Policy Update on Delivering GIRFEC Approach


In September 2019, the Scottish Government announced a GIRFEC Policy Update

 What is Getting it Right for Every Child – GIRFEC?

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is the National approach in Scotland designed to improving outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help, at the right time, from the right people.

Most children and young people get all the support and help they need from their parent(s), wider family and local community. There may be times, however, when a child or family need additional advice or support. The GIRFEC approach ensures children and their families can work in partnership with services that can help them when they need it.

GIRFEC & the Law

In September 2019 Scottish Government took the decision to:

  • Repeal the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 Part 4 (Named Person), and Part 5 (child’s Plan)
  • Withdraw the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill.

What this means for the named person service and child’s plan

 The named person and child’s plan provisions within the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 were never put into law. The named person service and child’s plans will continue to be available, it is just the legislation that would have made it law that is not going ahead.

What is a Named Person?

  • A named person can offer help and support to families if and when families need it.
  • A named person is someone who already provides support/ advice when required; i.e. a health visitor, a pastoral teacher.
  • Families can choose whether to accept advice or support offered

Information Sharing

  • With your consent, named persons may share information with other organisations or services who can provide support i.e. Speech and language therapists, educational psychologist.
  • Anyone sharing your information should be clear about:
    • what information they propose to share to support wellbeing
    • who it will be shared with and why
  • Named persons and anyone working with your family will handle your personal information proportionately, in line with the law and guidance on data protection, confidentiality and human rights
  • No-one will routinely share you/ your child’s information without your knowledge.
  • However, if a child is considered to be at risk of significant harm, then information may be shared without consent and immediately. This has not, and will not change and is part of the law.
  • Every organisation has privacy notices which explain how and when information is shared in relation to the law.

What does this mean for Named Persons in Falkirk?

Across Scotland, and in Falkirk, families are benefitting from having a named person who can offer help and support to children and families when they need it. Scottish Government is fully supportive of current named person practice being delivered in line with existing laws and guidance on data protection, confidentiality, human rights and other relevant rules of law.

In Falkirk we will:

  • Continue to operate a voluntary named person service and develop child’s plans with families where they are required.
  • Work with Scottish Government on the refresh of GIRFEC policy and practice.
  • Ensure the named person service, child’s plans and information sharing comply with current legislation.

 The Children’s Commission (the multi-agency group for services for children), will continue to work together and with Scottish Government as they develop new information for families and practice guidance for workers. We will update this page, and the Children’s Commission Learning & Development Group page as this work develops.