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Where did GIRFEC come from?

The GIRFEC approach has been tested and developed across Scotland over a period of more than ten years, during which children’s services have become more integrated and child-centred. It has been endorsed by successive governments and more and more organisation are committing to it principles and practice.


June 2017: Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill is published.

March 2017: Parliamentary statement from the Deputy First Minister announcing the intent to bring forward a Bill to include new provisions on when and how information can be shared by and with the Named Person service.

September 2016: Parliamentary statement from the Deputy First Minister confirming that the Scottish Government would undertake a three month period of engagement on how information sharing in relation to the Named Person service should operate.

July 2016: The Supreme Court judgment on the appeal by Advocacy Groups against the 'Named Person' service.

December 2015: A final draft of the Statutory Guidance on Parts 4, 5 and 18 (section 96) is issued.

September 2015: The Court of Session dismisses an appeal by Advocacy Groups against its original ruling. 

February 2015: A consultation on the draft Statutory Guidance for the GIRFEC elements (Parts 4, 5 and 18 (Section 96) and related draft orders) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is published.

January 2015: The Court of Session dismisses a challenge by Advocacy Groups challenge against the ‘Named Person’ service.

March 2014: The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is passed, setting a date of 2016 for enforcement of key elements of the GIRFEC approach.

July 2012: The Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill is proposed in the Scottish Parliament to introduce aspects of the GIRFEC Practice Model as a joined up approach to children’s services across Scotland.

June 2012: A second version of A Guide to Getting it Right for Every Child is published, with no substantial change to the Practice Model.

June 2010: The leaders of all national service agencies endorse the principles of GIRFEC at a Children’s Summit held in Edinburgh.

November 2009: An evaluation report of the development and early implementation phases of Getting it right for every child in Highland 2006 – 2009 is published.

March 2009: GIRFEC training is implemented for all staff across the Highlands.

September 2008: Scottish Government publishes the first version of A Guide to Getting it Right for Every Child, detailing the Practice Model. Other councils gradually begin adopting aspects of the approach.

May-June 2008: The Scottish Government holds roadshow events talking with councils, professionals and parents about GIRFEC.

January 2008: Highland Council starts full implementation of the Practice Model across the authority, with training for lead professionals.

March 2007: A second set of smaller pathfinders, focused on the needs of children living with domestic abuse, is launched in four local authorities: Dumfries & Galloway, West Dunbartonshire, Edinburgh City and Falkirk & West.

June 2006: The Scottish Government announces the Highland pathfinder and the GIRFEC Development and implementation plan is published.

August 2005: Discussions occur between Highland Council and Scottish government about launching a ‘pathfinder’ to develop a model for integrated working.

February 2004: Highland Council works on development of a new Children’s Plan approach for their area.

April 2004: Minister for Children published a review of the Children’s Hearing System, entitled Getting it Right For Every Child, highlighting dramatic increase in identified children with multiple needs.

October 2001: The Scottish Government publishes For Scotland’s Children, setting out aspirations for integrated children’s services in Scotland.