Kirsty in Adversity: Getting It Right For Every Child

Kirsty, the fictional Holyrood baby, has turned three and she is facing adversity. This event is about the challenges facing Kirsty and her family. It examines solutions to improving awareness of where families can turn for support when they are facing adversity and how services can improve multi-agency delivery. How do we ‘get it right for every child’? 

Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC)

Born as MSPs took their seats for the start of the Scottish Parliament’s fifth session, Kirsty lives in one of Scotland’s most deprived communities with her mother, Caley. Kirsty and Caley should benefit from the Scottish Government’s flagship policy, GIRFEC, which is intended to support families by making sure children and young people receive the right help, at the right time, from the right people.

But services can appear fragmented, with families often unaware of where to turn for help, and staff and resource shortages resulting in families missing key touchpoints with services – points where warning signs may have been flagged.

Kirsty is one of the 26% of children from deprived areas that has at least one developmental concern identified by her health visitor. When she begins school, her circumstances make it more likely that she will be part of the 22% of Scottish children assessed as vulnerable. Solutions to these challenges must be found if we are to get it right for every child. Kirsty’s future is in our hands.

Join us to hear from experts and policymakers as we ask, how do we 'get it right for every child'?

Why come to this event?

  • Hear from outstanding experts and policymakers directly involved with GIRFEC
  • Your chance to question the people that matter
  • Join the conversation in an interactive roundtable discussion
  • Network with colleagues and share innovative approaches to ensuring we get it right for every child

Who should attend? 

  • Staff working in children’s services
  • Social workers
  • NHS staff
  • Teachers
  • Head teachers and deputy heads
  • Local elected representatives
  • Academics
  • Local authority education and children’s services professionals


9:45 Registration and Refreshments 

10:25 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair 

Tom Freeman, the journalist behind Kirsty the Holyrood baby

10:30 Session 1: Kirsty in Adversity

  • The reality of life for a child growing up in a deprived area
  • Barriers to accessing available support
  • Policy context: GIRFEC 
  • The challenges that Kirsty has faced so far

10:30 Amanda Gordon, Head of Getting It Right For Every Child Unit, Scottish Government 

11:00 Kirsty in Adversity: The Reality of Child Poverty in Scotland

  • Outline national picture and trends in child poverty
  • Why child poverty is rising
  • Impacts on young people

Jen Gracie, Policy and Parliamentary Officer, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland

11:30 Q&A

11.40 Refreshments and Networking 

12:00 Session 2: The Challenges You Face in Getting it Right for Every Child

12:00 The Challenge of Complexity in Adversity

  • Association between adversity and social circumstances
  • Achieving a common narrative for adversity
  • Agreeing approaches to practice

Pauline Craig, Head of Population Health, NHS Health Scotland 

12:30 The Solution Room

This interactive workshop is designed to provide peer-supported advice on your most pressing problems in delivering on GIRFEC. You will have two minutes to think of a challenge you are facing. Participants will then be divided into groups and each person's challenge will be brainstormed by your group in seven-minute cycles. 

13:00 Lunch and Networking 

13:45 Session 3: Getting it Right for Kirsty

  • Being brave enough to change the history of practice
  • Genuine collaboration across agencies 
  • Raising awareness of support services
  • Early intervention

13:45 Why Kirsty Needs Kindergarten

Sue Palmer, Independent Writer and Education Consultant; Chair, Upstart Scotland 

14:15 It's About The Whole System

Bill Alexander, Associate, Children in Scotland (former Director of Care & Learning at Highland Council)  

14:45 Data Sharing in the Brave New World of GDPR

A principled approach to compliance doesn’t mean you can’t share personal information with other agencies. This presentation seeks to dispel the myths and show delegates how to share safely.

Maureen Falconer, Regional Manager – Scotland, Information Commissioner's Office 

15:15 Q&A 

15:25 Closing Remarks from the Chair 

Tom Freeman, the journalist behind Kirsty the Holyrood baby

15:30 Close of Event 

*The agenda is subject to change 

Our events are CPD certified. This event is equivalent to 2 CPD points.
A certificate is available on request post-event to all attendees.


Speaker callout

We are committed to bringing the latest policy information with engaging dialogue and practical case studies to make a real impact in the public sector. If you are a knowledge expert in your field or have an inspiring case study which would make an impact to Public Sector organisations, we would love to hear from you. Please email with your name and contact details, linkedin profile and a summary of your project or area or expertise and we will be in touch.


NASUWT, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh EH2 4JD | Map


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Reduced rate: 1 place £145 + VATpp (Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Standard rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, professional associations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email or phone 0131 285 1635

9 May 2019
Central Edinburgh
United Kingdom



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