Outcomes in practice
Children and young people will progress differently, depending on their circumstances but every child and young person has the right to expect appropriate support from adults to allow them to develop as fully as possible across each of the well-being indicators.
All agencies in touch with children and young people must play their part in making sure that young people are healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible, included and, above all, safe.
Notice that the eight well-being indicators are phrased in terms of positives – the focus is on the child's strengths – or assets – what the child CAN do, rather than on problems. Take for example, one of the more critical concerns for children, that of risk. 'Safe' is the first indicator but even this is expressed in terms of the child’s assets – their resilience or ability to manage adversity. An asset-based approach that draws on the individual's 'real worth' is discussed in more detail in of this course. This perspective on assets can be expanded further to include protective factors that enhance childhood resilience, such as living in a supportive family and community, high quality early years education, opportunities for challenging activities in and out of school and having good problem-solving abilities (IRISS/ Barnardo's, 2012).
Activity 3.4: Using the well-being indicators in practice
Watch this video about a young man called Ryan:
Watch the video and then use your learning log to answer these questions:
- Which well-being indicators (SHANARRI outcomes) does the film suggest may be important to Ryan?
- How would you find out more about what is important to Ryan?
- How can the people in Ryan's life help to ensure that Ryan achieves the outcomes that are important to him?
Of course without getting to know Ryan, we can only speculate what is really important to him. But we do have some strong clues. For example, under 'Nurturing' you might have written something about the evident importance to him of contact with his mum and his dad. Being 'Active' as well as 'Included' through football is clearly an important outcome, as is being 'Responsible' in relation to his younger brother, and knowing that he in turn is 'Safe'. The response from police, education and other services makes Ryan's safety a priority. The professionals have, through the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, a legal duty to prioritise Ryan's welfare, and are following National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland which stresses that everyone in the community should understand:
…the contribution they can make and how those contributions work together to provide the best outcomes for children. Social workers, health professionals, police, educational staff and anyone else who works with children and their families, as well as members of the community, need to appreciate the important role they can play in remaining vigilant and providing robust support for child protection.
Of course you would have to get to know Ryan and the important people in his life, such as his parents and teachers, to gain a clearer understanding. The well-being indicators form one element of a framework for assessing children's needs and outcomes in Scotland, called the ‘ National Practice Model ’. This includes the ‘ My World Assessment Triangle ’ and a Resilience Matrix which, together, promote a holistic, strengths-based and child-centred approach for all practitioners working with children. There is not space in this course to explore these in detail, but you may want to Find out more by following the links below.
In the film you heard Ryan talking about his 'named person' – a point of contact for child and family who can work with them and provide help, advice or support as they need it. He also mentions his 'Child's Plan', which sets out how services will work towards Ryan's identified outcomes. It is important that this is regularly reviewed so that everyone continues to work towards a common goal, taking account of changing circumstances and Ryan's growing maturity. Sometimes, when several services are involved in a child's plan, a 'lead professional', who can be, for example a teacher, social worker or physiotherapist, takes responsibility for coordinating the plan so that all agencies work effectively together. When the focus is on outcomes, professionals from all backgrounds have to be able to move from 'fixing' to 'facilitating' so that they:
… actively recognise and engage the things children are able to do or are interested in. In doing so, they naturally focus on the things that are working well to create positive experiences and sustainable behaviour change driven by the child’s intrinsic goals and aspirations.
Find out more