RCN Scotland has consistently supported the Named Person service set out the Children and Young People’s (Scotland) Act 2014.
The service should be a positive means of promoting, supporting and safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland.
However, RCN Scotland is raising concerns about the latest developments for the Named Person service.
John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, has announced that he will introduce a new Bill. The Bill will include "new provisions on when and how information can be shared by and with the Named Person service". Read the Cabinet Secretary's statement
The new provisions are required following the judgement of the Supreme Court in July 2018. This judgement found problems with the way information about children and families was to be shared through the Named Person service.
RCN Scotland is concerned that:
- The new Bill may place those in a Named Person role under increased pressure by making individuals responsible for checking compatibility with the law. The RCN has made clear that we will wish to assess the added value of new legislation once the detail of any Bill is published.
- There are insufficient resources staff to implement the new role
- Press coverage surrounding the Named Person role is having a negative impact on health visitors trying to support children and families. Health Visitors cannot do an effective job if families are anxious or suspicious about the scope of the day-to-day support health visitors offer.
RCN Scotland has been actively engaged at all stages of the development of the Named Person service, including the recent three-month Scottish Government consultation - read more.
RCN Scotland will continue to monitor the situation and engage with the Scottish Government to help ensure that the best interests of children and their families as well as the professionals caring for them are pursued.