News

Children and Young People (Information Sharing) Bill

Published: 19 Sep 2019 15:12

Information sharing proposals dropped and named person provisions repealed.

The proposed new law on information sharing on named persons will not proceed.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney also announced that the mandatory named person scheme for every child – enshrined in the Children And Young People Act 2014 – will be repealed.

Instead, existing voluntary schemes that provide a point of contact for support will continue under current legal powers, where councils and health boards wish to provide them and parents want to use them.

The report of an expert panel established to explore the development of a legally-binding Code of Practice to support the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) Bill has also been published.

The Scottish Government will now develop practical guidance and support to give professionals confidence to share wellbeing concerns in a compliant way, and to help families understand their rights under existing law.

Mr Swinney said:

“I believe that we have taken an important step forward in providing families and practitioners with certainty about how information sharing can support wellbeing in a transparent way which respects the rights of everyone.

“The mandatory named person scheme for every child – underpinned by law – will now not happen. We will withdraw our Bill and repeal the relevant legislation.

“Instead, existing voluntary services that provide a point of contact for support will continue under current legal powers, where councils and health boards wish to provide them and parents want to use them.

“In this way, we will support our children and young people so that they can thrive and rise to the challenges and opportunities that life brings.

“Only through continued investment in our children’s wellbeing will we achieve our vision of a prosperous country where everyone gets the chance to fulfil their potential, and no-one is left behind.”

Background

Deputy First Minister John Swinney statement to Parliament

Ministers set up the GIRFEC Practice Development Expert Panel to consider a legally-binding Code of Practice on information sharing following a ruling by the Supreme Court in 2016.

Getting it Right for Every Child Practice Development Panel Report

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) Practice Development Panel Report: Scottish Government Response

The aim of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is to make Scotland the best place to grow up by putting children and young people at the heart of planning and delivery of services and ensuring their rights are respected across the public sector.

  • Part 4 of the Act makes provision for every child and young person to have a named person.
  • Part 5 introduced the requirements for a child’s plan when a child’s wellbeing required the support of a targeted intervention.
  • These elements of the 2014 Act were awaiting the passage of the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) Bill before being brought into force.
  • Many Community Planning Partnerships already operate elements of a named person service and child’s plan. These services are provided within their existing statutory functions, under existing legislation, and have evolved over the last 10 years to provide early help, high quality planning and co-ordination of services.