Controversial child protection law will be implemented after a last-ditch bid to derail it fails
Children's charities have welcomed a decision to press ahead with controversial child protection legislation.
The scheme – which will assign a named person to everyone under 18 in Scotland from 31 August – faced an attempt to have it shelved by Tory MSPs at Holyrood.
However, they were heavily defeated by 74 votes to 31, meaning the law, part of the Children and Young People Act, will come into full force.
There is a pressing need for a universal early warning system to identify the children who are most vulnerable
Opponents that the legislation amounts to the nanny state at its most excessive.
They say it will undermine parents, breach a family's right to privacy and divert resources away from children who are genuinely vulnerable.
But manychildren's charities say the scheme will help ensure more cases of child abuse and neglect are uncovered and dealt with.
Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “We welcome the fact that the parliament has rejected a proposal to pause the implementation of the named person scheme.
“Barnardo’s Scotland works with thousands of children and young people every day. In our experience there is a pressing need for a universal early warning system to identify the children who are most vulnerable, and that is why the named person is crucial in ensuring we can protect every child.
“The reality is children do not come simply divided into those that can be identified as at risk and those we need not worry about. In many ways, the child at most risk is the one who has not yet been identified as being at risk. The Scottish Parliament has shown today that it agrees with this principle.
“It is now time to move forward to make sure that legislation and policy designed to support children and young people is effectively implemented and resourced.”
Children in Scotland chief executive, Jackie Brock said: “We welcome the Holyrood vote which confirms continued movement towards the introduction of the named person legislation.
“We have always believed the policy represents the formalisation of best practice which already exists across the country, providing children, young people and their families with a single, primary point of contact if they need it. For professionals, it represents a streamlined approach and simplified way of information sharing should there be concerns about a child’s welfare or wellbeing.
“We recognise that there are concerns about the policy and it is important that in these final crucial months, and throughout, these concerns are addressed and resources are put in place to allow professionals to effectively deliver the policy as it is intended. As is good practice with all legislative decisions, the government must also commit to reviewing the impact post-implementation.
“We stand united with others in the sector that the named person policy is borne out of a sincere commitment to improve children’s welfare and protect families and will support our members and professionals across the country to delivery this policy in these ambitions.”
Ahead of implementation, the Scottish Government has said it will “refresh” its guidance over named person.
However. The No to Named Persons campaign group described this as "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic".
Spokesman Simon Calvert said: "What is being proposed is simply a waste of time. They are seeking to refresh their publicity campaign which has thus far proven to be a disastrous failure, clearly losing parental confidence."