In Scotland, by 2016 ALL Children with have a "named person" from birth until their 18th birthday. What's a named person I hear you ask? According to Scotland.gov.uk this....
....Depending on the age of the child or young person, a health visitor or senior teacher, already known to the family, usually takes the role of Named Person. This means that the child and their family have a single point of contact who can work with them to sort out any further help, advice or support if they need it.
In my words, a named person is a professional like a teacher or health visitor that will "keep an eye on" the well-being of a child and will flag up any concerns to the correct authorities.
Us PlayPennies Mums have been talking about this at length this morning and we are of mixed emotions where this is concerned. The incentive of this named person scheme is quite clearly to reduce abuse and support children that may not be getting the care they deserve at home. Surely, that can only be a good thing?
Not according to everyone it's not- in fact I have spoken to quite a few parents that think the scheme will do more harm than good and feel like it's a "breach of privacy".
What about the implications of the actual "named person"? Most of those that will be appointed as a NM will hold roles in society like a Health Visitor, that are already stretched beyond their means. What if they believe something is amiss with one of their named children, report it then everything goes wrong? Would they be putting themselves on the line for serious repercussions?
Another issue raised was what if your methods of parenting conflict with the beliefs of the "named person"? Can you change the person you are appointed?
It's not all bad though, with some parents believing that it will provide some much needed support when it comes to the raising of children and the issues that come with that. An outlet for children who are neglected and abused, someone impartial to disclose to and someone to save them from the bad goings on?
Another plus is that the "named person" is someone that your child will be familiar with, someone they can learn to trust like a Headmaster or a Health Professional. So, this in theory should increase the chances of children who are living in harmful situations to get the help they need.