Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland
Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

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Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

Getting it right for every child

Ryan's story, told through the short video you have just watched, is an example of how professionals, such as the police, teachers and after-school care workers, can work effectively together. It is an example of how the policy of Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) can achieve 'joined-up' services that meet the outcome s of the individual child. However, we are at an early stage in a journey to putting the child 'at the centre' of care and support, and there are still many challenges. The Highland Council was one of several ‘pathfinder’ projects established when GIRFEC was first introduced in 2006. This project, which focused on the theme of multi-agency working in children's services across Highland, is the topic of the next activity.

Activity 6.3 Transformational change

Listen to this podcast [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] of a talk given by Bill Alexander, Director of Health and Social Care at The Highland Council (at the time of writing). You can also follow Bill's talk by moving through his slides on the same page on the IRISS website:

Use your learning log to note down answers to these questions:

  1. How does the GIRFEC approach support professionals to work well together in the interests of the child?
  2. What challenges has Highland encountered in working together?


You will have seen that GIRFEC is founded on a number of values and principles. Some of these are particularly relevant to working together: putting the child at the centre is a key one because it implies that all services work for the child's benefit – their common goal. 'Teamwork between professionals and agencies', 'confidentiality and information sharing' and 'partnership with families' are also very important aspects of working well together.

Bill highlights many challenges in bringing about the 'transformational' change visualised in GIRFEC. These have included:

  • funding at a time of limited resources
  • the need for cultural change in organisations, e.g. the need for practitioners need to develop 'ownership' of the changes
  • changes in how organisations work e.g. how organisations set their criteria for intervention.

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