Tymes Trust quoted in piece about the plan to appoint ‘named person’ for every child in Scotland.
From The Telegraph, 19 June 2015. Story by Auslan Cramb, Scottish correspondent.
The Scottish Government has been accused of setting out to “fundamentally undermine” the role of Scotland’s parents by appointing a state guardian for every child under 18.
According to campaigners, the hugely controversial plan to appoint a so-called “named person” for ever child is about empowering a state employee to police the happiness of the country’s children.
An event is being held at Hamden Park in Glasgow on Saturday to help explain the controversial policy, and the legislation is due to come into force in August next year, although opponents are still pursuing a legal bid to stop it.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, claims the scheme, affecting one million children, will help the vulnerable and families in need while campaigners say it breaches the human rights of parents.
Liz Smith, the Scottish Conservative spokesman on young people, claimed that ministers were trying to bribe parents to attend the event in Glasgow by offering them a £25 gift voucher and travelling expenses.
She also criticised “patronising leaflets” that set out to explain the event and the government’s plans under its Getting It Right For Every Child approach to the wellbeing of children.
The official guidance on the scheme includes a series of bizarre diagrams called the Wellbeing Wheel, the My World Triangle and the Resilience Matrix, which are meant to help those implementing the policy make decisions on a child’s wellbeing.
Ms Smith said the diagrams representing the “wheels of wellbeing” were “ridiculous”, adding: “They are a classic example of the named person nonsense which is being peddled by the Scottish Government, and which flies in the face of common sense.
“The named person policy is wrong because it fundamentally undermines the role of parents and families and because it gives monitoring power to the state.
“It also takes resources away from the most vulnerable children. The more parents find out about this policy the more they object to it because they see the extent of its intrusion into family life.
“The best leaflet the Scottish Government could hand out on Saturday is one which tells parents that the named person policy will be scrapped altogether.”
Lesley Scott, who represents the Tymes Trust, a charity supporting families with children suffering from ME, said the plan was “empowering state employees to police the happiness of Scotland’s children, according to state definitions of what that should be”.
She has been involved in roadshows all over Scotland organised by the No To Named Person campaign group and said it was obvious that many parents were still not aware of the legislation, or only finding out about now, long after it had been passed.
She added: “You are talking about significant intervention into family life, looking at minutiae with regards to whether the child is achieving, whether it is nurtured enough, whether it is happy enough.
“It is totally unnecessary and is going to cost an enormous amount of money at a time when funding for children’s services is so pushed.”
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said tomorrow’s event was about engaging with parents while continuing to improve services for children and families in Scotland, and was not centred around the implementation of the named person service.
She added that the diagrams that have been criticised had been developed in partnership with health and education professionals “principally for their use”.
The spokesman said: “We are working with the National Parent Forum of Scotland, Children in Scotland, Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament to make sure that families know how they can access information and support at school and from their other public services. We want to hear from ordinary families and the offer of expenses acknowledges the time parents, children and young people have taken to contribute.”