GIRFEC in Falkirk

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is the National approach in Scotland designed to improve outcomes and supporting the wellbeing of our children and young people by offering the right help, at the right time, from the right people. The national practice model (below) is at the heart of GIRFEC and our Falkirk Child’s Plan. The Child’s Plan should be used by all practitioners in children’s and adults services to identify strengths and needs and then what supports are required to improve outcomes for children.

The GIRFEC approach embeds children’s rights, ensures that children and their families get earlier intervention when a wellbeing need is identified, are listened to and can work in partnership with services to get help when they need it.

We want to prevent concerns becoming risks and ensure children are loved safe and can remain at home with their families whenever possible as detailed in The Promise from the Independent Care Review in 2019.

What’s new with GIRFEC in Falkirk?


Multi-Agency Practice Learning Session 7 min briefing

Presentation Multi-Agency learning sessions

Multi-Agency working- Appreciative Inquiry small group discussions

Multi-Agency working- Appreciative Inquiry brief overview


GIRFEC Lead Professional Assessment and Plan V8

GIRFEC Level 1 Training

GIRFEC Session 1 – some useful links


In Falkirk we are rolling out our new integrated lead professional assessment and plan starting on 1st April 2022. This will replace most of the existing IAF paperwork. The tool has been developed in consultation with staff and partners and has been tested by social workers before we have reached the final version. Experienced social workers who have tested the tool, will be supporting the roll out by providing discussion and support sessions in team meetings across the social work service.

The tool aims to strengthen the quality of assessments of risk and need, encourages more analysis and evidence based practice and puts children, young people and families at the centre of assessments and decision making.

We have also incorporated sections for brothers and sisters views and family time contact

GIRFEC Lead Professional Assessment and Plan

Falkirk Integrated Children’s Services Plan 2023-26

Children’s Rights Report 2020-23

The Child Protection Committee and the Children’s Commission GIRFEC Group recognised we needed to update our GIRFEC information as a result of local case file audits, 2 recent significant case reviews and the Independent Care Review findings in The Promise report. Findings from the significant case reviews highlighted that:

  • Joint risk assessment and planning in cases that sit before or after the child protection system needed to be improved
  • We need to develop professionals understanding of their collective responsibility to assess and address risk before child protection concerns emerge to ensure children do not sit in harmful situations for too long, particularly where neglect is a factor.
  • Recording and sharing of information under GIRFEC processes needed to be consistent.

As a result of these findings, the Children’s Commission GIRFEC Group have updated our GIRFEC information to make sure our processes are clear and that children’s needs are at the heart of any assessment and plans.

GIRFEC 6 Key Questions

The GIRFEC 5 key questions have been updated to include a question about children’s rights. So we now have the GIRFEC 6 Key Questions:

  • What is getting in the way of this child’s wellbeing?
  • Do I have all the information I need to help this child?
  • What can I do now to help this child?
  • What can my agency do to help this child?
  • What additional help, if any, may be needed from others?
  • Are this child’s human rights being met?

The Child’s Plan

The Child’s Plan is the core framework for practitioners to ensure children’s needs are met. It is being re-written to:

  • Ensure children and their families are listened to and involved appropriately in assessments and plans
  • Make sure needs are met as early as possible when needs are identified
  • Help staff analyse and manage risk from early intervention to child protection
  • Ensure plans are effective and improving outcomes for children
  • Give clear guidance on roles.

Using the Child’s Plan will ensure children’s rights and needs are met, that plans are child centred and not systems led.

GIRFEC update for all practitioners – children & adult services

Please read the GIRFEC statement from Robert Naylor, Director of Children’s Services and Chair of the Children’s Commission Leadership Group and read the GIRFEC Update for all staff in children and adult services by clicking on the image below.

GIRFEC Information Sharing Principles

Information sharing legislation is not a barrier to sharing information. For guidance on sharing information see the information sharing page.

GIRFEC Pathway

The GIRFEC pathway is a one page process map that illustrates Falkirk’s GIRFEC Pathway and which parts of the Child’s Plan assessment, planning, action and review for children, should be used when. The pathway is being designed of online use as well as being printed.

GIRFEC Policy Update – Scottish Government 2019

GIRFEC is still happening and the named person role still exists.

In September 2019, the Scottish Government announced a GIRFEC Policy Update 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. In Falkirk we will continue to operate a voluntary named person service and develop child’s plans with families where they are required.

Information Leaflets


BSL format videos are available on the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland YouTube channel and aim to explain Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) and what it means for children and young people in Scotland.