There are four steps in assessing who needs additional, targeted support.

West Dunbartonshire use a stepped process based on the Getting It Right For Every Child and Young Person (GIRFEC) approach to assess additional needs. Our use of this approach helps us decide when more targeted support is needed.

Find out more information on the GIRFEC approach as summarised in the Practice Model.

Step one - Identify concerns

What is getting in the way of this child or young person's well-being?

There are eight well-being indicators which can be used by our staff to identify concerns.

These are:

  • safe
  • healthy
  • achieving
  • nurtured
  • active
  • respected
  • responsible
  • included.

Step two - Decide on the child's needs

Do I have all the information I need to help this child or young person? 

We use the 'My World' Triangle tool to gather and organise information about your child. This tool helps to identify what information we have or need to get about your child.

When we use this tool we look at the development of your child, including their:

  • physical
  • social
  • educational
  • emotional 
  • spiritual
  • psychological development.

Once we have this information we will consider:

  • how to increase resilience, i.e. to allow your child to cope with difficult situations
  • how to increase protection, i.e. things that protect your child from their bad experiences
  • what leads to vulnerability, i.e. details of their life that could lead to issues with their development, e.g. disability
  • what leads to adversity, i.e. events in your child's life which could harm their development, e.g. abuse
  • what does the child or young person need from those who look after them.

Step three - Decide the stage of intervention needed

What can we do to help this child or young person? 

Stage 1

Is when we can meet your child's needs without the need for targeted support. All children should have this universal support. They should have frequent and regular chances to discuss their learning with a key adult who knows them well and can act as a mentor.

Stage 2

Is when all your child's needs are related to their education and these are met at a local level, e.g. the school.

Stage 3

Is all your child's needs are related to their education and these are met at a council level, i.e. by Educational Services. 

What additional help, if any, may be needed from others?

Stage 4

Is when help is needed from others, so we will consider a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) and a more integrated plan.

Step four - Review the plan

Everyone who helped to write the original plan will help to review it. They will look at:

  • what has improved
  • what has gotten worse
  • have we achieved our outcomes
  • do we need to change anything
  • yours and your child's views about any part or all of the plan and review.

The review may show one of three things:

  1. things have improved and a plan is no longer required
  2. things have improved but the plan needs to continue or a less detailed plan is needed
  3. our concerns have increased and the plan is no longer working.

If the plan is not working we will either make a more detailed/integrated plan or change the outcomes and targeted support of the original.

Find out more information:

Child Protection

More information on Child Protection Services in our area. 


We are committed to the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach. This will make sure all our children and young people get the best possible start in life.