CYPA - GIRFEC Q&A

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Questions and answers on the GIRFEC provisions in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

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A Guide to Getting it right for every child

The content in this section is available in our practice guide.

See also

Background to GIRFEC

Getting it right for every child builds on, and is reflected in a wide range of policies and strategies for all children and young people (including those who may have additional support needs). These have all helped shape its development:

What is GIRFEC?

It’s a consistent way for people to work with all children and young people. It’s the bedrock for all children’s services and can also be used by practitioners in adult services who work with parents or carers.

The approach helps practitioners focus on what makes a positive difference for children and young people – and how they can act to deliver these improvements. Getting it right for every child is being threaded through all existing policy, practice, strategy and legislation affecting children, young people and their families.

What Getting it right for every child means

For children, young people and their families:
  • They will feel confident about the help they are getting
  • They understand what is happening and why
  • They have been listened to carefully and their wishes have been heard and understood
  • They are appropriately involved in discussions and decisions that affect them
  • They can rely on appropriate help being available as soon as possible
  • They will have experienced a more streamlined and co-ordinated response from practitioners
For practitioners:
  • Putting the child or young person at the centre and developing a shared understanding within and across agencies
  • Using common tools, language and processes, considering the child or young person as a whole, and promoting closer working where necessary with other practitioners
For managers in children’s and adult services:
  • Providing leadership and strategic support to implement the changes in culture, systems and practice required within and across agencies to implement Getting it right for every child
  • Planning for the transition as staff in agencies move from the current working processes to the new child-centred processes

Foundations of Getting it right for every child

The Getting it right for every child approach is based on solid foundations. There are ten core components and a set of values and principles which bring meaning and relevance at a practice level to single-agency, multi-agency and inter-agency working across the whole of children’s services. They can be applied in any setting and circumstance where people are working with children and young people.

Core components

Getting it right for every child is founded on ten core components which can be applied in any setting and in any circumstance.

  1. A focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families based on a shared understanding of wellbeing
  2. A common approach to the proportionate sharing of information where appropriate
  3. An integral role for children, young people and families in assessment, planning and intervention
  4. A co-ordinated and unified approach to identifying concerns, assessing needs, and agreeing actions and outcomes, based on the wellbeing Indicators
  5. Streamlined planning, assessment and decision-making processes that lead to the right help at the right time
  6. Consistent high standards of co-operation, joint working and communication where more than one agency needs to be involved, locally and across Scotland
  7. A Named Person for every child and young person, and a Lead Professional (where necessary) to co-ordinate and monitor multi-agency activity
  8. Maximising the skilled workforce within universal services to address needs and risks as early as possible
  9. A confident and competent workforce across all services for children, young people and their families
  10. The capacity to share demographic, assessment, and planning information - including electronically - within and across agency boundaries

Values and principles

The Getting it right for every child values and principles build from the Children’s Charter and reflect legislation, standards, procedures and professional expertise:

  • Promoting the wellbeing of individual children and young people
    This is based on understanding how children and young people develop in their families and communities, and addressing their needs at the earliest possible time.
  • Keeping children and young people safe
    Emotional and physical safety is fundamental and is wider than child protection
  • Putting the child at the centre
    Children and young people should have their views listened to and they should be involved in decisions that affect them
  • Taking a whole child approach
    Recognising that what is going on in one part of a child or young person’s life can affect many other areas of his or her life
  • Building on strengths and promoting resilience
    Using a child or young person’s existing networks and support where possible
  • Promoting opportunities and valuing diversity
    Children and young people should feel valued in all circumstances and practitioners should create opportunities to celebrate diversity
  • Providing additional help that is appropriate, proportionate and timely
    Providing help as early as possible and considering short and long-term needs
  • Supporting informed choice
    Supporting children, young people and families in understanding what help is possible and what their choices may be
  • Working in partnership with families
    Supporting, wherever possible, those who know the child or young person well, know what they need, what works well for them and what might be less helpful
  • Respecting confidentiality and sharing information
    Sharing information that is relevant and proportionate while safeguarding children and young people’s right to confidentiality
  • Promoting the same values across all working relationships
    Recognising respect, patience, honesty, reliability, resilience and integrity are qualities valued by children, young people, their families and colleagues
  • Making the most of bringing together each worker’s expertise
    Respecting the contribution of others and co-operating with them, recognising that sharing responsibility does not mean acting beyond a worker’s competence or responsibilities
  • Co-ordinating help
    Recognising that children, young people and their families need practitioners to work together, when appropriate, to provide the best possible help
  • Building a competent workforce to promote children and young people’s wellbeing
    Committed to continuing individual learning and development and improvement of inter-professional practice.

The Getting it right for every child approach

The Getting it right for every child approach is about how practitioners across all services for children and adults meet the needs of children and young people, working together where necessary to ensure they reach their full potential. It promotes a shared approach and accountability that:

  • builds solutions with and around children, young people and families
  • enables children and young people to get the help they need when they need it
  • supports a positive shift in culture, systems and practice
  • involves working better together to improve life chances for children, young people and families