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

The child at the centre

Activity 6.4 A practitioner's perspective

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Listen to Cathy McNaughton, who worked for Multi-Cultural Family Base, a voluntary sector organisation in Scotland, talking about implementing Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) in her agency's work. Make notes in your learning log [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in response to these questions:

  • What does Cathy say about GIRFEC and working together?
  • What does GIRFEC have to do with personalisation?


Cathy emphasises the importance of holding the child 'at the centre' and working holistically. She suggests that this leads to better working relationships between families, the statutory sector and voluntary organisations.

You have already seen that Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is a whole system attempt to transform services so that, rather than pulling in different directions, they work together in the interests of the child. The values and principles of GIRFEC fit closely with those of personalisation – like personalisation they are about putting children like Ryan – rather than services – at the centre. Rather than 'doing for' the child and his or her family, practitioners and organisations must move towards ways of working with children and parents as active citizens to achieve the outcomes citizens identify as important to them. Of course, in reality this ideal can be complex to achieve, for example if parents are not able or willing to act in their children's best interests, or when the wanted outcomes are considered too expensive for services to fund. Nevertheless, it is very important to keep the principles that underpin personalisation and GIRFEC firmly in your mind as you continue to work through this course.

The child at the centre

Figure 6.3

At the start of this course we defined personalisation as an approach that:

enables the individual alone, or in groups, to find the right solution for them and to participate in the delivery of a service. From being a recipient of services citizens can become actively involved in selecting and shaping the services they receive.

(Scottish Government, 2009, p. 10)

GIRFEC can be seen as one of a 'constellation' of policies, frameworks, laws and initiatives which together represent a steady shift towards the personalisation of services that work with children and their families. We don't have space in this course to explore all these policies, but you may want to investigate some or all of the links below to help you understand the wider context of personalisation in relation to children and families.

A constellation of policies and laws in Scotland

Just click anywhere on the constellation 'wheel' to find out more about the policies and legislation listed below the image:

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Figure 6.4
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