4 The Scottish Government Response
4.1 In response to the key findings, a programme of engagement is on-going with stakeholder groups representing community planning partnerships, professional bodies, third sector organisations and parents, to take forward a co-production approach to revising the guidance and draft Orders. The guidance and draft Orders will be ready for re-issue in November 2015.
4.2 The key issues being addressed in revising the Statutory Guidance are set out in the section below.
Introduction to the statutory guidance
4.3 The Introduction to the statutory guidance will be revised to ensure greater clarity about the primary purpose of the guidance, which is to support those with statutory responsibilities to discharge their duties under the Act.
The introductory section will make clear that the GIRFEC approach:
- respects the continuing primary role and responsibilities of parents for bringing up their children
- supports and promotes children's and young people's rights, and
- works in partnership, wherever possible, with children, young people and parents, statutory and third sector organisations to support, promote and safeguard wellbeing.
4.4 The key elements and the principles which underpin the GIRFEC approach will be further clarified and threaded through the guidance to aid understanding and to further promote a consistent approach to implementation. It will also be clarified that Parts 4 and 5 of the Act do not replace existing law applying to children and families.
Part 18, Section 96 - Wellbeing
4.5 The wellbeing section of the statutory guidance will be restructured to provide a clearer description of how wellbeing should be interpreted across the Act as a whole. The detail of how wellbeing relates to specific sections of the Act will be located within those sections to which it applies for ease of understanding. It will highlight the importance of considering wellbeing in context, respecting children and families, culture, values and beliefs. The relationship between the use of the terms 'wellbeing' and 'welfare' will be further described. Practice materials will be developed to support the practicable applications of wellbeing.
Part 4 - Named Person
Named Person service and functions
4.6 This section will be revised to emphasise that the duties fall on the organisation providing the Named Person service and not on the individual Named Person. Further clarity will be provided around who can fulfil the Named Person functions in different circumstances. The requirement for continuity of the Named Person service to cover holidays and absences will be further explained. There will be a re-stating of the principles of working in partnership with children, young people and parents, recognising that parents and families have the primary responsibility for the wellbeing of children and young people.
Communicating information about the Named Person service
4.7 The duties and responsibilities on service providers to communicate information about the Named Person service further explored and explained. In the months and weeks leading up to commencement there will also be comprehensive information for children, young people and parents regarding what to expect from the Named Person service.
Duty to help the Named Person
4.8 This part of the guidance will be revised to ensure that it clarifies how the duties in the Act apply to service providers and relevant authorities as defined in the Act. The guidance will make clear how the duty to comply with a request for help should be managed to ensure that this provides a balance between supporting reasonable requests and allowing service providers and relevant authorities to refuse requests that are incompatible with their duties or unduly prejudice their functions. The guidance will highlight the importance of having processes to resolve disputes and further assistance will be provided in practice materials.
4.9 This section of the statutory guidance will be revised to simplify its structure and ensure the language is easy to understand. The guidance will reinforce that the existing statutory framework within which information is recorded, stored and processed fairly and lawfully remains in place. The guidance will also demonstrate how the information sharing duties are specific to the exercise of the functions set out in Part 4 of the Act.
Part 5 - The Child's Plan
4.10 This section of the guidance will clarify the criteria for requiring a Child's Plan by further explaining the terms 'wellbeing need' and 'targeted intervention'. It will reinforce the central role of the child and parents in the development of the Child's Plan and explain more fully the roles of responsible, managing and listed authorities, and third sector organisations. The guidance will support the understanding of the Child's Plan Order and will make clear the relationship of the Child's Plan with other planning processes, some of which have a statutory basis. There will be further explanation on the respective roles of the Named Person and the Lead Professional in managing the Child's Plan.
Email: Carole Campariol-Scott