Call for review of Highlands version of named person scheme

Highland Council has been urged to carry out a full-scale review of its version of the Scottish government’s scrapped named person scheme by a Conservative councillor.

Our comments are included in this BBC piece:

Call for review of Highlands version of named person scheme

Struan Mackie, who represents Thurso and North-west Caithness, said a “clearer understanding” was needed of how it benefits children.

Highland Council said children’s safety and wellbeing was at “the heart” of its policy and practice and its scheme, Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC), was a “key principle” of this care.

GIRFEC was developed between 2006 and 2008 and fully implemented across the Highland region by early 2010.

The Highlands, Edinburgh, Fife and Angus are among areas that set up voluntary schemes.

Mr Mackie said a review should be held to examine what was good about the scheme, what did not work so well and what the council was asking of its staff.

He said: “I believe it is time local authorities such as Highland Council review the voluntary schemes that have been in place and have a look at whether or not they are going to be fit for purpose given that they would have been supported by an overarching national piece of legislation, as was anticipated over the last number of years.”

Angus-based Alison Preuss, co-ordinator of the the Scottish Home Education Forum, said she had concerns about how the voluntary named person schemes shared information on families.

She said it could feel at times as if the authorities were “ganging up” against parents, some who had chosen to educate autistic children at home, and there had been instances where children had been removed from their homes for days at a time when they were not at “significant risk of harm”.

Ms Preuss said: “We are now dealing with terrified children and young people who feel they don’t want to live in the area any more.”

Highland Council said it would continue to collaborate with parents, professionals and its partners to “work together in the best interests of children”.

It added: “Getting It Right For Every Child will remain a key principle behind our practice and we will work closely with national bodies to understand the implications of national policy on our current processes and consider what action and changes we need to make.”

How many more times? The GIRFEC named person parrot is dead and the nails have rusted through.

 

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