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GIRFEC in early learning and childcare

Early learning and childcare settings offer an excellent opportunity to provide care and support for vulnerable children in the earliest years of life.  The high quality early care and learning that you can provide will help to mitigate the risk of poorer outcomes for vulnerable children and contribute to improving their long-term health and wellbeing.  Childcare workers including childminders and play workers  are often best placed to recognise concerns or identify issues which arise with children and families.

When services work together in partnership with parents there is an opportunity to place the needs of the child at the centre of coordinated support. This increases the likelihood of   meeting a child or family’s needs in the right place at the right time. Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) is the Scottish Government’s approach that encourages organisations to work together effectively to improve child centred practice. Building on the universal services of health and education, it sets out to ensure services promote, support and protect the wellbeing of children. As part of GIRFEC each child has a Named Person within universal services who is the professional responsible for promoting, supporting or safeguarding the wellbeing of the young person or child. From birth till school age, the named person normally comes from the health service and is often the Health Visitor, from school age to 19 years, the named person will normally be from the education sector.  The named person is a professional who already has a relationship with the family and an understanding of their family circumstances.  GIRFEC defines wellbeing according to eight indicators: safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included.  If any professionals working with parents or children have a concern about a child’s wellbeing, the named person is their first contact. A lead professional is agreed when two or more agencies work together to support a child and their family.