Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC)

This guide describes Scotland’s national approach to supporting and working with all children and young people – GIRFEC.

The rights and wellbeing of children and young people

The GIRFEC approach puts people at the heart of the services that support them. For most children, all help they need comes from parents, family, friends and the community. Where extra support is needed, the GIRFEC approach aims to make the right support is available at the right time.

Wellbeing indicators

A child’s wellbeing – how they’re doing physically, emotionally and health-wise – can be looked at against eight indicators. Every child and young person should be:

  • safe
  • healthy
  • active
  • nurtured
  • achieving
  • respected
  • responsible
  • included

Some experiences can have a negative effect on young people, which can impact in their wellbeing. Understanding how this happens, and providing the right support when they need it, helps them grow and develop.

Child’s plan

When a child or young person needs more support than is generally available, a Child's Plan will be agreed in consultation with child and their family. The plan will bring together any other support into a single plan to ensure a co-ordinated and tailored approach that meets the specific needs of individual children.

Child protection and safeguarding

Every child in Scotland has the right to be kept safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation and any other kind of harm that puts them at risk.

It’s not just up to police, health professionals and social work to protect children, everyone has a responsibility to keep children safe from harm.

Schools and nurseries have an important role to play in safeguarding children.  They do this by:

  • creating and maintaining safe environments,
  • teaching children and young people about staying safe from harm,
  • helping children to speak up if they have worries or concerns.

Individuals can help protect children too by keeping eyes and ears open, being alert to signs that all is not well, and by acting on any concerns they may have.   

If you are worried about a child you can contact the school or nursery, you can speak to the social services department on the number below or you can call police on 101.

If you think a child might be in immediate danger you should contact the police right away by dialling 999.

It’s always better to say something than do nothing.

More information about GIRFEC is on the Scottish Government website.

Stirling Social Services

Office hours: 01786 471177

Out of office: 01786 470500