"I’m a former `looked-after` child. I’ve suffered the abuse and neglect that this scheme is intended to help protect children from. Having scrutinised the details for myself, I fully support it."
"Scottish Labour and the Lib Dems voted in favour of the Scottish Government’s proposals for the NP Scheme in 2014, while the Conservatives abstained. Yet just a few weeks before the election Kezia Dugdale performed a U-turn, calling the policy a `mess` and demanding it should be paused."
"But child protection isn’t a political game, and those who choose to wilfully misinform and indulge in scaremongering tactics with such an important subject for the sake of petty party advantage are as far as I’m concerned engaging in nothing more than blatant opportunism of the most despicable kind."
"Many children find themselves in the care of their local authority as I was – the vast majority of looked-after kids have become so for care and protection reasons. They’ll probably have experienced neglect or mental, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. To them the thought of a `state guardian` is not a derogatory sneer, as used by campaigners like No2NP, but a symbol of hope."
"The NP scheme is not taking away the rights of parents to raise their children, but merely formalising measures already in place to try to help ensure children are protected from harm. And the uncomfortable truth is that most of that harm happens within the family home, from family members."
However, most children will never be `looked-after` and privacy is an issue for them as well as for their families. It is their right to have a private and family life, free of state interference. But by using the SHANARRI wellbeing indicators, Named Persons are encouraged to collect, collate and spread private data around the various agencies, actually putting these children at unnecessary risk. Those risks may come from data thieves who might sell that information, or from malicious individuals wanting to do mischief, or from paedophiles looking for accessible children. This is why similar legislation and ContactPoint were discarded in England.
There is evidence from the Scottish Children`s Parliament that young people want their privacy to be respected:
"Of particular importance to young people was the issue of confidentiality, with regard to the Named Person role and other professionals working with them. Markedly fewer Young Scot/SYP respondents selected the Named Person responsibility relating to the sharing of confidential information. 75% of the approximately 20 young people who discussed the Bill at an NHS Forth Valley even stated that they would feel upset if their Named person shared private information with another professional ‘without discussing it with them first’."
Again, in the comments after the post, there is confusion between welfare and wellbeing, even from children`s panel members and those who have worked in social services. Let us be clear; Donna was let down by the child protection system which is still in place and covered by the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 - it has never been repealed - and yes it does need to be improved. I have never heard of anybody arguing against protecting children from risk of significant harm (welfare), only that it should be better resourced instead of throwing money away on the frivolous wellbeing concerns of all children. Over sixty million to date on that I think. In one respect, what a waste. But for child protection services, what a missed opportunity to have done something to improve the system.