Sunday, 17 April 2016

Named Persons: not engaging is a risk factor

"Parents who fail to co-operate with the SNP`s Named Person scheme for every child in the country could face a visit from a social worker. A Scottish Government document seen by the Scottish Mail on Sunday lists parental resistance to any state appointed guardian as a `risk indicator` suggesting a child is having difficulties at home."

"Last month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was accused of being `disingenuous` with voters by claiming that parents don`t have to have anything to do with the Named Person scheme, which she said was not compulsory. But campaigners say the document proves parents will get a black mark against their name if they fail to co-operate with the state guardian assigned to their child."

"Parents with any other `risk factors` - such as unrealistic expectations of their child, a lack of interest in their child, having a new partner with an unknown background or refusing workers access to a child - can be referred to the child protection system...There`s a couple of situations where it is clear that, where you are not co-operating, that is marked down as a problem in that family. That is what parents are terrified about - that if they choose not to engage, as many of them will not want to do, they get a black mark against their family.`"

"Draft guidance for the Children and Young People Scotland Bill published by the Scottish Government identifies a series of low-level indicators of `wellbeing need` which when taken together, whether obviously related or not, `can amount to a child protection issue`. The document adds `Child protection requires taking prompt action to safeguard a child where an assessment indicates the child may be at risk of significant harm.`.."

"There`s a lot of fear among parents because they don`t know where the line is between complying and not complying. If you don`t agree as a parent with the treatment the medical professionals are laying out for your child, that is a risk factor."


What is worse is that those low level indicators of wellbeing need, taken together, could point to a possible risk in the future because often that is how child protection works.

Victoria Derbyshire interviews a mother who had to fight to have her child returned to her.

The mother says: "I didn`t really believe that in this country that a baby could be removed from its mother on a future risk and the mother hadn`t done anything to this baby."

The story continues this morning.

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