Central to the GIRFEC approach is a common framework (the My World Triangle) and criteria (the wellbeing indicators) for assessing and meeting the needs of children, called the National Practice Model (please see the diagram opposite). This common approach keeps the child at the centre and provides one point of contact between the family and the involved agencies and services. This single point of contact is called the, ‘Named Person’. If a child has not yet started school, their Named Person is most likely to be the health visitor. Once they are at school, it will be a guidance teacher, head teacher or depute head.

In Aberdeenshire teaching staff and health visitors are already doing much of what a Named Person will do. They are considering a child’s whole wellbeing and asking themselves what they can do to support the child if something is getting in the way of their wellbeing.

They are drawing in support from other professional services where appropriate, and making sure the child and their parents are at the centre of any discussions. They are thinking about what information it might be helpful to share and they are discussing this with the child or parents (unless there are more immediate child protection issues).

This process is known as the Child’s Network of Support, the network of Support promotes wellbeing to ensure children and young people get the right help at the right time.

The network will always include family and/or carers and the universal services of health and education. Many will draw support from their local community. Most of the child or young person’s needs will be met from within these networks.

Only when support from the family and community and the universal services can no longer meet their needs will targeted and specialist help be called upon.

Each child who requires support whether from a single universal service or several agencies will have this support coordinated by a Lead Professional and recorded within a single plan. In Aberdeenshire we call this a Multi-Agency Action Plan.

National Practice Model

GIRFEC National Practice Model

Click here for a larger image of the National Practice Model.