Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)
As children and young people progress on their journey through life, some may have temporary difficulties, some may live with challenges and some may experience more complex issues.
Sometimes they – and their families – are going to need help and support.
No matter where they live or whatever their needs, children, young people and their families should always know where they can find help, what support might be available and whether that help is right for them.
The Getting it right for every child approach ensures that anyone providing that support puts the child or young person – and their family – at the centre.
Getting it right for every child is important for everyone who works with children and young people – as well as many people who work with adults who look after children. Practitioners need to work together to support families, and where appropriate, take early action at the first signs of any concern about wellbeing – rather than only getting involved when a situation has already reached crisis point.
This means working across organisational boundaries and putting children and their families at the heart of decision making – and giving all our children and young people the best possible start in life.
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 understand what is happening and why
- They have been listened to carefully and their wishes have been heard and understood
- They will feel confident about the help they are getting
- 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
- 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 tencore 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.
Getting it right for every child is founded on ten core components which can be applied in any setting and in any circumstance.
- A focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and their families based on a shared understanding of wellbeing
- A common approach to the proportionate sharing of information where appropriate
- An integral role for children, young people and families in assessment, planning and intervention
- A co-ordinated and unified approach to identifying concerns, assessing needs, and agreeing actions and outcomes, based on the wellbeing Indicators
- Streamlined planning, assessment and decision-making processes that lead to the right help at the right time
- Consistent high standards of co-operation, joint working and communication where more than one agency needs to be involved, locally and across Scotland
- A Named Person for every child and young person, and a Lead Professional (where necessary) to co-ordinate and monitor multi-agency activity
- Maximising the skilled workforce within universal services to address needs and risks as early as possible
- A confident and competent workforce across all services for children, young people and their families
- The capacity, proportionately and appropriately, to share demographic, assessment, and planning information 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 wellbeing is fundamental and goes 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 their life and wellbeing
- Building on strengths and promoting resilience
Using a child or young person’s existing networks and support where possible
- Providing opportunities to celebrate 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 wellbeing 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
The Well-being Indicators:
The wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of Getting it right for every child. The approach uses eight areas of wellbeing in which children and young people need to progress in order to do well now and in the future. These eight areas are set in the context of the ‘four capacities’, which are at the heart of the Curriculum for Excellence.