Named person policy under fire as Labour calls for "a pause" on implementation

Written by Tom Freeman on 31 March 2016 in News

Named person scheme has lost confidence of parents, according to Kezia Dugdale

The policy of introducing a ‘named person’ for every child in Scotland has come under renewed fire after Scottish Labour called for the process to be paused and reviewed.

The universal provision of having a single point of contact for services and child protection was introduced by the Children and Young People act 2014, but has been challenged in the courts by the Christian institute amid accusations it meant the state would “snoop” into family affairs.

The Scottish Conservatives oppose the policy.


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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale now says although the party supports the policy, it should be put on hold while the fears of parents can be addressed.

In a statement she said parents had “lost confidence” in the scheme.

“We support the principle behind this policy, which was that the children at risk of falling through the cracks get the support they need. But the introduction of the policy has been botched by the SNP – from the communication of this policy to parents to the way the legislation has been presented to Parliament,” she said.

Her political opponents called it a u-turn.

Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: “We're also the only main party that didn't vote for the bill containing the named person.”

The named person scheme has operated in Highlands and other parts of Scotland for some time, but Davidson said: “It’s not only an unacceptable intrusion into family life, but it spreads resource too thinly.”

Calum Steele, General Secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) said the body supported the policy.

“We believe it will help keep children safer as a range of professionals (including frontline & community police officers) working together offers opportunities to pick up potential problems at an earlier stage; and by doing so can help to keep more children out of the justice system.

“The evidence from the Highland council shows us that GIRFEC, through more efficient processes and working can help free up police time and improve outcomes for children. These are things we believe everyone would support."

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