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Reading various pieces on the Named Person legislation being introduced in Scotland. Is it really something that people want?   Is every single child really going to have a Named Person allocated to them?  

How do people with children feel about all of this?  From this end of the world it looks pretty scary and draconian.

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Reading various pieces on the Named Person legislation being introduced in Scotland. Is it really something that people want?   Is every single child really going to have a Named Person allocated to them?  

How do people with children feel about all of this?  From this end of the world it looks pretty scary and draconian.

Is it really something that people want? No, not really.  It is working on the principle that everyone is a potential criminal, the State simply hasn't caught them yet. 

Is every single child really going to have a Named Person allocated to them?  That is my understanding, yes.

How do people with children feel about all of this?  Unnecessary State intrusion in the family life, potential infringement of rights to privacy and possible means for interference either through mis-use, mis-understanding or simple incompetence.

From this end of the world it looks pretty scary and draconian.  Correct.

 

Basically, the underpinning principle of joined up thinking for the State is not in itself a bad one, but this measure is indeed draconian and therefore unnecessary.  It could be done a lot easier, a lot cheaper and still achieve the intended outcome.

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I must admit this law worries me a bit.  Though born out of good intentions I am sure, the actual operation of it is a minefield.  Exactly what powers will this named person have?

I'm old enough to remember the Social Services disgrace many years ago when scores of children were removed from innocent parents (in the Orkneys I think) because of a rogue chief of social services whose head had been filled with mumbo jumbo learned in the US which incorrectly identified signs of abuse in children.

Bad enough for Social Services to get it so wrong, so I am nervous therefore of some lay person now being in the loop and potentially having power to determine what is best for a child.

 

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Apart from being an unwarranted intrusion on a huge number of decent families who do a superb job of looking after their children, this legislation also diverts a massive amount of resources from where they are needed to where they are not. And that's before you look at the control freakery involved.

After all, this sinister and controlling attempt by a political party to insinuate itself into each and every family in the land now sits beside a centralised national police force which is becoming less and less accountable to anyone apart from its own Chief Constable. And that's even before you revisit the police carrying guns when they feel like it, stopping and searching the public when they feel like it and imposing themselves on so many aspects of our lives.

"Big Brother Is Watching You" may seem like a cliché, but by God, in Scotland it's becoming more and more of a reality in a Scotland where feral mobs of Nationalist Sturm MacTeilung remain free to roam the streets imposing their political views on the populace such as at the recent opening of the Dumfries foodbank.

Add this law and order catastrophe to increasingly dysfunctional Health and Education Services and it becomes crystal clear that the SNP aren't even remotely capable of exercising the powers they already have, never mind all the others they are screaming for (but can't tell us what they would do with them.)

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Pretty sure I had a "Named Person" type scenario when I was at school....in the form of a Guidance Teacher.

As I understand things, this new legislation is basically stating that every child is entitled to that, which is no bad thing, IMO.

I'm pretty lucky to have grown up with a loving and caring family who looked out for me and put my (and my siblings) welfare above everything else.  However, I had an issue with education which I found slow and boring and it often led to me getting into bother....either as a result of the boredom or my frustration at teachers who weren't providing me with what I needed.

I was actually on my last warning at school.  Not for anything major, but I was deemed disruptive and had a sizeable disciplinary file for "mischief making".  If not for my guidance teacher intervening then I very much doubt I would have been allowed to obtain the education I did.

Should my parents have been able to have sorted things out? Perhaps, but all they ever got told by the school was that I was a nuisance, causing disruption etc. My behaviour backed that up and they never got the opportunity for insight into the cause. My Guidance Teacher, however, did have insight into what was going on and was able to communicate with other teachers on a different level than was afforded my parents. He managed to get to the bottom of things, got me sorted out and I went on to get terrific grades (and plenty of them).  They even shredded my school disciplinary record, but I suspect this was as much through embarrassment at having not dealt with the underlying issue in order to prevent it, than as any "reward" for me.

In the grand scheme of problems that children can have, mine probably wasn't the worst....but if having a named person can help put right a few of these things for others (or prevent them in the first place) then I'm all for it.

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Isn't this law just formalising something which already exists and simply giving people,who already have a certain amount of responsibility for the well-being of children the clout to oblige parents and others to co-operate to help the child?  Health visitors and teachers in nurseries and schools  already have a duty to "interfere" if they have reason to think a child is in distress. I know  it says each child has a named person, but does that mean that each child in Scotland has a different named person to every other child (there's the unemployment figures sorted at one fell swoop) ......or does it mean that, for pre-school children, someone like the health visitor is the named person for her area and in school the named person is perhaps a dedicated member of staff or one of the guidance teachers who makes him/herself available to the children or to teachers with worries about one of the children?

