What is Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)?
GIRFEC is the national approach in Scotland supporting children and young people, and their families: professionals should be placing the children's needs at the centre of their service. This early intervention approach is designed to identify children and families who may be vulnerable or experiencing difficulties, and then provide them with tailored support specific to their requirements in order to improve their lives in advance of any potential crises.
For this approach to work, and to improve outcomes for children and families experiencing difficulties, all professionals working across sectors must work in partnership to deliver the best outcomes; this includes statutory and non-statutory services.
Out of school care services and the workforce have a key role in supporting and helping deliver the aims of GIRFEC.
Key Elements of GIRFEC
Each child from birth (although sometimes before) to 18 will have an allocated Named Person. The Named Person is usually the Health Visitor for pre-school children and the headteacher for school-age children.
For most children the Named Person will have no contact with the child or family other than in their usual professional capacity, however, if a concern about a child is raised, or a child/family ask for help, it is then the named person's duty to ensure that some form of action is taken to support the child and/or family.
8 Wellbeing Indicators - SHANARRI & 5 questions to be asked
A child's need for support is measured in terms of how they experience the 8 indicators of wellbeing, otherwise know as the SHANARRI indicators:
- Safe- children are protected from abuse, neglect or harm
- Healthy- children have the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health
- Achieving- children are guided and supported in their learning and development of skills
- Nurtured- children have a nurturing place to live
- Active- children have opportunities to take part in activities such as play, leisure and recreation
- Respected- children and carers have the opportunity to have their opinions heard
- Responsible- children have opportunities to play an active role in all aspects of their life
- Included- children have help to overcome social, physical, educational and economic inequalities
To measure and assess any need, professionals working with children need to ask themselves the following 5 questions in terms of the wellbeing indicators:
- What is getting in the way of this child or young person's wellbeing?
- Do I have all the information I need to help this child or young person?
- What can I do now to help this child or young person?
- What can my agency do to help this child or young person?
- What additional help - if any - may be needed from others?
National Practice Model
When professionals are assessing and planning actions, they can draw on GIRFEC's National Practice Model. This is of help in a single and multi-agency contexts.
The national practice model:
- "provides a framework for practitioners and agencies to structure and analyse information consistently so as to understand a child or young person's needs, the strengths and pressures on them, and consider what support they might need
- defines needs and risks as two sides of the same coin. It promotes the participation of children, young people and their families in gathering information and making decisions as central to assessing, planning and taking action
- provides a shared understanding of a child or young person's needs by identifying concerns that may need to be addressed
It allows practitioners to meet the Getting it right for every child core values and principles by being appropriate, proportionate, and timely."www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright/national-practice-model
GIRFEC & its relevance to Out of School Care
Out of school care, as a service which supports children and families, has a clear duty to support the wellbeing of children in its care- in particular the workforce must understand and measure children's wellbeing against the SHANARRI indicators and know how to use the National Practice Model. In the future Care Inspectorate inspections will be aligned with GIRFEC and SHANARRI - services will need to demonstrate how these are implemented in their service.
SOSCN will be offering free training on GIRFEC and how it can be implemented in out of school care services, for details of the training please follow this link
Further information about GIRFEC can be found on the Scottish Government website:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/Young-People/gettingitright