Parents’ crucial role ‘denied’ under Named Person scheme

The “crucial” role of parents is completely denied under Scotland’s Named Person scheme, according to the former head of public policy for a major children’s charity.

Maggie Mellon, who is now a social work consultant, said there is simply “no evidence” for the need of the scheme, which will assign a state employee to every child under the age of 18 to monitor his or her wellbeing.

Speaking at a roadshow event for the campaign group No to Named Person, Mellon said families are only seen as being “caretakers on behalf of Government”.

Parents’ rights

“Children’s rights have also been interpreted, almost exclusively, as something that’s opposed to parents’ rights”, she added.

The Named Person scheme is part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, which doesn’t mention family once, according to Mellon.

She said the legislation “as a whole does represent a complete denial of families and of the crucial role of parents”.

Children’s welfare

She continued, “families are the guarantee of children’s welfare”.

She also highlighted concerns about “the nightmare scenario of indiscriminate information sharing”.

Under the scheme, the designated named person is able to share information about a child without the parents’ consent.

Vulnerable children

“The more information that’s shared and can be accessed widely, the more at risk children are, particularly vulnerable children”, Mellon explained.

She predicts “a lot of bureaucracy and training” alongside a “huge misuse of resources”.

“We’ll have systems set up to share information among people who have no resources to help but lots of power to interfere”, she warned.

Police

Mellon said she had heard that the police are gearing up to report any contact with children and their families to the named person.

The Christian Institute, alongside other groups and concerned parents, has launched a legal challenge against the scheme.

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