There are things a child will not talk about to their parents. They aren't going to sit down and discuss their abuse by their parents with their parents, are they?  And it appears that many of them also do not sit down and tell their parents they are being sexually exploited/abused inside or outside the family. I can't see that making it easier for children with problems to talk about those problems and perhaps get some resolution of them is such a bad thing.

I see CaleyD has already said much the same as I have, but as he posted just as I finished my post, I am going to add my tuppenceworth.

 

.

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It goes a lot further than that.  It gives the named person responsibility for the well-being of the child rather than being someone who is simply identified as a contact the child or parent may wish to turn to for help and advice.  Whilst the intention may be honorable and the concept may or may not have merit, the problem here is that the draft legislation is just unbelievably incompetent.  There is serious lack of clarity around what is expected of the named person, what powers they would have and where accountability lies when things go wrong etc.  It is envisaged that typically the named person might be a teacher or a health visitor but organisations representing both the staff and managers of these professional groups have major concerns as to how staff would find time to add these responsibilities into their already stretched workloads.  Even bodies supportive of the concept in principle are appalled at the ineptness of the draft proposals.

The Scottish Government is currently considering the responses to the consultation and hopefully will recognise that it needs to go back to square one in identifying better ways of protecting the well-being of vulnerable children.  It is unfortunate that the media tends to focus on the self righteous utterances of the SNP MPs in opposition at Westminster, when rather more attention should be given to the increasingly incompetent performance of the SNP in Government at Holyrood.

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 It is unfortunate that the media tends to focus on the self righteous utterances of the SNP MPs in opposition at Westminster, when rather more attention should be given to the increasingly incompetent performance of the SNP in Government at Holyrood.

It seems pretty clear that very soon after May 7th, SNP Central must have sent out 56 edicts requiring ploys ranging from musical chairs on the green benches to spontaneous rounds of applause in order to distract media attention from the deepening crisis of ineptitude at Holyrood.

Lets face it. The SNP are simply a single issue pressure group and as such are incapable of the wider range of skills required for the task of government - even if they really cared about that in the first place.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Obviously some will have an opinion on this which will follow their obvious political viewpoints.

Myself? I'll likely be the named person in my capacity in the near future for young people between 16-18 who've left school.

Do people realise that the Highlands have had named persons for years? Namely (no pun) through GIRFIC have a look at the second page http://www.highlandchildrensforum.org/userfiles/file/parent info sheets 4.pdf By the sounds of it people don't realise so I guess it's not particularly invasive into people's lives. Note: "The Named Person will change as the child grows passing from the midwife, to the health visitor, to the primary head teacher, to the secondary pastoral or guidance head."

Has anyone had their child's Primary head teacher interfering and prying into their life or the Secondary depute head coming round and checking their child is brushing their teeth twice a day? Not that I've heard. The vast majority of families or children will notice no difference whatsoever. 

I'm not a fan of needless state intervention either but in this case it's blown way out of proportion.

The Council could help matters by better communicating what is going on though.

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So if it is already there Fraz, and has been effective, why the need for legislation?

There is a sinister undercurrent to this.  My concerns revolve around cost, efficiency and ultimately, performance.  Why will this be better than what we already have?  What is it supposed to achieve?

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So if it is already there Fraz, and has been effective, why the need for legislation?

There is a sinister undercurrent to this.  My concerns revolve around cost, efficiency and ultimately, performance.  Why will this be better than what we already have?  What is it supposed to achieve?

It's been policy in Highland and I think some other places for some time. I presume it was deemed a successful model and it was decided to make it Scotland wide.

It's primarily there to provide a framework, particularly for young people and families who require extra support for whatever reason. In certain cases for example a young person may be engaged with a range of agencies - vol orgs like Calman, Bernardos etc, Police, social work, their school and so on. The named person would take a holistic view of this and work/liase with the family as little or as much as in needed under the circumstances. In certain circumstances such as some children in social work care this may be the social worker. In certain cases the NP may not be best placed to do this and a Lead Professional will take on this role.

In most cases the NP will do virtually nothing as the child is OK and things are going fine it's only in cases where issues are identified by family, the child, other professionals etc that the named person would really come into play. 

