Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Named Persons for children with additional support needs

Calum Munro, formerly policy lead to Highland Children’s Forum, is either lost in his own reality or is deliberately trying to mislead the public.
"Firstly, a single point of contact with services was asked for by parents and carers of children and young people with additional support needs."
"These families continually faced a `pass the parcel` situation when they sought help, where they were the parcel and each time the music stopped, instead of stripping off a layer of wrapping paper more was added in the shape of service specific application forms."
"Their testimony of this experience led to the concept of a single point of initial contact for any family or young person who sought help. The person acting as the single point of contact would be required to take down the story once in a multi-agency acceptable format so that the family or young person was not required to repeat the basics time and time again."
He has obviously not been paying attention to the Tymes Trust, a charity well acquainted with the `pass the parcel` mentality of services for children with additional support needs. In their case their concern is with children suffering and being mistreated by services for ME. Yet they do not support the current Named Person policy.  

Now what was it they had to say about the Named Person again?
"Named Persons have existed in Highland at least as far back as 2001. Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, children with additional support needs were provided with a Record of Needs - a booklet from the Scottish Office, 'A Parents’ Guide to Special Educational Needs'  dated 1999 - which offered guidance to parents and 'Named Persons' (SOEID 1999)"
"As a result of advice from the assessment team, a draft Record of Needs was prepared in consultation with the parents. At this point the parents stated whether they wished to have a Named Person - someone appointed by the parents to act as adviser and friend - an active participant - who was on the families` side."
"All of this was made obsolete in 2004, through the Education Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act when co-ordinated Support Plans replaced Records of Needs..."
"The Highland GIRFEC trial began in 2005, and by 2007 ‘Named Persons’ - this time appointed by the state, were being trained by the Highland Council to ‘help support and advise’ families over state mandated wellbeing - not the same thing as 'welfare' and not the same as the Child Protection Scheme either."
Calum Munro, as former policy lead to the Highland Children`s Forum, you should know this. Why are you pushing a policy that parents of children with additional support needs do not want? And by implication, why would you wish this imposed on all children?

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