Here's a quick digest of what it means:
Basically there will be a 'named person' (a teacher or guidance councillor most probably) for every child, it is said this person will not have to do anything beyond what they already do except record information about the child in-line with something called the National Practice Model. So what's that then?
OK, so I've lost the will to live. I've skimmed over the picture and I've seen it before. Its bad enough - patronising enough even - to have this in the work place, like we all live in a perfect little bubble where policies and directives can be applied in a uniform manner across the board. But to apply such a thing to real life and to a kid?
|Even this random baby thinks its laughable.|
GIRFEC will, (in theory) facilitate a more uniform collection of information about the child's development, the idea being, any risks to that development can be identified early and targeted for some sort of positive intervention. There will be a database (isn't there always?) that social services, the NHS and education managers among others will be able to access, the truth is, access is a bit vague - its not clear who would have access - the police? What about other council departments or commercial enterprises buying data - councils are strapped for cash after all...
I could go on about the ten core components and the set of values and principles that underpin GIRFEC but I've seen that before too. No government or civil service project, strategy or scheme exists without values and principles, in fact, if the managers in charge feel the need to include any - then you know its a waste of time and the main motivation of the exercise is the maintenance of the people who are being paid to deliver it.
Which brings us to the next problem: social work. I have some experience with social work, a fair bit as it happens. Never have I ever come across a more ineffectual occupation. If you require assistance beyond the simplest thing (organisation of a care package) then don't contact them. Social work isn't about protecting vulnerable people (adults or kids,) its about protecting Social Workers. Its not entirely the social worker's fault, they've just lost sight of their own purpose - they've been criticised so often that social work managers are now more concerned with covering the occupation's back than protecting vulnerable groups. In my own experience, after months of honesty - I had to lie through my teeth to get rid of them. It would have been less stressful to shoot the problem-person in the face then sit through my own murder trial - probably quicker too.
Suffice to say, when it comes to supporting vulnerable young people and adults, I'm a firm believer in the flexibility of community & family as opposed to the rigid framework of social work, local council authority or government.
Which is why GIRFEC is such a terrible idea, it is intrusive, unnecessary and ripe for abuse itself. It is a response to a tiny number of terrible incidents where children fell through the cracks in the system. Instead of tightening up existing practice, they formed a committee and came up with this dog's dinner. They argue that by monitoring all children they can catch any potential escapees, in fact, they'll spend so much time collating info about ordinary families - they'll end up on so many wild goose chases started by the over-zealous jobsworths these programs inevitably attract - they'll miss the very kids they're trying to protect.
I work with young folk in a voluntary capacity (I've also worked in a paid capacity through Social Work and Education & Community Services,) the idea of 'monitoring' or 'observing' then applying my findings to a 'Resilience Matrix' if things go beyond GIRFEC's daft idea of the Circle of Life; where you have to decide whether the kid is a Successful Learner, a Confident Individual, an Effective Contributor or a Responsible Citizen. If I think they're not, the last thing I'm going to do is report it to my local authority - heck - I'd run a mile before that even crossed my mind.
I'm not sure I know a child who ticks all those boxes, more-over, if I did - I wouldn't think they were normal (and I wouldn't tell anyone that either.) I don't want to live in a society where kids are little robots, its their differences that make them who and what they are. I definitely don't want to live in a country where our kids are spied on and notes are taken behind their back for inclusion in yet another giant database which I have no doubt will end up fulfilling purposes outwith that which was envisaged on its inception.
I've already signed this petition, obviously its entirely up to you whether you do the same, I should warn you though, if you don't...
|I'm not above shameless emotive jingoism.|
You will most probably be haunted by the face of this sad baby crying because you deserted him (or her, its another random one so I don't really know.) Most probably, in the future this random baby will not be a Confident Individual or an Effective Contributor forcing their Named Person to consult the Resilience Matrix.
And it'll be YOUR FAULT.