Our wellbeing is influenced by everything around us and the different experiences and needs we have at different times in our lives.
In Scotland, wellbeing is defined by eight indicators. This is so everyone has the same understanding of what wellbeing means. The indicators are: Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included (SHANARRI). For further information, please see the Scottish Government information on GIRFEC for children, young people and families or the GIRFEC wellbeing page on the Young Scots website, which was developed by young people for young people.
The online wellbeing tool provides a simple framework to help talk about wellbeing. The tool pinpoints areas of strength as well as areas that could be improved through support. More recently, there has been considerable attention given to the contribution that hope for the future has in improving wellbeing and outcomes. Although hope is not one of the 2014 Act wellbeing indicators, building hope is an important part of working with children and young people and all activity around wellbeing should seek to build hope. The online tool therefore provides the opportunity to have discussions around hopes for the future and next steps.
The tool is simple and is free to use. It consists of nine general questions that cover the eight elements linked to wellbeing in Scotland as well as hopes for the future. Prompts have been provided to help individuals think about wellbeing across various aspects of life and to aid conversations about this. These conversations can be as brief or as detailed as is appropriate for the individual at that point in time. Although each of the eight wellbeing outcomes are rated on a 1-5 scale (not at all – very) it is important that this is done within the context of conversation about these areas. When the eight outcomes have been rated and hopes for the future have been discussed, the results are plotted on a simple visual diagram. Children, their parents/carers, and those working with the child can individually record their view of the child's current level of wellbeing. This information can be used to aid conversations about strengths, needs and next steps as well as help with comparing views and monitoring changes over time.