2. What is a child’s plan within GIRFEC?
As outlined in the guidance materials published in September 2022, the child’s plan remains a core component of the GIRFEC approach to promote, support and safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people.
A personalised child’s plan within GIRFEC is a non-statutory plan which should be considered when those working with a child or young person and their family identify, through an assessment of wellbeing using the wellbeing indicators, that the child or young person needs a range of extra support beyond universal provision to be planned, delivered or co-ordinated. This may be provided by a single agency, or co-ordinated across a number of agencies. Where several agencies are involved, a lead professional will be agreed to co-ordinate the planning and delivery of the support.
The child’s plan should offer children, young people and their families a simple planning, assessment and decision-making process which leads to the right help, at the right time. It should reflect the voice of the child or young person at every stage and include a clear explanation of why the plan has been created, the personalised actions to be taken and the expected improvement for the child or young person. Acceptance of a child's plan within GIRFEC along with the advice, information and support which are offered is voluntary: Unless compulsory measures are otherwise justified, if the intervention requires co-operation from children, young people and their families, they will be free to reject any proposed interventions. The lead professional should ensure that children, young people and their families are aware of this.
Where support is accepted, the lead professional (or relevant practitioner within a single agency plan) should work with children, young people and their families, and all of those involved in the child’s plan to ensure that the support provided is regularly reviewed and evaluated for its effectiveness in the improvement of outcomes for the child or young person. The child’s plan should be clear on which services or people will provide support, who is accountable for that support, and the way in which that support will be provided. This will help to empower children, young people and families and support the lead professional in forward and contingency planning.
Specialist statutory plans such as a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) for education, Adoption Support Plan, Looked After Child's plan or Young Carer Statement may form part of the child’s plan, where a child’s plan within GIRFEC is accepted. This will help everyone working with a child or young person and their families to consider what other support their respective agencies could offer to help promote the child or young person’s wellbeing and reduce repetition for families. If the support of a child’s plan within GIRFEC is not accepted, these statutory plans may still be considered.
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