A Named Person is a point of contact for a child, young person or their parent(s) if they want information or advice, or if they want to talk about any worries and seek support. The Named Person can also, when appropriate, reach out to different services who can help a child, young person or parent. Access to a Named Person is part of the GIRFEC approach to promote, support and safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people.
What does the Named Person do?
The Named Person is available to listen, advise and help a child or young person and their parent(s), provide direct support, or help them access other services. They are also a point of contact for other services if they have any concerns about a child’s or young person’s wellbeing.
Who can be a Named Person?
A Named Person is usually the health visitor for a pre-school child and a promoted teacher – such as a head teacher, or guidance teacher or other promoted member of staff – for a school age child. The Named Person duties are integrated into their current role and strengthen the support they currently provide, formalising their role as a central contact for children, parents and other people working with them.
What is the role of the Named Person in the Children’s Hearing?
A Named Person may make a referral to the Children’s Reporter, and they are likely to have information that will be relevant to the Children’s Hearing. In considering whether a compulsory supervision order might be an appropriate response to meet a child’s needs, the Named Person is likely to have discussions with colleagues, but consultation with others must not delay a referral where it is clear that the referral criteria, as documented in the Guidance on Referral to the Reporter, have been met.
It may be appropriate for the Named Person to attend a hearing to help inform the Panel members about the child or young person and their circumstances. If the Named Person is not the Lead Professional for the Child’s Plan, the Lead Professional should also attend the hearing (see Roles and Responsibilities Section – Lead Professional). If the Named Person is not in a position to contribute to discussion at the hearing, there is no need for them to attend. Attendance of the Named Person is at the discretion of the hearing. [Add a link in here to the page on who should attend a hearing.
Key facts about the Named Person role
- A Named Person will be available to children and young people across Scotland from birth to age 18, or beyond if still in school.
This means a child, young person, parent, or someone who works with them, knows who they can approach for help or advice if they need it.
- The Named Person will work with children, young people and their parent(s) to get the help they need, when they need it.
A Named Person has a responsibility to respond to a concern about a child’s or young person’s wellbeing but there is no requirement to take up the offer of advice or support. A Named Person does not replace or change the role of a parent or carer. The rights and responsibilities of parents to raise their children and provide for their wellbeing needs stay the same.
- Effective communication, including sharing relevant information where appropriate, is essential to ensure children, young people and families get the right help at the right time.
Every child’s needs and circumstances are unique and a Named Person will work with a child or young person and their parent(s) to offer the right advice and support. Information about their needs and circumstances may be shared with a Named Person if it’s relevant to understanding what help they may need and it supports their wellbeing. This will be done in discussion with the child and their parent(s), unless there is a child protection concern. The Named Person will not directly access personal information held by other services.