Bid to block named person legislation (Scotland only)

(7 Posts)
Ginfox Wed 09-Jul-14 06:43:51

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28219353

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't support this. It seems that some people think it means the named person would be able to "interfere" with normal health families, whereas I understood it to be about providing each family with a single point of contact. The point being that every family (and child more importantly) has a single point of contact to go to for help.

Am I missing something?

Ginfox Wed 09-Jul-14 13:49:24

Surprised this isn't being discussed in light of all the recent child-protection related problems recently (and not so recently).

I think the way it has been portrayed in the media (whether or not that's what was meant in the actual legislation) it appears to set a worrying precedent for state interference in family life.

Even the article you link to talks about "plan to appoint named guardians for every child " - that sounds very much like someone who has a right to interfere in the child's life, and in how the family goes about things, without any 'concerns' having been raised through proper channels about child welfare etc.

Words like 'guardian' mean something quite different from 'point of contact', and I think there's a lot of worry that even if the current legislation doesn't give them that sort of power, then it might 'creep' towards that in the future.

It looks like 'nanny state' the way it is being reported.

And lots of people have good reason to worry that what the state writes down in actual legislation, and how it tries to implement that on the ground may not be the same thing.

Ginfox Wed 09-Jul-14 15:18:10

Yes I would take the word "guardian" in the legal sense too, which would put a different slant on it. However the act uses the term "named person", and I interpret the role as being mainly advisory, but also raising concerns where appropriate.

In practice I imagine it would be similar to having a named GP or HV - all being well you would hardly ever see them.

Agree that news reporting can be - at best - misleading, especially with the Yes/No campaign being dragged into every debate. Can't wait for 19th Sept.

My other worry (if DS was still young enough for us to be affected) would be that there are going to be huge numbers of 'named individuals' allocated a certain number of children each, and IME some people (eg HVs) are about as much use as a chocolate teapot and more likely to do harm than good.

I'd rather that people who actually know what they are doing were allocated to families where there was a degree of concern, instead of 'diluting' the effect by spreading it out so wide.

I can see what they're trying to do, and having one central point of contact so that things don't slip through the cracks would be good, in cases where there were concerns. But maybe they should concentrate on improving that for those cases that are already known about, or being looked at, instead of using a sledgehammer to apply it to every child.

Ginfox Wed 09-Jul-14 20:37:16

You're probably right that it is overkill, but the problem is presumably identifying struggling families in the first place - if parents don't ask for help, maybe the children would if it was easier to do so.

That said, the families in high profile child abuse/neglect cases we've seen in the news lately had all been flagged with SS, IIRC.

That's the thing - I'd rather they focussed on sorting out how badly they deal with families even when problems have been flagged up!

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