Child protection experts from the University of Stirling welcomed practitioners from across the Scotland to the third annual Getting it Right for Every Child in Scotland (GIRFEC) Conference.
The two-day conference, which started today, is organised by the Scottish Government in partnership with Stirling-based WithScotland – Scotland’s national resource for child protection.
GIRFEC is the Scottish Government-led approach which seeks to ensure children and young people are fully supported in their development.
Members of the GIRFEC policy team discussed the Children & Young People (Scotland) Bill currently being considered in the Scottish Parliament, proposing to make aspects of the GIRFEC approach a legal obligation.
“During difficult times, children, young people and their families should always know where they can find help, what support might be available and whether that help is right for them,” said GIRFEC Implementation Advisor Marion Gillooly.
“The GIRFEC approach ensures that anyone providing that support puts the needs of the child or young person – and their family – at the centre.”
Conference delegates considered the latest research, policy and practice through presentations and interactive workshops.
The conference programme saw close collaboration between the Schools of Applied Social Science and Nursing, Midwifery and Health.
Duncan Helm, senior lecturer in Social Work and programme director for the postgraduate certificate in Child Welfare and Protection at Stirling, said: “GIRFEC is about consistent high standards of co-operation, joint working and communication. To be able to work effectively, we need to learn together.”
Nursing and Health lecturer Joanna Smith, co-chair of the conference, added: “This conference provides an opportunity for dialogue, debate and critical thinking to support the development of integrated working.”