Getting it right for every child

Getting it Right for Every Child or GIRFEC is a national approach to supporting and working with all childrenGIRFEC logo and young people in Scotland. It is relevant for:

  • all children and young people

  • all services and agencies working with children and adults in the public and voluntary sectors.

Community Planning Partners in Stirling are committed to GIRFEC

For children and young people GIRFEC means that their needs will be placed first, they will be listened to and understand decisions which affect them. It means that children and young people will receive the right support when they need it and in a co-ordinated way.

For services, it means that all partners will focus their attention on working together effectively to improve outcomes for all children and young people.

GIRFEC is based on a set of four principles

A child-focused approach

Ensuring the child or young person, and their family, is at the centre of decision making and building solutions to support them.

A holistic understanding of wellbeing

Looking at the whole picture of a child's or young person's wellbeing so that appropriate and effective support is offered at the right time.

A preventative approach

Identifying a need as early as possible to avoid it developing into a concern or growing into a problem.

A joined-up approach

The child or young person, their family and professionals working together to consider what help is required, involving only those services that are needed to support them and minimise unnecessary interruption in family life.

Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

The Act is wide ranging and puts children and young people at the heart of planning and services and ensures their rights are respected across the public sector.

Key elements of the GIRFEC approach have been introduced into law under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014:

  • Wellbeing is described in legislation for the first time to help make sure everyone uses the same terminology and approach.
  • Children and young people will have access to a local Named Person service - a single point of contact for help, support and advice for families and those working with children if they need it.
  • Children and young people who need extra support which is not generally available will have a Child's Plan.


As a consequence of the Supreme Court judgement, Parts 4 (Named Person) and 5 (Child’s Plan) of the Children and Young People Act did not come into force as planned on 31 August 2016. Implementation was paused so that the Scottish Government could take steps to make the necessary changes to the information sharing provisions in the Act. 

The Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill (the Bill), was published in June 2017. The Bill aims to ensure that the sharing of information is compatible with current law and responds to the 2016 Supreme Court findings on information sharing aspects of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the 2014 Act). 

The Bill introduces a duty to consider if sharing information with, or by, the Named Person service will promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of a child or young person, and then provides the power to share relevant information with or by the Named Person service and in connection with a Child’s Plan, only when certain conditions are met. (Unless there are child protection concerns). This changes the 2014 Act which has a duty to share information.  

The Bill requires Scottish Ministers to issue a code of practice oninformation sharing and requires that anyone providing information (or considering providing information) under the 2014 Act must do so in accordance with this code. 

In Stirling, the needs of children and young people will continue to be met through the Staged Intervention process and aspects of the GIRFEC approach already well embedded prior to the Children and Young People Act. Information sharing will continue to take place in line with current practice and within the framework of the Data Protection Human Rights and confidentiality. 

Read more about information sharing provisions for Parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. New legislation to clarify information sharing provisions was published in June 2017.

You may also be interested in our Children's Services Plan.

Further information on GIRFEC is available on the Scottish Government website.

See also: