Saturday, 17 September 2016

The skewed statistics

STV Scotland Tonight: [13 September 2016] 

Explaining the need for the Named Person service, Martin Crewe, CEO of Barnardos` says that the simple reason for the scheme is that children don`t come with a convenient label which says: "I am vulnerable.... What we know from universal services is that you can pick up the need where it occurs."

Maggie Mellon, a former social worker and current campaigner against the Named Person scheme does not agree. "Well, no ... it`s part of a view... where government actually seems to think it should have a direct relationship and a direct control of children`s lives and that parents are merely a means to kind of deliver that. Now the state makes a lousy parent. It`s children who are currently in care who really need us to get it right for them . They have some of the worst outcomes, and Scotland, contrary to what John Swinney said today, ... actually has the highest rate in the UK of children coming into care as in ... being looked after and accommodated. We actually have fewer children than we used to have being supported at home. So it hasn`t been a preventative measure or it`s a misunderstanding of prevention, and I think it mixes up need where there`s families in huge need but this scheme mixes up need ...with risk, and all we have is a risk assessment framework that actually means the most vulnerable children and the families in greatest need are not having their needs met."

We are constantly being told that the pilot Named Person scheme being run in Highland Council is proving to be a great success and the number of referrals to the Children`s reporter have been going down, suggesting that prevention is working in that area at least.

However, the recent excellent post by the Tymes Trust blows that argument wide open. Taking figures from the Child Protection Biennial Report (2013-2015) exposes that the number of children placed on the `at risk` register in the Highland area has increased by 30%, a rise way above the national average increase.

Heeding the warning from Maggie Mellon that the state makes a lousy parent, this huge increase of children on Child Protection Plans is tragic.


See the Tymes Trust post which elaborates further.

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