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Named person for children in Scotland

(29 Posts)
madamecholet Thu 28-Jul-16 17:10:45

The Supreme Court has ruled today that the Scottish scheme for every child to have a “named person” cannot go ahead, as it breaches the ECHR right to a family life:

I don’t live in Scotland, but I thought it seemed very much like big brother legislation and I couldn’t see how it would work. If you had three children, would you be likely to have three different named persons, who would be coming round to your house and reporting back to the authorities about your family life? Where would they find all these people and would they take time to get to know the family they were reporting on – which would be very intrusive - or would they just have short, infrequent contact and make snap decisions on the family? Would there be pressure to conform to what the named person considered to be the correct way to run your family life, even if your own ideas of parenting were very different?

This Scottish government is going to amend the legislation and try again. I haven’t seen anything on GN about this and wondered how Scots grandparents feel about it and whether it could cause more problems than it solves. Are we likely to be having threads in the future on GN (and, of course, Mumsnet) complaining about the named person causing trouble within the family?

DaphneBroon Thu 28-Jul-16 17:15:54

I too found myself wondering if this was one of those "box ticking" exercises. And whether the truly at risk children would still slip through the net as sadly happens too often despite training for SWs, teachers, health professionals etc.
If there is that level,of funding available would it not be better spent on reducing SW case loads, on more support /welfare staff in schools and a more comprehensive HV or "home start" programme for young and vulnerable mums.

whitewave Thu 28-Jul-16 17:16:02

Good job we haven't yet got rid of the ECHR , it seemed extremely intrusive.

Jane10 Thu 28-Jul-16 17:17:07

I think its a daft idea. Completely unworkable. Unnecessarily intrusive. Obviously vulnerable children need to be protected but diluting services so that they cover all children is ridiculously over the top. Its unimplementable for so many reasons. I'd say its a sledgehammer to crack a nut but I wouldn't want to belittle the plight of vulnerable children. Why not focus all this effort on those that need it rather than irritate the vast majority of families who look after their children well?

Iam64 Thu 28-Jul-16 17:43:52

I agree, daft,mintrusive , expensive, inefficient and unworkable. Finance needs to go into existing children's services, family centres, midwifery, health visiting , nurseries and schools. Social work teams need to be properly trained, supported and supervised. All those groups are trained in safeguarding, in working together, yet things still occasionally go badly wrong. The systems work reasonably well. Put any extra cash into improving existing systems, not into creating an unwieldy, costly, untested, intrusive mess .

felice Thu 28-Jul-16 18:06:51

I have been listening to this debate with trepidation, DS2 with 2 children is also concerned.
Like the whole Brexit thing this does not seem to have been really thought through, although it is already in force in some areas in the Highlands.
1, just how much authority do the 'Guardians' have.
2, What if a person is named, from birth to 18, are they committed to that child in some way, what if they move on,find other jobs, even shock horror leave the country. Or perhaps die. Do the parents have the right to choose another 'guardian' or is that a matter for the state.
3, If a stroppy teenager who is grounded (mine spent a lot of time grounded) goes to the 'guardian', does that person possibly a stranger to the family have the right to interfere.Perhaps even involving the Social Services in what is entirely a family matter.
4, A teacher or health visitor designated at birth or school age coming into my home for 18 years would really p**s me off and I assume many others.
5, Teachers are just that, teachers, I know they are useful in picking up signs of child abuse but they are not trained to be the guardians of the state.
Sorry this was so long but as someone who sat on the Childrens Panel in Scotland for 6 years I am very concerned at this move.

jevive73 Thu 28-Jul-16 22:55:32

What idiots thought this scheme would work. It sounds like somehing from a totalitarian state. The state should of course be involved where child welfare is involved but don't always even have the resources to do that well.

varian Thu 28-Jul-16 23:27:42

This is dangerous SNP control freakery. Totalitarian regimes throughout history have tried to divide children from their families.

obieone Thu 28-Jul-16 23:34:24

I read about this today, and could hardly believe my eyes.

I was also very surprised that I hadn't seen anything about it on gransnet or anywhere else for that matter.

Very glad it did not go through.

The very opposite of freedomds of all sorts I would have thought. And scary.

obieone Thu 28-Jul-16 23:36:48

I am going to stick my neck out here. And may have it chopped off, but whatever.

If Nicola Sturgeon had children herself, would she really be proposing this?


Jane10 Fri 29-Jul-16 07:51:43

Actually I reckon Nicola has become aware of the groundswell against this and has been saying some oddly appeasing things about it. I honestly don't understand how its got this far.