Cost wise I really don't see that as being a huge issue for some it's virtually no change in their job for other such as myself there will be some change but the number of young people involved will be very small and there's no extra money for me just a shift in the way that I will work.

Ultimately for Highland there be very little change in the way it operates as we already have it though the role I fill will be different as it's been identified as a gap.

It's there to help achieve positive outcomes for young people and their families dependant on their needs and goals. As far as I'm aware there are no special powers or control given just support if needed.

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I might be wrong but I think the scheme in Highland which Fraz refers to is a sort of long term pilot and the legislation in the Children's and Young People (Scotland) act is aimed to build on this type of experience.  The problem is that it appears to extend beyond what any pilot schemes do and the legislation is written in a very loose way and is open to considerable interpretation.  There is therefore a lack of clarity of what the named person should do and what they can do.

The Highland leaflet is aimed at families and states that the Named Person's job is "to maintain the child's development record and to look into any concerns about the child's well-being".  It goes on to state "If you have any concerns about your child's well-being or development then the named person is the person to speak to."  This clearly gives the impression that the named person's role is to work with the parents and children when they feel they need support.

The new legislation states that the role is "doing such of the following where the named person considers it to be appropriate in order to promote, support or safeguard the well-being of the child or young person."  Amongst "the following" is "discussing or raising a matter about the child or young person with a service provider or relevant authority, and such other functions as are specified by this act or any enactment as being functions of a named person in relation to a child or young person."

The act would appear to open the door to the named person "interfering" when concerns are raised by other people rather than when the family seeks support.  As I said before, all sorts of agencies have made representations regarding the lack of clarity and the implications of different interpretations. By giving a named person a legal responsibility for a child's welfare, the legislation opens a can of worms about liability where the child's welfare is not being addressed.  For instance, how can the named person be assured that the child's well-being is fine unless there is some proactive assessment  of the child's situation?  This would be quite different from the situation Fraz describes and would be time consuming for the Named Person.  It would also be seen as state intervention in family life with the need for specific justification which is currently required.  This is why it is essential that roles and responsibilities are more clearly defined.

In addition the police have also raised serious concerns that where named persons already exist, serious issues of abuse are not being picked up on and the involvement of the named person in the affairs of the family is hampering prompter action by police and social workers. 

I am sure most people would support the general principle of having an identified person that children and parents can go to for support and information and who can coordinate an action plan with other agencies if required.  That appears to be what has happened in Highland and it would seem the scheme has worked well without too many problems.  However, despite the experience of the Highland scheme (and others) agencies who are involved in these schemes are very unhappy with the legislation and is is clear that a major examination of these concerns needs to be carried out if the legislation if it is to properly meet the needs of children.

 

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Reading various pieces on the Named Person legislation being introduced in Scotland. Is it really something that people want?   Is every single child really going to have a Named Person allocated to them?  

How do people with children feel about all of this?  From this end of the world it looks pretty scary and draconian.

The principle behind the proposal is sound and simply enshrines in legislation what has been best practice for many years but, like a lot of legislation, could ne improved in the drafting.

Is there anything going on in Scotland just now that doesn't strike you as scary and draconian ?

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Is there anything going on in Scotland just now that doesn't strike you as scary and draconian ?

No, not just now, so we all eagerly await December when the pantomime season begins.

On the other hand it never stops at Holyrood and then there's that new production with a cast of 56 in London's West End.... starring Drew Hendry as Ali Baba, Mhairi Black as Cinderella and Alex Salmond as the Widow Twankey. (Sorry... that's me out.....can't name any more SNP MPs.)

He's behind you!!!! (Pinching your seat on the green benches.) Oh YES he is!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not had a proper chance to look into this other than here http://www.wellbeingforyoungscots.org/named-person so cant really comment. I would however hope that a lot of good comes out of this. My understanding is that the named person is a point of contact for a child in difficulty and or for a parent to seek help and support. Difficulty may not necessary be about home life. It could be education ability. it could be bullying. It could even be aspects of growing up that the child is embarassed to discuss with parent. I think the intention of this law is good. its how its put into force thats going to be difficult. As can be seen from the comments, none of which are helped by Charles anti SNP outlook, that there is a varied interpretation of the information available.

Finally to Mr Bannerman, correct me if I'm wrong but I have the impression that you are not a parent so perhaps you should just take your SNP hatred and snide remarks somewhere else and leave those with responsibility for bringing up children the space to debate the good and bad points of the law in the honest and sincere manner that the opening poster intended. Maybe, just maybe, had there been such persons employed in the education system a few years ago that my daughter could have turned to she would not have gone through high school scared to speak to teacher or parents for fear of a hiding. So Charles before you spout any more drivel just think who your comments may affect.

