The Scottish Government has come under fire this week over their Getting if Right for Every Child policy which includes plans for every child in the country to have a named adult as a Guardian.   The policy has been branded anti-family by some groups, with the Church of Scotland stating that,

“The family is the fundamental unit of society. The concept of a named person diminishes the role of parents, with no obvious benefit for the most vulnerable in society, a point we have consistently made in our responses to the Scottish Government and to the Parliament’s Education Committee.”

The named adult role is to provide a single point of contact for families and those concerned about a child’s wellbeing, development, or safety and seeks to ensure that services are coordinated in the interests of the child.

GCVS strongly supports this role and are keen that the third sector  helps to deliver the broader purpose of GIRFEC.

While the focus this week has been on this aspect, the policy, which promotes wellbeing for Scotland’s children and young people, contains many progressive aspects beyond child protection.  The Scottish Government’s ambition is for all of Scotland’s children to be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.  To ensure this they have identified the following eight indicators of wellbeing. Scotland’s children should be:

  • Safe
  • Healthy
  • Achieving
  • Nurtured
  • Active
  • Respected
  • Responsible
  • Included

Children’s charities have welcomed it, with the Children First, Anne Houston, stating that,

“We need to find common ground on this by focusing on what children need to live healthy, happy and secure lives.

“Unfortunately not every child can rely on their parent or carer to always act in their best interests, and we know that some vulnerable children can and do slip through the net, sometimes with tragic consequences.”

GIRFEC aims to bring together a range of statutory partners and the third sector to ensure our children’s needs are met in the right way and at the points when support is most needed.

The GCVS Everyone’s Children Project will work with key partners in Glasgow and nationally, to raise awareness of GIRFEC and to map and demonstrate the contribution of the third sector in Glasgow, whose work with children and their families often helps to prevent the need for statutory intervention.  We will be working particularly with smaller third sector organisations who provide support to children and their families from birth to early adulthood, to share learning and support capacity building, workforce development and training.

GCVS recently hosted training on GIRFEC and Children’s Wellbeing.

More information about the GCVS project will soon be available on our website.  For more information on the broader contribution of GIRFEC see the Scottish Government GIRFEC website

Source: The Herald

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