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Does every child in Scotland really need a state appointed guardian?

(16 Posts)
Caitlin17 Sun 16-Feb-14 17:52:31

www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/news/home-news/childrens-minister-guardian-plans-will-help-provide-safety-net-for-those-who-need-one.1392212074

Would I be unreasonable in thinking Scottish government's proposal to give every child in Scotland a named, state appointed guardian is a huge waste of money which could be targeted where it's needed?

I don't actually agree with the reasons cited by the religious objectors on this link as I don't think in every case families are sacrosanct and know best. There are good reasons for providing access for children to be able to speak to people outwith their families if children want it but not for this to be mandatory.

Scotland has a system of Children's Panels which on the whole works better for children who get into trouble than the system in England. It's made up of sensible non professionals from all walks of life. I've thought for a long time it would be very beneficial for children in care or whose families are involved with the social work department to have private access at regular intervals to an independant "sensible person" to talk to.

Within schools the roles of guidance teachers could be expanded so children know they can speak to an adult in confidence about things that are troubling them, but is it really necessary to appoint a state guardian for every child?

dashoflime Sun 16-Feb-14 17:58:42

I think its a good idea and not necessarily expensive. I imagine the majority of children will never have need to contact the named person. It will be fantastic for children in trouble who social services don't know about.

bochead Sun 16-Feb-14 18:04:45

Sounds VERY totalitarian.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Feb-14 18:20:02

dash the detail hasn't been worked out but from what I've read the family could choose to have no contact with the guardian. If the family choose not to it's a token gesture.

dashoflime Sun 16-Feb-14 18:24:26

Oh I see. I misunderstood the purpose of it. I thought it was an advocate which the child could access.

moonface1978 Sun 16-Feb-14 18:28:06

This has been slightly misrepresented. The named person will have access to (and therefore be able to coordinate) all state input about a child. Therefore IF a child has social work, police and school interventions in place (for example) at least one person will have an overview of everything going on in that child's life - and hopefully prevent some of the tragedies which better communication between agencies could have prevented.

Selks Sun 16-Feb-14 18:29:48

Aside from the 'big brother' aspects of this I can see major flaws...I would assume that this will not be welcomed by the professionals concerned - seems like a heck of a lot of extra responsibility and work that many might feel is outside their role or training. And if something goes wrong for a child that a professional is an appointed 'guardian' for would that then make them somehow responsible?

Birdsgottafly Sun 16-Feb-14 18:33:25

The named Guardian could be the child's Head Teacher.

You can see by some of the threads on here and the responses that people are unaware if the role of "School" in a Child's life.

This makes it official in an easy to understand way, as far as I can see.

There will be no confusion, as there has been in recent school child deaths about how to share information.

I know that the CP Computer systems in the UK, for some unknown reason did not include Schools or Health, which meant that key pieces of information that can help a child/family were not being passed on, appropriately.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Feb-14 18:33:48

moonface the co-ordination of data does not require a named, appointed guardian to make it happen.

Birdsgottafly Sun 16-Feb-14 18:38:31

"seems like a heck of a lot of extra responsibility and work that many might feel is outside their role or training."

In the UK, Schools can implement a second level CAF's, if this is the case in Scotland, then surely this will already be part of the training for Heads.

Tbh, I think those being named should give the feedback first, then those points addressed.

I think that if this forces all schools to have good Pastoral Support, that isn't carried out by a Teacher, but a designated member of Staff, just for that purpose, then it is a good thing.

Birdsgottafly Sun 16-Feb-14 18:44:35

moonface the co-ordination of data does not require a named, appointed guardian to make it happen."

Unfortunately it often does.

Mainly because Schools are not part of the information sharing on the computer system and often things are only shared at the LAC/CP/CIN review, which can be to late, to act upon.

The extended role of the IRO has been brilliant, but that only applies to LAC.

There are still gaps and things not being done that should be, but that very often depends if there is SW/FS involved and how good those people are.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Feb-14 18:53:53

www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Bills/Children%20and%20Young%20People%20(Scotland)%20Bill/b27s4-introd.pdf

Link to the Bill. The provisions are in Part 4, sections 19 onwards and to me seem a prescriptive, dictatorial, bureaucratic and scatter gun approach.

somethingwillturnup Sun 16-Feb-14 19:07:24

I'm in Scotland and it seems very 'big brother' to me. All children already have a guardian - it seems a bit heavy handed to say a state-appointed one is better than their own parent.

Don't get me wrong, I know that not all parents are capable, but they are in a very small minority. Seems like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how (and in practice, if) this pans out. I have enough with my own children to look after - how many children are this 'state-appointed guardian' going to be responsible for? And how much time is this going to take up?

WilsonFrickett Sun 16-Feb-14 20:09:12

Hadn't heard about this, interesting that they mention HVs. Our GP practice was woefully understaffed and I only ever saw temp HVs at my request - would have been incredibly easy to slip through the net. And I'm told not enough HVs is a fairly common problem in central Scotland.

In theory I don't think it's a bad idea, but it depends on the named person being there - contactable, not over-stretched, not taking weeks to return phone calls. Feels like a sticking plaster to me.

2rebecca Sun 16-Feb-14 21:28:41

No they don't. It sounds like a job and bureaucracy creation project. The Tory government are too anti state and the SNP are too nanny state.
They need far more child protection social workers and should spend the money on that as well, if there is money. They may just call all HVs guardians of the kids they look after and consider that box ticked.

HollyHB Sun 23-Feb-14 08:05:11

Well, apparently this Act was passed, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill became the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act.

And immediately there is a lawsuit to put this on track to the European Court of Human Rights based on an argument that if it were legal it would render utterly null the ECHR Article 8 guarantee of a Private Family Life free from government invasion of privacy.
http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/politics/christian-charity-to-sue-ministers-after-guardian-legislation-passed-1.231412

Meaningless just about sums it up. Now the Scots government will have to spend who knows how much money (presumably out of the social services budget) to fight this. And then get ordered by the court to change. And then get fined when they don't change and get sued all over again; a process that will take roughly 5 years and cost gosh knows how much.

And in the meanwhile children of the "Christian Institute" charity (and presumably other sympathisers) will instruct their children to give the "named person" the silent treatment. What a good idea sad

They just don't get it that the human rights exception in Article 8 allows government to invade the privacy of family of children to protect health. It emphatically does NOT allow government to invade privacy to promote health. That is a huge difference (and if it weren't then ECHR Art.8 would be completely meaningless)

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