APPENDIX D: USING THE GIRFEC NATIONAL PRACTICE MODEL
1. The local authority must assess whether a child is at risk of becoming looked after to determine if the child is an eligible child for kinship care assistance. A Lead Professional role is most likely to be undertaken by a child and family social worker in a local authority when there is a risk a child may become looked after.
2. It is proposed that this assessment should be framed using the Getting it Right for Every Child National Practice Model with its Wellbeing Wheel, the My World Triangle and the Resilience Matrix (see Figure one).
3. Section 96(2) of the 2014 Act describes the term wellbeing in terms of eight wellbeing indicators with provide a holistic view of each child or young person, identifying strengths as well as barriers to growth and development. A person assessing a child or young person's wellbeing is to consider the extent to which the child or young person is:
- Safe: protected from abuse, neglect or harm.
- Healthy: having the best possible standards of physical and mental health, support to make healthy and safe choices.
- Achieving: accomplishing goals and boosting skills, confidence and self-esteem.
- Nurtured: having a nurturing and stimulating place to live and grow.
- Active: having opportunities to take part in activities.
- Respected: being given a voice, being listened to, and being involved in the decisions which affect their wellbeing.
- Responsible: taking an active role within their home, school and community.
- Included: being a full member of the communities in which they live and learn, receiving help and guidance to overcome inequalities.
Figure One: GIRFEC National Practice Model
4. The Resilience matrix is an essential tool in assessing whether or a child is at risk of becoming looked after. This is a skilled task as every child's situation is unique and the risk and protective factors for each family need to be carefully considered. Knowledge of child development, understanding the impact of trauma on children and practice-knowledge in managing risk within families are requirements to ensure robust decision making is undertaken by children and family social workers. For disabled children, it may be more appropriate for a health professional to coordinate this assessment.
5. The My World Triangle provides a holistic understanding of the child's developmental needs and how these can be met. This provides an opportunity to consider what the child needs from their primary carers. This assessment should facilitate the identification of what additional support children and kinship carers may need to ensure the child's wellbeing needs are met. This should form the basis of the Child's Plan.
6. The National Risk Framework to Support the Assessment of Children and Young People (2012) provides an assessment model where there may be safeguarding concerns. A child's safety in the care of parents can be a primary concern when kinship care is being considered. This holistic approach builds on the GIRFEC National Practice Model for practitioners to approach the task of risk identification, assessment, analysis and management with more confidence and competence. This may be useful to local authorities in developing more specific assessment criteria if required.
7. Where there is a need for one or more targeted interventions to meet the wellbeing needs of a child (and hence there is a requirement for a Child's Plan), the managing authority will identify a Lead Professional to ensure that the Child's Plan is managed in accordance with section 39 of the 2014 Act and the Child's Plan (Scotland) Order 2016.