Keeping you up to date on the progress of the Named Person scheme and the NO2NP campaign.
The latest edition of Holyrood Magazine continues to discuss the Named Person scheme.
Last month’s edition featured Maggie Mellon, Vice Chair of the British Association of Social Workers and a supporter of NO2NP, calling for the Scottish Government to let the Named Person scheme “die off”.
This month in an interview with a panel of children’s professionals, most of whom were largely outspoken proponents of the Named Person scheme, Eileen Prior, Executive Director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council and a supporter of the NO2NP campaign, voiced her opposition to the legislation.
She said: “I don’t believe it is a good idea. A much better idea is the lead professional who will provide co-ordination between the various agencies working with a child. The lead professional focuses on children and families who are in need of support and addresses the issue everyone agrees needs to be addressed, of children falling between the cracks of different agencies and organisations.
She warned: “Named person, in my view, is a red herring which will undermine trust and cause issues between families, schools or other professionals, divert resources from those families most in need, add to professionals’ workload and lead to more families being drawn into the system unnecessarily.”
Even one of the proponents of the scheme, Tam Baillie, Children and Young People’s Commissioner, said in the interview that despite supporting the scheme, he is concerned about data sharing risks.
He admitted: “I have expressed concerns about the potential extent of the information-sharing requirements, though, as we need to make sure professionals share information in a way that both protects children and young people and respects their rights.”
Mr Baillie’s concerns are not unfounded. Recently NHS Dumfries and Galloway was found boasting about its new integrated database to allow easy access to children’s confidential medical records by schools, social workers and police.
A NO2NP spokesman commented at the time: “Don’t these people realise how creepy it is to be boasting about how easy they’ve made it for officials to access highly sensitive data on children?”