Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) Practice Guidance 1 - Using the National Practice Model

The National Practice Model seeks to support practitioners to consider ways to improve wellbeing outcomes for a child or young person

6. The Wellbeing Indicators (SHANARRI)

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 (SHANARRI) as referred to within section 96(2) in Part 18 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, parents (see definition in glossary) have the responsibility to safeguard and promote the health, development and welfare of their children (see section 1(1)(a) on the parental responsibility to safeguard and promote a child’s health, development and welfare. This is subject to section 3(1)(b), (d) and (3) of the Act). Where parents and families require support to do this, the GIRFEC approach aims to ensure that early offers of support are made available.

The core components of GIRFEC (please see the Policy Statement) provide a framework, using common language across a range of sectors.

The eight indicators in the ‘Wellbeing Wheel’ identify the areas in which an Assessment of Wellbeing is demonstrated, in order to enable all children and young people to reach their full potential. They allow practitioners, together with children and young people, to discuss, consider and record observations, events, strengths and needs, and to plan support. The ‘My World Triangle’ and the ‘Resilience Matrix’ are used in conjunction to gather, structure and assist in the analysis of information. In some cases, recording progress using the wellbeing indicators will allow the identification of needs that only become apparent from cumulative information or collated single-agency or multi-agency records.

There are five key GIRFEC questions that practitioners should ask themselves when considering a child or young person’s wellbeing needs, whilst maintaining a focus on the rights of the child. The child or young person should fully participate in discussions when considering these questions:

  • What is getting in the way of this child or young person’s wellbeing?
  • Do I have all the information I need to help this child or young person?
  • What can I do now that is needed and appropriate to help this child or young person?
  • What can my agency or organisation do now to help this child or young person?
  • What additional help, if any, may be needed from others?

Safe – growing up in an environment where a child or young person feels secure, nurtured, listened to and enabled to develop to their full potential. This includes freedom from abuse or neglect.

Healthy – having the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, access to suitable healthcare, and support in learning to make healthy and safe choices.

Achieving – being supported and guided in learning and in the development of skills, confidence and self-esteem, at home, in school and in the community.

Nurtured – growing, developing and being cared for in an environment which provides the physical and emotional security, compassion and warmth necessary for healthy growth and to develop resilience and a positive identity.

Active – having opportunities to take part in activities such as play, recreation and sport, which contribute to healthy growth and development, at home, in school and in the community.

Respected – being involved in and having their voices heard in decisions that affect their life, with support where appropriate.

Responsible – having opportunities and encouragement to play active and responsible roles at home, in school and in the community, and where necessary, having appropriate guidance and supervision.

Included – having help to overcome inequalities and being accepted as part of their family, school and community.



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