Where did the idea of the Named Person come from?

It was parents and children who suggested the idea of the Named Person. They felt that a professional person like a teacher or health visitor was well-placed to act as a single point of contact for families and help them access services more easily if they needed to. Families said they did not like having to repeat their story to lots of different professionals, or feeling as if they were being passed from pillar to post – especially at times when they were perhaps feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed.

The Named Person role was developed as part of Getting it Right for Every Child, to make sure children, young people and parents have confidence that they can access help or support, no matter where they live or what age the child is. The Named Person acts as a central point of contact for children, young people and parents, with responsibility for providing families with information , and helping them get the support they need, if and when they need it.

Legal Position (Update Sept 2019)

On Thursday, 19 September 2019, the Deputy First Minister updated parliament on the GIRFEC Practice Development Panel’s report. Having reflected on progress made by Community Planning Partnerships to introduce elements of a named person service and child’s plan through existing statutory functions, the decision has been made that further legislation to underpin delivery of these functions is no longer needed.

The intention is to seek to repeal Parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 using a suitable legislative vehicle in due course, and to withdraw the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill.

The Scottish Government will now work with stakeholders to develop a suite of products to support and promote good, proportionate and appropriate, information sharing practice. This will include further information-sharing training and guidance for practitioners as well as updated Getting it right for every child practice guidance, and a range of other material. These measures should give practitioners the clarity and confidence they need to share concerns, where appropriate and proportionate, and will give people assurance that their rights are being respected.

The Q&A (Scottish Government GIRFEC QA – Sept 2019provides helpful information following this announcement.

Many children and their families are already benefitting from practitioners working closely together to support children and their wellbeing, but the landscape of children’s services can at times be complicated to navigate.  A key point of contact to access and co-ordinate support, and a single planning framework to deliver that support, remain critically important for many children, young people, and their parents.  As such, Ministers have reaffirmed their commitment to Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) as a key part of ensuring the children in our care grow up loved, safe, respected and able to reach their full potential.

Aberdeenshire Council and partner agencies will continue to work with the Scottish Government on development and delivery of the Getting It Right for Every Child approach.

What is the Named Person Service?

Getting it Right for Every Child is about ensuring all children and young people grow up loved, safe, respected, and able to reach their full potential. The Named Person Service was designed to support this aim, by providing a single point of contact in Universal Services of Health and Education, to provide support to children and families, when they need it.

Named Person Service Providers, are in most circumstances the Health Board or Local Authority in the area a child or young person lives. The Named Person Service describes organisational arrangements which are put in place to support Named Person and make sure a Named Person is made available to every child. This includes providing families with information on the Named Person Service.

Who is My Child’s Named Person?

This will depend on your child/young person’s age and individual circumstances. For most children, their Named Person will be a Health Visitor, or Teacher.

Child/Young Person’s Age My Child’s Named Person will be….
From Birth to Primary 1 entry their Health Visitor or Family Nurse
Primary School the Head Teacher or Depute Head Teacher at their Primary School
Secondary School their Guidance Teacher
Exceptions decided on what’s best for your child or young person’s individual circumstances

What are the benefits of a Named Person?

Getting it Right for Every Child is about services and families working together to make sure children get the right help, at the right time. The Named Person Service is a key part of this approach, and something which was already embedded as good practice in many areas of Scotland.

What are the benefits of a Named Person?

Getting it Right for Every Child is about services and families working together to make sure children get the right help, at the right time. The Named Person Service is a key part of this approach, and something which was already embedded as good practice in many areas of Scotland.

Most teachers and health visitors have already been carrying out the things described as the Named Person’s functions, through their day-to-day professional roles. They consider children’s wellbeing, and make sure children and parents are at the centre of decision-making. They put support in place from their own service, if something is getting in the way of a child or young person’s wellbeing. They access extra support from other services if this is needed. They talk with families at times when it may be helpful to share information with somebody else, to help a child or young person.

There is no immediate change to current practice. Across Scotland, children, young people and families have already been benefiting from supportive relationships with a key point of contact in universal services.

What if I don’t want anything to do with the Named Person?

The Named Person will be somebody already supporting your child or young person through their professional role in Health or Education Services, so this is not an extra, or different person. There is no obligation for children, young people or parents to accept any offer of advice or support from the Named Person.

If a Named Person, or anyone else, has concerns for a child’s safety, or thinks a child may be at risk of abuse, neglect or significant harm, that person would be expected to share information about a child or family member. Decisions to share information are based on professional judgments and available information, and this will only take place in circumstances where it is proportionate, legitimate and necessary to do so.

All professionals have a responsibility to follow Aberdeenshire’s Child Protection Procedures, and to contact police, social work, or other agencies where this is required to protect a child or young person from harm. This is what already happens in Aberdeenshire, and this has not changed with the introduction of the Named Person Service.

Named Person Service

Michael Urqhart, Head teacher at Murrayburn Primary School gives an overview of the Named Person Service