As with the ill-advised repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, cynical opposition politicians will be gleeful and sadly, innocents may well suffer for it. Needless to say, they have no alternatives ideas to offer. Fortunately, Scotland already has a well-established and admired mechanism in place to protect children. See this from the Nuffield Trust in 2018:
All the UK nations would do well to follow the example of Scotland’s ‘Getting it right for every child’ [GIRFEC] framework, an overarching child health strategy which unifies and coordinates policies, services and programmes for children and young people.
Here’s a quick outline of the GIRFEC principles and values:
Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) is based on children’s rights and its principles reflect the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
It is for all children and young people because it is impossible to predict if or when they might need support. GIRFEC also respects parents’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The GIRFEC approach:
- is child-focused – it ensures the child or young person – and their family – is at the centre of decision-making and the support available to them.
- is based on an understanding of the wellbeing of a child in their current situation – it takes into consideration the wider influences on a child or young person and their developmental needs when thinking about their wellbeing, so that the right support can be offered
- is based on tackling needs early – it aims to ensure needs are identified as early as possible to avoid bigger concerns or problems developing
- requires joined-up working – it is about children, young people, parents, and the services they need working together in a coordinated way to meet the specific needs and improve their wellbeing
The GIRFEC approach has been tested and developed across Scotland since 2006. It is based on research evidence and the experiences of practitioners, families and children. A report published by the Nuffield Trust found that the GIRFEC approach to promoting and improving wellbeing is leading the way in the UK.