Opponents of the Scottish Government’s Getting it Right for Every Child Policy have taken their objections to the Supreme Court in order to get the Named Person provisions declared unlawful.
The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 brought GIRFEC into law and every child and young person across the country is to have a named person that will ensure coordination of services if they are required. The Act was introduced following high profile deaths of children due to abuse and neglect who already had contact with one or more statutory service and who had ‘slipped through the net”.
The Named Person role was introduced to ensure that there is a single point of contact for parents and statutory services, should support be required to ensure a child’s wellbeing. Opponents view the provisions in the Act as an unwarranted intrusion into family life.
While every child must have a Named Person, most families will have little contact with them. If a child is deemed to be at risk, the Named Person can be contacted by those with a concern and it will be their responsibility to coordinate services to ensure the child’s wellbeing. The Named Person will also be the main point of contact for parents of a child with an identified wellbeing need. This could be related to learning needs, health, disability or other needs that impact on their wellbeing and will ensure access to support for that child and their family.
The third sector in Glasgow plays a huge role in the delivery of GIRFEC and are broadly supportive of the policy. The GCVS Everyone’s Children project produced a report in 2015 detailing the positive impact that the sector has on the lives of children across the city.