Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) - Statutory Guidance - Assessment of Wellbeing 2022 – Part 18 (section 96) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

This statutory guidance clarifies how the eight wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI) are used in assessing the wellbeing of children and young people and will explain what wellbeing is in the context of the Act.

8. Indicators of wellbeing

Using the GIRFEC principles, the approach to considering children’s wellbeing should be rights-based, strengths-based, holistic and adaptable enough to take account of stage of development and the complexity of each child’s individual life circumstances. Practitioners and organisations should consider each of the eight wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI) (as listed below) in collaboration, with children or young people and their family.

Section 96(2) of the 2014 Act lists the eight wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI). When used in the assessment of wellbeing, this guidance sets out how the indicators should be interpreted, as follows:

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.

In practice, the eight indicators can be interconnected and overlapping. When considered together, they give a holistic view of each child or young person. They enable the child or young person, and the adults supporting them, to consider strengths, as well as any obstacles they may face to growth and development.

Certain factors such as adequate sleep, play and a healthy balanced diet have a positive impact on all aspects of a child’s wellbeing. Similarly, the effects of facing poverty and social isolation are examples of influences that can have a negative effect on all the indicators of wellbeing.

Communication is critical to the development of the wellbeing of all children and young people. To enable every child to participate in decision making, the practitioner should consider inclusive communications to address any barriers to communication accessibility, for example social and/or digital isolation.

Depending on a child or young person’s circumstances or health condition, a holistic assessment of wellbeing may need to be supported by specialist assessments. The eight wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI) provide a consistent framework within which to consider specialist assessments.



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