Named guardian plan is deeply flawed

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The SNP, which perpetuates the facade of being the choice for those who want a progressive and democratic Scotland, has again broken this thin veneer.

It has done this by enacting legislation that nominates a named person, or a state guardian for every child in Scotland, regardless of a family’s wishes, regardless of any previous or existing concern for your child’s wellbeing and with no opt-out function.

The people of Scotland, according to the SNP, are fit to run their own affairs as an independent country, but Scottish parents are not fit to bring up their own children!

The legislation empowers a named person to advise and inform your child as they see appropriate, to receive, collate and disseminate information on your child and family as they deem appropriate (even without consent if they think it is right) and act pre-emptively to address any future concerns that may arise, all in the name of a very open-ended pursuit of a woolly definition of well-being for a child.

It will place untold pressure on named persons within health boards and on education authorities assigned to carry out these measures and there is no convincing proof that the policy will actually reduce the number of children at risk of serious harm or tackle the actual problems existing children’s services face.

It is just adding one more overworked face in to the mix rather than creating a targeted, joined-up and accessible service for children and parents to utilise when needed.

This is a sticking plaster, cover-all policy. Furthermore, it is dangerous state intrusion on your right to a private family.

It sets a precedent for further state encroachment if and when the government seeks it, and acceptance of further intrusion by a submissive population.

And so, what alarms me more than the legislation itself is the fact that there are not more people standing up to say that this is not wanted, nor is it needed, either in reference to the application of the named person, or of the larger issue of state intrusion in private life.

I have faith in the majority of parents to bring up their children as well as is possible, even in the face of adversity, something we all face in life, and it is time for the majority in this country to stand up and ask the SNP why they do not have faith in the parents of this country to bring up their children. The only good outcome here is a repeal of this heinous legislation and a focus on the real issues that face our children who are at genuinely at risk. The time has come to speak out, I urge people to do so.

Charlotte Fox

Parkgrove Drive

Edinburgh

I refer to your story, “Police chief hits out at state guardian plan” (2 July), which does not accurately reflect Police Scotland’s position on the proposed legislation by the Scottish Government to further protect young people.

Police Scotland has fully adopted Get It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) principles and is supportive of the concept of the “named person” due for a phased implementation through the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

There are already established local protocols for the sharing of concerns and identifying those children who are at risk of harm.

We have, in addition, been working closely with the Scottish Government and a broad range of local partners, such as local authorities and health boards, to establish clear practice and protocols for sharing concerns in readiness for the commencement of this part of the act.

The inclusion of the requirement to implement the act on the Police Scotland Risk Register is considered good governance, through recognising the impact on the organisation and partners while ensuring both the spirit and policy intention of the legislation are fully realised.

Malcolm Graham

Assistant Chief 
Constable Major Crime and Public Protection

Police Scotland