Child protection chief gets in a twist when quizzed on Named Person

Even those supporting the Named Person scheme are failing to coherently answer basic queries about the plans.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Alan Small, Chair of Fife Child Protection Committee, faced questions from presenter Kaye Adams about the catch-all, intrusive nature of the legislation.

Attempting to defend the scheme, Small said people understand that “at times” families need somebody to turn to, but Adams pointed out that it is unclear to what extent the Named Person will have the power or inclination to interfere or pry into family life.

When asked if a parent can hang up the phone on the Named Person and say they’re not interested, Small responded with an unconvincing “No. Er… Yes and No”. Hesitating, he said “it all needs to be taken into context with the needs of the child”.

This caused Adams to ask: “But who decides the needs of the child?”

To which Small asserted that it would be public services and the Named Person who decide.

Adams continued to probe asking: “And where’s the parent in that?”

Avoiding the question, Small instead spoke about “proportionality”, which he says is an important word to be used when discussing the scheme, but he was unable to explain what the word actually meant when pressed by Adams.

Adams said: “Define for me proportionality.”

Small replied: “I actually don’t think there is a definition suitable for proportionality… er… proportionality is fairly well understood in public services…”

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"I oppose the Scottish Government's plan to assign a 'Named Person' to every child in Scotland because it undermines families and diverts resources from children who need them."

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