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Finally to Mr Bannerman, correct me if I'm wrong but I have the impression that you are not a parent

You are indeed wrong, so I'll correct you. In fact, in addition, and to quote the Nationalists' favourite bête noir -  "we are a grandparent".:smile:

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I have the impression that you are not a teacher nor have in any other capacity had almost 40 years of direct daily insight into the development of large numbers of children from all manner of backgrounds, dealing with the problems they face and of the agencies which already exist on their behalf.

Apart from the fundamental scariness of a system of state appointed "kinderminders" by a party whose control freakery is legendary, the other problem with this wheeze is that it's going to create a whole lot of bureaucracy where it's not needed and will hence actually divert scarce resources from those who do actually need them.

Of course it's just another example of the fundamental ineptitude of the SNP. I mean (apart from Salmond's $103 a barrel :lol:economic strategy) we already have a justice "system" where Police Scotland is a multi faceted laughing stock and where a lying bin lorry driver looks set to escape scot free. In health, you can take your choice between closing children's wards, a far from glorious start to a major new hospital in Glasgow and NHS Grampian in meltdown. And then in education you have the Curriculum for Excellence in chaos, the loss of 4000 teachers and an exam system where the Higher Maths disaster will only be the start of the problems. On that last one, there was some junior minister chap on Radio Scotland this morning (the organ grinder seems to have been otherwise engaged so they sent a monkey instead) who - following in the fine traditions of Michael Russell -  was so utterly pathetic that he couldn't even make a proper job of trying to blame the SQA (for which Holyrood is ultimately responsible.)

The question to the SNP is clear. Why do you keep demanding more powers when you are still making a complete erse of the ones you already have? So please don't add the bringing up of kids to your already lengthy catalogue of disasters.

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No Charles I'm not a teacher. I did, however, spend ten years as Chairman of a School Board which did give me exposure into the development of large numbers of children from all manner of backgrounds.

Ah yes. Those wonderful Thatcherite Tory creations which were School Boards! Interesting to hear you bought into this centrepiece of Conservative doctrine with such extended enthusiasm!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went on child protection training and was interested to learn that in Highland our children have had a named person for 8 years!! 

Starts with midwife, then health visitor, then the primary head teacher and then school guidance teacher. Haven't noticed Highland parents in meltdown over the last 8 years have any of you? 

A lot of ignorant rubbish being posted on this thread! Sorry! 

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Went on child protection training and was interested to learn that in Highland our children have had a named person for 8 years!! 

Starts with midwife, then health visitor, then the primary head teacher and then school guidance teacher. Haven't noticed Highland parents in meltdown over the last 8 years have any of you? 

A lot of ignorant rubbish being posted on this thread! Sorry! 

With respect, I think you are missing the point here.  It is not in dispute that the Highland scheme seems to work very well, indeed it is the success of the this scheme and others like it which has led the Government to propose Scotland wide role out of the named person concept!  The problem is the wording of the legislation which many bodies are interpreting as promoting a much more proactive and intrusive role than the current successful schemes adopt. It must surely be a concern to those of us supportive of the Highland scheme, that such a large number of bodies representing those staff currently engaged in the successful pilots have voiced such strong concerns about the wording of the legislation.  These bodies, which include professional and staffside bodies for nurses, teachers, police and social workers, represent the very people who make the current schemes a success.  If they are united in their concerns about the legislation then I think we should also be concerned. 

Personally I don't see anything sinister in this, it is just sloppy drafting and scrutiny of the legislation. But the danger here is that some local authority or agency or even an individual will adopt a much more intrusive and inappropriate approach which they would be able to justify as legal because of the way the legislation is written.  The point is not that the concept of a named person should be opposed but that the legislation as currently written needs to be opposed and amended.  This is necessary to ensure the named person role  does not become more intrusive than is currently the case in schemes in Highland and elsewhere where the named person concept has been introduced successfully.

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  • 7 months later...

Schemes like this have been discussed and debated long before SNP came to lead SG. As has been stated the scheme has been trialling in Highland and, I believe Lothian, for around 8 years now. I haven't read the proposed legislation but understand that although some amendments have been proposed it is generally accepted by all parties as well as various other bodies.

What I'd like to see, before offering positive or negative response, is comment from parents and children involved in the trial scheme

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