embedding GIRFEC by practitioners working alongside children, young people and families across Scotland. We now have an opportunity for transformation. We can focus on recovery and renewal from the pandemic, making sure there is strategic coherence across all policy areas affecting children and young people.

Building on the bedrock of children’s rights, we have the opportunity to embed GIRFEC, creating the conditions for Scotland to be the best place for all children and young people to grow up.

We will continue working with children, young people and their families to ensure that they fully understand, and are involved in, all areas of GIRFEC practice.



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