Friday, 3 June 2016

Did Liam Fee have a named person ?

As far as Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, is concerned:
"The named person service will help social work professionals by supporting children and young people early and diverting them from formal intervention. This will give social workers and their partners more time to work alongside families who need more support given their circumstances." 
It`s messages like that which give everybody the right to ask if Liam Fee, the little boy killed by his mother and her partner, had a named person. How else can people determine if the named person scheme is a help or a hindrance?

Not according to John Swinney, deputy First Minister.
"It is atrocious for critics of the controversial named person scheme to use the `utterly tragic` murder of Liam Fee to attack the Scottish Government’s policy, the Deputy First Minister has said."
"John Swinney, who has taken on the role of Education Secretary, insisted the death of the two-year-old at the hands of his mother and her civil partner` has absolutely nothing to do with named persons`."
 Absolutely nothing: yet according to one of the biggest supporters of the named person service, who is often quoted by the Scottish Government, it will give social workers and their partners more time to work alongside families. But that contradicts what we know about the Liam Fee case: a social worker went off sick and a little boy `fell off the radar.` That sounds more like a service starved of resources.

Kenneth Roy has written an excellent article on the same topic, stating that not only did Fife have the named person service in place "it was producing '400 cases per month’ as long ago as April 2013. Four hundred a month:"
"Think about it," he says. "In the small local authority of Fife, in the year before Liam Fee’s death, the council’s Named Persons were generating an annual caseload numbering almost 5,000 apparently without breaking sweat."
"Was Liam Fee part of that impossible caseload? We don’t know yet."

The moral high ground does not lie with those who would shut down the debate. The people of Scotland have a right to ask and a right to know.

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