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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-03438: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 4 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government how many times parents who refused the advice of their child's Named Person have been subject to legal proceedings, and under what circumstances.

Answered by: Mark McDonald 27 October 2016

The provisions of Part 4 of the Act do not change current child protection procedures and the police and/or social work should continue to be contacted immediately if a child is believed to be at risk of significant harm.

Under Part 4 of the Act, a Named Person has a responsibility to respond to a request for help or a concern about a child's or young person's wellbeing but there is no requirement on children, young people or parents to take up any offer of advice or support. The rights and responsibilities of parents to raise their children and provide for their wellbeing needs remain the same. Named Persons have no new legal powers to compel parents, children or young people to accept advice, support or help.

As the Scottish Government works towards commencement of Part 4 of the Act, named person service providers, including local authorities, health boards, and partners, will continue to progress the GIRFEC approach and to develop and deliver named person services.

Part 4 (Provision of Named Persons) of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (the Act) has not yet commenced.

The Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) approach has been national policy since 2010 and as part of their existing work, public authorities in many parts of Scotland already operate a “named person” approach.