Plans to appoint a state guardian to every child in Scotland will be “corrosive” to family relations, a columnist has warned.
Writing in The Scotsman, sociologist Tiffany Jenkins said the scheme “communicates to children that their mums and dads are not to be trusted”.
She also commented that parents must “hold the authority” to take care of children.
Under the Named Person plans – which are set to come into force in 2016 – all children in Scotland will be assigned a state-appointed guardian to monitor their wellbeing.
However, The Christian Institute, Christian charity CARE, Tymes (The Young ME Sufferers) Trust, and the Family Education Trust recently launched a legal challenge to the plans.
Jenkins commented that the initiative tells children that “a different adult – one with a professional qualification – is better equipped to look out for them than their own family members”.
“This greatly undermines the role and place of the parents in a child’s life. What could be more corrosive to relations than that?”, she said.
She added that children are “innocent, ignorant, and vulnerable, though not as much as child protection zealots would have us think: children can be strong, robust and agents of their own lives in a small but important way”.
“Children need to be able to spread their wings and have the space to try life out. And they need adults – and especially their parents – to hold the authority to take care of them, check they are doing okay, and guide them as they grow.
“At the moment, too many laws, policies and child protection agencies stand in the way of this. It is time for the child protection industry to butt out of our lives.”
Earlier this year, a mother of two spoke about being separated from her home after suffering at the hands of a council that operates a pilot Named Person scheme.
Donna Mackie told the NO2NP campaign that officials held secret meetings to determine her son’s medical treatment without reference to her or her husband.
She said: “We feel as a family that the Named Person process is going to be an invasion of privacy for the whole of the family”.