GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) Training system

As children and young people progress on their journey through life, some may have temporary difficulties, some may live with challenges and some may experience more complex issues.

Sometimes they – and their families – are going to need help and support.

No matter where they live or whatever their needs, children, young people and their families should always know where they can find help, what support might be available and whether that help is right for them.

The Getting it right for every child approach ensures that anyone providing that support puts the child or young person – and their family – at the centre.

Getting it right for every child is important for everyone who works with children and young people – as well as many people who work with adults who look after children. Practitioners need to work together to support families, and where appropriate, take early action at the first signs of any difficulty – rather than only getting involved when a situation has already reached crisis point.

This means working across organisational boundaries and putting children and their families at the heart of decision making – and giving all our children and young people the best possible start in life.

The Scottish Government

The Training System

The GIRFEC training system has been created for Aberdeen City Council’s Children Services. The system is used city-wide to train anyone who is involved with meeting children’s needs. This can be a healthcare professional, a receptionist in a dentist, a teacher or a coach – and there are many many more roles that this system covers.

The system has been created as an interactive pdf file – so it can run on any computer with access to Adobe Acrobat Reader. It contains all the information that needs to be known by this very wide range of people with useful examples. Finally, it has a quiz based on the information contained in the preceding sections. Only if you get the questions right will it allow the user to print a certificate showing that they have understood what GIRFEC means and their responsibilities to children and young people.

This was a new experience for us, and involved a steep learning curve in terms of the technology that could be utilised. The output is a simple pdf file, but there’s complex programming going on in the background. None of this is important however – what is important is how the system functions and that has been shown to be a resounding success.

This training system was produced at the same time as The Assessment and Plan – another pdf-based system with a very important remit.

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