GIRFEC blog: Ensuring the safety of our children
In the third of our blog series on Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), Assistant Chief Constable Allan Moffat discusses the importance of keeping our children safe.
The safety of our children is at the very heart of the Getting it Right for Every Child approach.
It’s our collective responsibility to keep our children safe, whether we are on the GIRFEC Programme Board, police officers on our streets, parents, or members of the wider community. We must all face the challenges of keeping our children safe – because they are OUR children.
I don’t think I can over-emphasise this because I believe that if we all share this view it makes the other seven wellbeing indicators so much easier to achieve as they all seek to allow our young people to thrive and flourish.
It’s my job to ensure that this message is understood by every police officer and every member of police staff across the police service in Scotland. It will become increasingly important, as we move towards one police force for Scotland, that this vision and these values are reflected in the aspirations of our new national force.
So how do we achieve that?
The simple answer is that we achieve that together, and it must be demonstrated in our every interaction both with and on behalf of children across our country. It is essential that our officers engage with children and young people, and are trusted by them, so that in times of crisis they know that we can be relied upon, whether to protect them from harm or protect their wider wellbeing.
This is equally important when we engage with children and young people in relation to offending. The key question we must all ask ourselves is what we want for our children when they commit offences
We work very closely with the Scottish Government and our partners across the country to try and ensure that we prevent our young people making the wrong choices and becoming involved in crime or antisocial behaviour. When they do make these choices it’s important that our officers have the skills to talk to young people and understand why they have offended. It’s about understanding their needs as well as their deeds.
By doing this we can help change their paths and prevent them offending again in the future. We believe this will support our communities and importantly the victims of crime.
I believe GIRFEC gives all of us the tools to support our children and young people. We must work together to ensure we meet their needs and support them to make the right choices.
What do you think the police need to do in order to fully support all our children and young people?
Assistant Chief Constable Allan Moffat
ACPOS Youth Issues Group
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