Named Persons being ‘trained to suspect parents’, warns sociologist

Leading sociologist and supporter of the NO2NP campaign, Dr Stuart Waiton, has strongly criticised the Named Person scheme and the Scottish Government’s GIRFEC approach.

He cautioned that “every single professional who comes into contact with children is being trained to be suspicious of parents”.

“Rather than using their common sense, their professional judgment and their basic humanity to recognise problems they are being educated to be risk averse, to think ‘safety’, and danger, and to intervene in a family’s life based on minor issues”, he added.

Dr Waiton, a senior lecturer at Abertay University, raised concerns that “the potential for gross interference” by Named Persons was “extraordinary”, and could “destroy” conventional rights to family privacy because the legislation makes a blanket assumption that all parents need state support.

His comments came as MSPs debated the Named Person scheme in Holyrood yesterday in response to a Conservative motion opposing it. Labour expressed some reservations around implementation, but largely endorsed the Government’s approach.

Liz Smith MSP, the Conservative’s Spokesperson on Culture, Sport and Young People, made the case to oppose the scheme, saying some police officers “feared by making it compulsory for every child, it will be much less possible to direct sufficient attention to those who need it most”.

Read more from Dr Stuart Waiton:
Submission to the Education and Culture Committee
Video: Four key trends in society which have driven the Named Person plans

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