Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC): child's plan - practice statement

Provides an overview of the consideration and function of the non-statutory child's plan within getting it right for every child (GIRFEC).

4. Who should be involved in the development and review of a child’s plan?

Where it has been agreed that a child or young person and their family requires and accepts the support of a multi-agency child’s plan, a lead professional should be identified.

Any practitioner or professional providing support to the child or young person can be identified as the lead professional. This includes those working in universal services such as health and education; specialist services such as CAMHS and social work, or in third sector organisations, for example, those supporting family wellbeing in community settings or offering support for children with complex conditions. If a child or young person is Looked After or their name is placed on the child protection register, the lead professional will often be a social worker.

Whilst the plan is co-ordinated by the lead professional, they must work with the named person, where appropriate, and other practitioners involved in the provision of the child’s plan. The lead professional should therefore have the confidence, skills and experience to ensure the child’s plan is managed properly, alongside the child or young person and their family, the named person and other services who support them. Practitioners and leaders from all agencies working in children’s and associated services supporting families should cultivate high standards of support, co-operation and communication across local partnerships to help ensure the desired outcomes identified in the child’s plan are realised. Agency leaders should ensure that all practitioners take a trauma-informed approach to working with families, acting in accordance with their best interests and in consideration of their full spectrum of rights.

All decision-making regarding a child’s plan within GIRFEC should seek, have regard to and act on the views of the child or young person and their family. When obtaining and acting on views of a child or young person, professionals are required to respect their rights, including Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) and Article 9 (the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and Article 2 of the First Protocol (respect for the right of parents to ensure education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions). Acceptance of a child’s plan within GIRFEC, unless compulsory measures are otherwise justified, is voluntary and children, young people and their families are free to reject any proposed intervention which requires their cooperation and they should be advised of this.

Children and young people have the right to take part in and influence decisions on issues which affect them, as set out in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is essential that practitioners providing support to children, young people and families have the skills, knowledge and understanding to build relationships, provide advocacy and deliver GIRFEC effectively; and to make sure children, young people and families understand their rights and how these rights will be respected, protected and fulfilled. In line with Article 12 of the UNCRC, the views of the child or young person must be considered in accordance with the maturity and evolving capacity of the child or young person regardless of their age and ability. A condition or disability which impacts a child or young person’s ability to communicate should not prevent them from expressing their views in all matters affecting them.



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