A consultation has been launched on how controversial plans to appoint a "named person" for every child in Scotland would work in practice.
The Scottish Government is seeking views on draft guidance to implement measures in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act. The Act, passed by MSPs last February and due to come into force in 2016, would assign a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, to look out for the welfare of children under 18.
Supporters say the service will act as a safety net to help families and children if they need it, to speed things up and avoid families having to speak to numerous different services.
Most families do not need a safety net, are not looking for services and do not require to `speed things up`. At the same time, those families who require extra services for their vulnerable children are finding that the services do not exist because money is being squandered on the `named person` scheme.
The policy is already being rolled out in parts of Scotland including Highland, Edinburgh, Fife, Angus and South Ayrshire.
Unfortunately, yes. 8,000 children are now on a child plan in the Highland Council. 8,000 happy families being provided quality services? - I don`t think so.
Speaking at the launch of the three-month consultation, Alex Cole-Hamilton, head of policy at children's charity Aberlour Child Care Trust, said: "I can understand that there is a lot of anxiety, particularly in those groups that are opposed to it. I think a lot of that anxiety stems from misinformation and some misunderstanding of the provisions of the Act.
I think Mr Hamilton has been having conversations with Jackie Brock:
"Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock said concerns over the proposal was the result of a "misunderstanding" of what the proposal would involve in practice."
These government funded charities work in packs. Recall how they worked along with local authorities to support the `named person` proposal, outnumbering the tokenistic opposition groups, during the original consultation. It`s called `participatory` democracy but there is nothing democratic about the process.
"Michael Urquhart, head teacher at Edinburgh's Murrayburn Primary School, said his experience of being a named person had been positive." He was also reassured that the named person would not face legal repercussions if something should go badly wrong with a child. I think I see where Mr Urquart, the named person, is coming from.
Also Mr Cole-Hamilton who said: "It's highly unlikely that the named person would be seen as the sole responsibility for the reason that person derailed." Obviously. It`s joined up working; it`s the great Collaborative and it`s easy to figure out how that will work in practice. I imagine the great Collaborative could derail quite a few people.
Although he does not mention it, Mr Hamilton is well aware of what the `named person` is really about.
Aberlour supports the coordinated delivery of services through joint planning and design..Throughout childhood, all those who undertake the role of the named person need to be absolutely clear about their level of accountability for that child`s wellbeing and the responsibilities they are expected to discharge. They will need clearly delineated lines of communication and robust guidance around appropriate sharing of information.
Everybody who works with children, no matter in what capacity, professional or voluntary, has a responsibility to pass on any concerns they have about a child`s wellbeing (a very broad term). It could be as simple as feeling something is not right or noticing a change. Information like that, which is hardly information at all, must be passed on to the named person who is there to collect the data, who might then be obliged to request further information from other private sources in order to make a decision; so gathering more personal data. This data is placed in an electronic file and passed on to the next named person, on and on, for eighteen years, building up a nice big file on each child and their family.
The named person policy is a DATA GRAB. There are no services that could not be provided without this unnecessary intrusion. As for a child`s right to a private and family life - or anybody else`s for that matter - those days will be long gone.
Read more http://news.stv.tv/scotland/309430-public-views-sought-on-named-person-plan-for-scots-children/