From Simon Knight, a senior youth work practitioner living in Glasgow:
"Today, we tend to think that there is no such thing as an accident. Anything bad that happens ‘could have been avoided’. Of course, it’s easy to be wise after the event, but the methodology of early intervention means that Named Persons will be tracking concerns forward and predicting future outcomes… for every child in Scotland. It is a trapdoor to the absurd."
"Workloads will also inevitably increase. Add Named Person duties for a handful of kids to meetings, case conferences, follow-ups and consultations, and my day job will suffer, as will those of other Named Persons."
"What’s more, because being a Named Person is a legal obligation, and because no one wants to get blamed if anything goes wrong, minor issues will be prioritised over other work. Those of us who work with children will lose our sense of where interventions are necessary. And the children who are at significant risk of harm will inevitably get lost amid all the clutter."
"The Scottish government has been forced to recognise the pandemonium that it is about to unleash, and is looking for ways to water down the proposals. It was no accident that first minister Nicola Sturgeon used the term ‘entitlement’ instead of ‘obligation’ when she was setting out her plans recently. But that doesn’t change the fact that the whole scheme is rotten. Even if every practical problem with the Named Person scheme were resolved, the new threshold for state involvement in family life would still be unacceptably low."
"The Named Person scheme is borne of a corrosive suspicion of ordinary people, led by politicians who desperately want our votes but don’t trust us to bring up our own children. It would be farcical if it wasn’t so pernicious."