Anniebach Fri 29-Jul-16 08:58:09

obieone, women who do not have children are quite capable of making the right decisions for children, just as there are women who have children but make the most stupid decisions for children

Eloethan Fri 29-Jul-16 11:46:16

I really can't see how this would work. How would the "guardians" be chosen - would they need to be professionals - and presumably it would be a paid position? It was suggested that teachers and health visitors would be suitable "guardians". Surely they have quite enough on their plates already. Who would monitor the monitors? It sounds like it could be a bureaucratic nightmare.

There are organisations like Home Start who offer support and friendship to families who are having difficulties. As I understand it, the parents/carers agree to them coming into the home and offering assistance. To impose some sort of "guardian" on a child and its family does, as others have said, seem a bit Big Brotherish to me. And if it was a legal requirement, what would happen if some parents refused to co-operate?

I can understand why there are concerns about children's wellbeing - I believe the number of cases of neglect and cruelty are soaring but perhaps this would be better tackled by having properly staffed and highly trained child protection teams. I believe there is a crisis in recruitment and retention and a lack of experienced social workers to oversee cases and provide guidance and support. Social workers can have huge caseloads that are difficult to prioritise, and the vitriol that is often aimed at them when things go wrong must deter many people from joining the profession.

Iam64 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:54:05

That's a good summary of where we are Eloethan. Recruitment and retention of sw is getting worse. Case loads are too big, quality supervision from experienced managers in short supply.

I can't help but feel the escalation of drug and alcohol abuse is a significant factor in the increase in neglect and abuse of children.

I watched the footage of male football fans throwing euros at Roma children, one man shouting "suck my dick" and he'd give five euros. This was directed at children around seven years old. Another shouted "drink my piss". These were almost certainly fathers, in fact channel four tracked one man to his home. He has three children. I despair.

DaphneBroon Fri 29-Jul-16 12:55:38

That makes me fill really ill, iam64 sadangry

DaphneBroon Fri 29-Jul-16 12:56:12

FEEL not "fill"

Iam64 Fri 29-Jul-16 12:59:35

I'm sorry for being so graphic DaphneBroon. I enjoy watching football but that news coverage made me feel I should just walk away.

Anniebach Fri 29-Jul-16 13:13:11

Good for you posting as you heard it Iam

trisher Fri 29-Jul-16 16:26:33

Someone on the Wright stuff this morning said her children's person was the head of their school. There was a disagreement when one child was said to be dyslexic, agreement couldn't be reached and she finished up moving all her children to a new school. I've worked with some dominating, opinionated heads and would hate to think that they were overseeing anybody. It is a total waste of money and time

Jane10 Fri 29-Jul-16 17:24:03

How can teachers and Health Visitors possibly add all this work to what they already do? Also there is quite a turnover of these staff over the years. I can't believe what a daft ill thought out idea this is.

rosesarered Fri 29-Jul-16 17:35:07

Glad you all feel this way, as I do too.Actually we have talked about this on Gransnet before, about at least a year ago, when it was first proposed.Some children will always need outside the family help. Most will not.

EllenT Fri 29-Jul-16 19:34:03

Always thought this was ridiculous for all the reasons cited above. Can't imagine why anyone thought it a good idea. Problem is that the judgement only related to a smallish part of the scheme, so it could still go ahead with some modifications to the data sharing policy. Or maybe our leaders will see sense and use the ruling as a face saving excuse to drop the whole thing.

madamecholet Fri 29-Jul-16 19:53:31

I first heard about this a couple of weeks ago and thought I had misunderstood what was proposed, it seemed so bizarre. There has been very little coverage in the national media, but, of course, there have been many huge news stories in the past few weeks and the newspapers and tv news channels have to prioritise.

We all seem to be in agreement on this thread and I can't believe that many people in Scotland actually think it's a good idea.

Jalima Fri 29-Jul-16 20:13:30

This has been a very worrying proposal and I am glad that it cannot go ahead.

So many children seem to slip through the net because of inadequate resources - or parents pulling the wool over the eyes of teachers/social workers - and I think any resources available should be concentrated on children who are at risk, not on a child who may be rebelling against parental authority.

hildajenniJ Fri 29-Jul-16 20:32:30

My DD lives in Scotland, and was very worried about "named person", as her boys all have ASD's and she hone educates them all. She is very relieved that the supreme court ruled against it. It appeared quite sinister to us. Here is a link to an article in The Scotsman about a trial run of the named person scheme.