Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Parents will have the legal right not to accept advice, support or help from the Named Person

Simon Johnson, in the Telegraph:

"Sturgeon`s reassurance over named person policy undermined by new document response to UN."

"Nicola Sturgeon`s claim that the SNP`s controversial state guardian scheme is not compulsory was further undermined... by a Scottish government report confirming every child will be assigned a state employee to `respond to their needs.`"

"The First Minister had told BBC Scotland that the `named person` plan was `an entitlement, not an obligation` and parents could choose not to `have anything to do with  it`."

"But her government published a response to a UN committee [21.3.16] that stated that `every child in Scotland will have a named person who will receive training in identifying, assessing and responding to their needs.`"

"An official statement later appeared to water down Ms Sturgeon`s claims, stating only that parents will have the legal right `not to accept advice, support or help from the named person`. It did not say that parents could opt out of the scheme altogether."

"Campaigners who have gone to the UK`s highest court to block the legislation said the scheme contains `no opt outs and no provision for parental consent`. Simon Calvert, spokesman for the No to Named Person campaign, said: `It is, on any ordinary understanding of the word, mandatory.`"

" `Given how unpopular the scheme is, it is highly convenient for the First Minister to say it`s not compulsory. Sadly it doesn`t happen to be true.` "

"Under the legislation passed last year, the NHS will appoint a health worker to act as a named person for every child until the age of five. The responsibility will then pass to councils until the age of 18, with a teacher expected to adopt the role."

"Ministers argue the measure is needed so that potential cases of abuse are spotted early but the UK Supreme Court is considering whether it breaches parents` human rights."

"After being told by the BBC`s Brian Taylor that `dozens, if not hundreds` of people had contacted the broadcaster complaining about the scheme the First Minister said it was universal so that vulnerable children did not `slip through the net` but then insisted it had been misunderstood because `it is not compulsory`. If a parent doesn`t want to have anything to do with the Named Person scheme, they don`t have to. It`s not mandatory,` she said."

"The policy is already being rolled out in the Highland, Edinburgh, Fife, Angus and South Ayrshire council areas."

"A Scottish government spokesman said: `As the First Minister made clear in her interview there is no obligation on parents to work with the individual undertaking the named person role or to take up the offer of advice or support. Parents have the right not to accept advice, support or help from the named person and there are no new legal powers to compel parents, children or young people to accept advice, support or help.`"


The SNP response was called a row back, but it is not a row back, it`s just a regurgitation of the same old thing.

Every child in Scotland will have a named person who will be the first point of contact for everybody and anybody who has something to say about a child, and that includes taxi drivers who eavesdrop on conversations.  The named person will assess the child`s wellbeing by assessing the child/family/associated adults, gather data to assist in that, data share and if they deem it appropriate escalate matters to compulsory measures. These are the new powers in the law. That`s why they`re building the databases.

The parent has no say in any of this, nor does the child.

It`s really about the data and that`s the bit that Nicola forgot to mention. 

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