Information Sharing Provisions for Parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
The Deputy First Minister has announced he will bring forward a Bill that will include new provisions on when and how information can be shared by and with the Named Person service. The new provisions will address the Supreme Court’s judgment, live up to Government's objective of supporting children and young people and give them and their families reassurance that their rights are respected fully. The intention is to introduce the Bill ahead of the summer recess.
This approach will involve replacing some of the provisions in the 2014 Act that the Supreme Court was concerned about, with new provisions requiring Named Person service providers and others involved with children and young people to consider whether sharing information would promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person; and requiring them then to consider whether sharing that information would be compatible with data protection law, human rights and the law of confidentiality. Only if information can be shared consistently within these legal constraints will there be a power to share it and the legislation will make this clear.
The Deputy First Minister said:
“We are grateful to all those people who took part in what was a genuinely open engagement. We listened to children, young people, parents/carers and practitioners. We listened to those who had concerns about information sharing and were prepared to consider a revised way forward.
"I want to reassure Parliament that we have taken seriously, our responsibility to provide an appropriate response to the Supreme Court judgment.
"The approach I have set out today seeks to bring consistency, clarity and coherence to the practice of sharing information about children and young people’s wellbeing across Scotland. We now intend to put in place measures so that the aims of the Named Person service, as supported by parliament and described by the Supreme Court as “unquestionably legitimate and benign”, is compatible with data protection law, human rights and the law of confidentiality.
"By making these changes, we will respond to the Supreme Court Ruling in a way that improves the Named Person service and gives families, practitioners and the wider public greater confidence that information sharing for Named Person service will be in line with the founding principles of Getting it Right for Every Child and will respect their rights fully."
Read the Scottish Government news release.
Read the full statement of 7 March 2017 from the Deputy First Minister.
Read the output from the intensive engagement period.